Recently, I heard a football coach talks about his players’ mental and physical capacity this off-season and how much more they can handle this year as compared to prior years. He went on to say that the higher one’s capacity the better the performance on and off the field for his student athletes. Capacity can be thought of in three buckets:

1. Mental Capacity
2. Physical Capacity
3. Emotional Capacity

I want to focus on our mental capacity. In today’s fast paced society, very few of us have the capacity to take on any additional work, responsibilities, or tasks. How many people do you meet who say they want more responsibility? I can’t think of any to be honest with you. Everyone I talk to is stressed out, overworked, and completely overwhelmed in both their personal and professional lives. In short, no one has the capacity to take on more work, responsibilities or leadership roles.

I have noticed over the past two years my workload has increased trying to operate two businesses: acting studio/ speaking business. The only way I have been able to expand my capacity is to develop and execute a plan. Creating and developing a plan is the key to expanding our capacity.

Every morning when I wake up I get out a notepad and write down my “to do” list and circle my objectives for that day. This ability to write things down and put them on a list frees up capacity for me, reduces stress, and keeps me focused. If my list is more than 10 items it is too long, I am always take things off my list to free up more storage and capacity.

It isn’t how long our lists are that is important, it is how focused and dialed in they are that will determine our capacity. Actually, the shorter and more focused the lists are the more space we will have to operate in. However, if our lists are long, disorganized, and unstructured we will feel overwhelmed and have very little capacity.

In order to tap into our full potential, we need capacity:

Capacity= Planning

* Chad J. Willett is a motivational speaker, author and creative expert. He writes a weekly blog to unleash our creative energies.