Can you remember a time that you were extraordinarily productive and moved quickly towards your goals? How about a time when you had trouble accomplishing even daily tasks and long-term goals lay stagnant awaiting your attention?
What was it that differentiated these two times?
Most likely, the exact details are widely varied for each person reading this post. On the surface what appears to tie your individual stories together is lack of time and / or energy. However, the underlying difference is a bit deeper. In reality, what differentiates these two situations is focus.
One of my habits is to carve out an hour or two each day to work on a project. During this time I focus 100% of my energy on what I am trying to accomplish. For example, this morning it is writing the drafts of two blog entries. And as I work, I’m concentrating solely on how best to communicate my core message with you. I am not checking email, linking on LinkedIn, posting on Facebook, or answering the phone. Because it's a bit noisy, I turned on some soft, inspirational music with no words. For the time that I am writing, I focus solely on what I want to say. And because of this focus I write more quickly and more clearly than if I had been interrupted by other priorities.
I started this habit almost 20 years ago. At the time I was Assistant Controller at a mid-size organization. Not surprisingly, I was constantly being interrupted by questions…and I had trouble accomplishing my larger projects. Then one day I started a closed door policy. For one hour each day, during the time that people were least likely to need me, I would close my door and put my phone on do not disturb. I also informed my staff that they were not to knock on my door unless the building was burning down. Suddenly, because I had four to five hours a week to focus, I was moving rapidly forward on my long-term goals.
I believe this is one of the reasons I am passionate about small business owners completing strategic plans. When you combine focus time with the tasks that you know will move your company forward to where you want to go, you start to achieve great things very quickly. I love the stories that past participants tell me about their accomplishments. They generally sound something like: “For two years I have been trying to complete ________(you fill in the blank). After participating in the Strategic Plan-ting™ Workshop I finished it in less than 6 months. This is because I knew what was important and I had the tools to help me focus and get it done.”
How can you become clear on what is most important for you to accomplish? How can you schedule more focus time to work on this project or goal?*
*We don’t usually sell in blog posts. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that RedKnight can help if going it alone isn’t working for you.