If you do one thing — do just one


When the clocks change, it’s weird. We should be used to it by now, but it still tugs at us; begging the question, “how?” Time can’t stretch. But it can. Not just how long an hour can feel, but how we can just add time, or subtract time, in a year. We all understand it, but we still have to think about it.

What we do with our time defines us at a basic level. How productive we are adds colour to the sketches of us, in the minds of others. Most of us would consider being productive as more valuable than being unproductive, yet one hour is the same length for us all, so our productivity must affect our value.

How we use time is important. We can only do one thing at a time—something we’re continuously denying. When we accept this, we can focus and achieve more than if we’re trying to do lots of things at once. Nothing new here. The counterpoint to this is nothing new either, it’s just considered less frequently, and that is: doing nothing is still doing something.

Well, blocking out time to “do nothing” is valuable. We’re never really “doing nothing” though, because deliberately making the choice to do nothing, means you’ve decided to focus on one thing only.

Our client Suzette Clough of Visual Medicine came to us because she wanted to give people the time to do one thing. And then another thing, but only after they’d finished the first thing.

  1. Mindfulness

  2. Creative writing

Visual Medicine, the whole practice, is comprised of three parts.

  1. Painting

  2. Mindfulness

  3. Creative writing, (and then hopefully healing)

Artist, teacher and psychotherapist Suzette had been creating Visual Medicine paintings for over 15 years. She wanted to monetise her life’s work through more than just book sales. She needed a strong brand, mobile application and website that simply distilled the complex and ethereal world in which she was operating, into a clear and digestible offering.

Obviously, there is no liquid paint in the app, so we started by taking the Visual Medicine images and collating them into decks. The idea was that you select a card from a deck at random, look at the image on your card, and begin writing creatively. Record your thoughts in your journal, in the app. From your journal, you could share your writing, images or both. You could also print your image and hang it in your home, from within the app. The website also allowed this printing and supported e-commerce. You can see the project and how it worked here.

Just by giving her app users the gift of time, Suzette would have been able to rapidly grow her income by launching an app and website with this kind of strategic thinking. She was giving them the choice of doing one thing at a time. And that thing was focussing on themselves. They, in return, would give her their money through a subscription to her app.

Suzette added time, added value and grew her income simply by triggering an awareness in people to focus on one thing only. In this case, it was to stop the something they were doing.

Doing nothing is still doing something, and it can make you wealthy.

We all understand it, but we still have to think about it.

Take some time.

Al Walker