If you find yourself running around all day, stressed to the hilt, it’s time to STOP, gain clarity from the chaos, and boost productivity with full focus.
‘To become the fastest sprinter in the world took Usain Bolt a marathon of time.’
Ok, you may need to read that again.
And, yes,... I admit. Maybe it also needs a bit of explaining.
Here’s the deal.
Nobody will argue that Usain Bolt was successful in what he did. But apart from obvious talent, he had another advantage. He showed up to win. It was his total focus. And he let nothing or nobody get in the way.
He didn’t become the fastest runner in the world overnight, either. It took hours and hours of practice and dedication. I’m sure he missed out on a few things, too. By choice, may I add! Because being the first man to cross the finish line was his absolute goal and priority.
So why am I bringing this up? And what does that mean for you and your business?
How to become the Usain Bolt of Productivity?
I am going to take a wild guess and say you’re a hardworking entrepreneur. Passionate, committed, putting in the long hours. Maybe to the point where you get completely exhausted?
If that’s you (and chances are very real it is), let me ask you this: How often do you tell yourself ‘I’ll just get this one done quickly’?
Several times a day, right?
Let’s be honest, we’re running around every day, sprinting to do this and that, and we put ourselves in a place of chaos. And then...we get overwhelmed.
So about our Usain Bolt statement from the beginning.
Like Usain Bolt’s success, being successful in business doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a sprint, nor a series of random sprints strung together. It’s a bit of sprinting (of course!), AND a lot of dedication and focus to get ahead in business. A lot of being specific about what will take you there. And it takes a marathon of time.
Stop Sprinting To Gain Clarity!
So what do we do then?
If you find yourself running at full sprint every hour of the day; waking up stressed and going to bed stressed, the first thing you need to do is ...
This may feel counter-intuitive, especially because there is so much to be done and so little time. But what you need right now is to dedicate some time to thinking about where you’re heading, gain clarity.
But then what!?
3 Steps To Stay Focussed And Increase Productivity!
Boost Productivity With Full Focus- STEP 1: Write Down Your Priorities And Goals
Like in Usain Bolt’s case, staying focussed gets you ahead in business. But what if you’re so busy you do not know what your priorities are? What if the only answer that seems to make sense is ‘I’ll just get this one done quickly’?
The first step is to figure out where you want to take your business. What is important to you? What are your goals?
Here’s the short version:
- Take 60-90 minutes.
- Open a Google.doc, get out a piece of paper.
- Get everything out of your head.
- Ask yourself where you want to take your business realistically.
- Start reverse engineering. Identify your priorities and create goals for the next year, 90 days, etc.
- Commit to the SMARTER goals.
- Writing down the goals helps you overcome resistance.
- It motivates you to take action.
- Writing down goals filters opportunities.
- Written goals create clarity and focus to get ahead in business.
- Writing down your goals makes you see and celebrate progress.
Boost Productivity With Full Focus- STEP 2: Prioritise the Priorities.
Once you have set your goals, it’s time to go through the to-do list and identify the priorities that need your focus to get ahead in business.
I like to use the Eisenhower Matrix for this.
If you’re unfamiliar:
1. Take a piece of paper and draw a horizontal line and a vertical line down the middle. Anything above the horizontal line is important, anything below the horizontal line is not-important. Equally, anything to the left of the vertical line is not-urgent, anything to the right is urgent.
You now have a matrix with 4 quadrants, each allocated a judgment on whether or not tasks are important and/or urgent.
2. For each of the things on your to-do list, decide where they belong in the Eisenhower matrix.
- Anything important and urgent is your priority.
- Schedule anything important and non-urgent for later.
- Anything non-important should be delegated to somebody else or plainly dropped off the list. (Chances are very good the ‘‘I’ll just get this one done quickly’ belongs to this category! )
Boost Productivity With Full Focus- STEP 3: Self-Automate To Save Time And Energy
The final step in staying focussed to get ahead in business addresses energy. It’s the step to get you out of the exhaustion and feeling of overwhelm.
Remember the feeling like there are not enough hours in a day? The constant aimless sprinting that unavoidably will lead to burn-out?
It’s true that time is fixed, BUT how we spend our time is determined at least in part by our energy. And our energy we can change!
One effective way we can control our energy to improve focus and productivity is through self-automation. This is a process where we form good habits and daily rituals that take things off the to-do list without adding to the chaos.
I have 4 work-rituals: a weekly start-up ritual, a weekly close-off ritual, a daily ramp-up ritual and, you guessed it... a daily shut-down ritual.
Creating the rituals means there is a whole series of recurring tasks on my to-do list that will be done without a second thought and demand no energy at all... because I do them on auto-pilot.
Ultimately, it means I can focus on the things that really require my attention and energy.
You may feel it’s hard the first few times you do them, but I like to remind myself of this saying:
‘Only fools expect to do the same thing they did before, while expecting a different outcome.’
It really is worth the investment because rituals set you up for the marathon!
Training To Boost Your Productivity
Which leaves me with this final piece of advice to share about staying focussed to get ahead in business.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP!
You’re exactly where you’re meant to be at this very moment.
But to get you where you want to be, you need to move the dial. And I’m going to help you do that!
So, I’d like to invite you to join me in a 90 MINUTE LIVE TRAINING TO BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY on 17 March 10am NZDT (This is 16 March for the Northern hemisphere friends).
If this podcast resonated with you, but you want to know more, the live training will be right up your sleeve. We’ll be focusing on the 3 steps to boost your productivity, and what strategies you can put in place to focus on the things that matter. (And, yes, there will be time for discussion and Q&A’s)
I look forward to seeing you at the training to boost your productivity!
REGISTER HERE FOR THE ONE-OFF LIVE TRAINING!
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