Staying focused on what’s really important is not difficult once you know-how. This is in spite of hundreds of pages of new content to consume daily or a constant stream of new information interrupting you.
Pre-internet it was a simple to leave the phone off the hook and let your answer phone prioritise all the calls. Then the Internet arrived and suddenly there are millions of different types of information being mailed, and half of it is junk.
This is frustrating because if you’re not careful, a big part of your day will be wasted by mindless interruptions.
Telling yourself that you’re going to be able to manage OK if, you just work ‘a little later tonight.’
This is a two tone horn blast danger sign. Saying, “I need to work later to catch up”. That’s a massive problem.” The cure isn’t as easy as thinking you’ll just catch up with your to-do list.
That approach is not a plan; it’s a straight path to failure. You need to address the problem head on because very soon working late becomes the norm and your personal life is in danger of disappearing fast.
So what’s the difference between Efficiency and Effectiveness?
Simply phrased: Effectiveness is doing the right things, but efficiency is doing things spot on correct. That means effectiveness is picking a direction and efficiency is running extremely fast in that direction.
Once you realize those two things are different, it becomes an extremely powerful approach that you can simply try. With effectiveness in mind this simple threefold nature of work is worth a try.
- Pre-Defined Work – Work you’ve set up ahead of time
- Work As It Appears – Work that interrupts you
- Defining Work – You sit down and think about what work you need to be doing- Prioritise it!
I always say your limited time needs to be spent more on that last bullet point. Instead of taking a haphazard approach, take time out to define your work. Get the coffee on and relax and start to plan your schedule of work.
Break off once done, clear your head for 5 minutes, get a quick breath of fresh air, have a stretch or have a quick wash of your hands and face and return ‘raring to get stuck in!’
- Doing it
- Dropping it
- Delegating it
- Or finally ‘Deferring it
Beware of too many Business Mantra Books – you will lose time plus your own thoughts and identity.
Too many entrepreneurs try reading every business book in print to help them learn the best way to success. Unfortunately, some completely lose their minds by reading too many business guru mantra books. They all seek ‘the new light towards’ personal happiness and success.
If you’re that person try limiting them to one per month and fill up on good blogs in between. This is more than sufficient to keep you up to speed of what is really happening in the business and empowerment world.
I’ve seen too many people gorging on reading these books as though they’ve just come from a week in the hot dry desert and have been let loose in a free, ice-cold beer bar.
Please beware, these will rapidly consume you and every aspect of your life. Then one day you realize you’ve not only gone around in a circle but you’ve also lost focus of what’s most important in your life and have been wasting your precious ‘spare’ time. Time which could have been better spent sharing with family, friends and loved ones.
A good rule of thumb is that books that have titles with words like: ‘ 6 minutes to transform your life’ and ‘Face your day with bravery’ are going to block your creativity rather than stimulate it to better levels of performance. Take them with a pinch of salt but don’t put your life in their teachings. Like this blog, experiment and see if it helps you. If it doesn’t then you’ve only wasted 5 minute of your time and not 10 hrs.
Never forget, your life and business are critically important but, if what you are doing is neither urgent nor important you should bin it. Unfortunately what really happens is we spend too much of our time on things that feel urgent but are not important at all, but the urgency becomes an addiction, just like reading too many business/life guru books.
Keep your time management under control and very quickly your life will start to vastly improve and your smile will return and the sun will still be shining once your work is done! A final point to ponder: If it’s not helping you to make money, and if it’s not improving your life in some way, it’s mental garbage and it’s got to go!