THE POWER OF FOCUS:
Do you ever find that you have great intentions of taking action and making progress towards your goals, but you seem to get distracted and pulled off course?
Please tell me that I’m not the only one this happens to….Phew, I was getting worried there for a moment.
Why do we allow distractions to get in the way, and what can we do about them, right NOW?
I consider distractions in whatever form they may take (constant flow of email, voice mail,, telephone calls, paper work, last minute projects, sitting down in front of the television instead of exercising, or preparing for that speech you keep putting off; etc, etc ), to be just another manifestation of what I call THE INNER ENEMY. Also referred to in Stephen Pressfield’s outstanding book, The War of Art, as Resistance.
If you recall, Resistance has one job, one singular purpose, which is to stop us from doing the work that our goals are demanding of us to achieve them. Resistance is a sly and sneaky character. Often these “distractions” appear as urgent tasks or events that we must immediately devote our full attention to.
Accountability Challenge Week 12: Do it, Defer It, Delegate it or Delete it….just Don’t Dwell on it.
When it comes to distractions or any type of demand on our time, we can choose to respond in four ways; We can choose do it immediately, when can defer the action to another time, if we have the resources we may also be able to delegate it, and finally we can merely delete it.
What I suggest you do is to prioritize each of the actions, or distractions that routinely appear in your life, and in your day. Prioritize them from highest payoff activity to lowest payoff activity. Ask yourself which of these activities are moving me closest to my goals. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds over the next 12 months-then your high priority activities are regular exercise, and healthy eating. If you find that distractions are pulling you away from completing your High Payoff Activities then you need to make some immediate changes in your life.
I have a great solution for you which I have recently been implementing into my own life. I wish I could take full credit for it, but again most of the great ideas that I come across are not originally mine. Occasionally I’m just smart enough to implement them. The three step idea that I’m about to share with you I heard from someone I consider to be my own Accountability Coach, Anne Bachrach. Anne works with many financial advisors like me and she has been smart enough to trademark the brand name “The Accountability Coach™.
Three Steps to Higher Productivity:
Step One: Write down every single activity that can come up in a typical day. Assign a level of priority to each activity ranging from the Highest Payoff Activities (HPA’s) down to your Lowest Payoff Activities (LPA’s).
Step Two: Put each of these activities into your calendar as you would with any important appointment that you make with yourself. Treat these appointments (also known as “blocks of time” as sacred. Clearly you are best served by focusing on HPA’s. LPA’s are also on the list-but should be scheduled in off peak time, or delegated where ever possible.
Step Three: The third and most important and most challenging step once an activity has been booked into your calendar is to HONOUR YOUR CALENDAR. Putting an activity into your calendar and then ignoring it, or continually hitting the “snooze alarm” will not move you closer to your goals.
So there you have it a simple (I didn’t say it was going to be easy-at least not off the get go) and highly effective three step solution to magnifying your own productivity by tapping into the power of focus.
Coach Mark, Thought for the week: “There is no try, only do”. Yoda–The Empire Strikes Back
Mark Hudon, CFP™, CCS™
Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™
Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™