Thursday, 16 June 2011

One of the greatest problems we all face is finding time to "get everything done".  And that's a challenge that I had been struggling with over the last few months in the race to get a new segment of business up and running - just when the heck was I supposed to find the time??

Well, turns out that I had been making the single most elementary mistake in life-management.  Yes, it's a mistake I know all about, teach to my clients and I've even shared it with you before. 

Did that stop me from falling right into it?  Hell no!  To see this mistake in what NBC used to call "living color", just have a look at Stephen Covey's demonstration right here:

How to Identify YOUR "Big Rocks" and Avoid My Mistake

Here's a devastatingly effective planning procedure for you.  Try it next week and you're sure to see the difference:

  • Ask "What?" - what's your goal? Can you define it exactly?  Are there time parameters?  Can you measure it?  The purpose here is be as exact as you can and as clear as possible.
  • Ask "Why?" - then do it again.  Get someone else to quiz you on this until THEY are satisfied with your answer.  Their job is to keep asking "why?" until YOU begin to make sense.  This will frustrate the hell out of you, but it's more than worth the pain.  This will help you to connect to your deep inner motivation, your wiring, your "passion".  And if you can't, maybe you should rethink the goal.  If you can't connect with it on a deep level, is it because you feel you "should" do it because  of social pressure or guilt?  Or is the importance and urgency you're attaching to it built on some unexamined assumptions that won't help you in the long run?
  • Ask "How?" - Get someone else to do this to - they can sense when you're underestimating the time and effort, over-committing, being unrealistic, etc.

Part of the lesson here is to ask yourself if you're really living up to the principles you know.  I was truthfully a little shocked to find I was falling into the trap of scheduling the minutiae of life first and then struggling to find room for the things that really matter in the long run.  But it can happen to any of us.

So when you get ready to plan the upcoming week, take just a little extra time to make sure you put in your "big rocks" first and use these simple questions to get the clarity you need.  You won't be sorry you did!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger :-)

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