Thirsty Thursdays: Get Religious
I have found religion! Not the faith-based kind but a different sort. In part leading up to the launch of HR4ALL, but more so after I kicked off HR4ALL in earnest just five weeks ago, I have come to quickly develop an immense respect for small business owners. The amount of focus you must have to run a successful business is nothing short of a religion. But even if you don't run your own business we can all benefit from a few of the tips to help us be more successful in business and in life.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS
eMail, voicemail, pop-in visits, more meetings than makes sense, childcare, health-related apppointments, volunteering, household upkeep, exercise, sleep, where does it end? It doesn't. And life is going to continue to become more complex as more and more is piled onto our shoulders.
The most important discipline you can bring to your life is a focus on the task at hand. Stop falling for the "multitasking" lure as if dividing your attention amongst multiple things results in anything other than subpar results.
The best way to get excellent results using the least amount of time per activity is to focus all your attention on that one task. Take a break to cure fatigue, but don't try to do other tasks as the diversion because you never disengage your mind and get that mental break.
ANSWER ONLY ONE QUESTION
Assuming that you've set personal and professional goals for your life, and that you've adopted the discipline of FOCUS on the singlular task at hand, you still need to check-in with yourself every now and then.
Sometimes we allow distractions to become goals and things that really aren't mission critical somehow show up on our list of priorities.
The best way to safeguard against wasting time is to frequently ask yourself just one question,
"IS WHAT I AM DOING RIGHT NOW ADVANCING ME CLOSER TO MY GOAL?"
It sounds so basic and simple. It's important to adopt this practice to make your time always be time well spent.
BUILD A WALL
No, not THAT wall. This is a wall to keep effort, energy and actions in bounds.
There are many good habits we can adopt that help us build healthy walls to sustain the focus on advancing our goals.
- Dedicated work space - not working on your couch watching TV
- Uninterrupted time - no desk phone, no cell phone, no email, nothing but what is needed to work the task at hand
- Proper tools and resources are critical
- Kill projects that don't advance the goal
- Set a healthy stopping point - consider the Pareto rule - is spending hours on those last details going to make a difference?
- Parkinson's Law - don't let it happen!!
- If you usually respond to an email or voicemal instantly then people will expect that and it's just not sustainable
Bringing it all Together
Balance is impossible. All that we've told about seeking a work/life balance just adds another to-do item on our list. And it's an elusive, impossible goal. All the different aspects of our lives are constantly competing and sometimes work wins, sometimes family wins, sometimes personal obligations win, sometimes health needs win, you get the picture.
But if you adopt effective techniques to make the most out of all your efforts then you'll be rewarded with not only a whole list of accompished objectives, but a richer work and personal life, and the sense of personal accomplishment. And a laser focus on the activity at hand means that time with your spouse, kids, team at work, friend, project team, or workout buddy will be so much more fulfilling.
Today's greater emphasis on multitasking, technology and instant response time is killing the quality of our lives. We can't even get through a meeting or a phone call without checking some other device which disengages our attention and reduces the quality of the meeting and the other distractions. We need to get back to valuing quality, personal interactions. Listening to understand others needs to be key, instead of listening to make a counterpoint. This will help us stay focused, build better relationships, accomplish more of our goals and keep moving down the road of life.
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." --- Will Rogers
Focus on one thing, shut out distractions, and keep moving!!!
Thirsty Thursdays are about our collective thirst for learning and knowledge. It’s not about Beer:30 [although HR4ALL is all for that, too!] We hope this weekly nugget of knowledge opens your mind and gives you a reason to pause and think differently. Have a great weekend everyone!
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