Turn Activity into Effectiveness (Part 3)
The reason most people don’t practice the simple plan for super achievement, that I have described in the previous two articles, is that as simple as these routines are to learn and apply in your life, so easy are they not to use. There are constant distractions, temptations and noise going on all around you that will trap you into taking the path of least resistance and to keep doing things the way you always have. You will encounter traps all around you that steal your most precious resource, namely your time, every day. Look out for and avoid the following at all costs:
Just say no.
Your long term sustainable success will not be measured by what you do, but rather by what you don’t do. Filling your schedule with a myriad of unnecessary tasks each day, will stretch you very thin and you will land up achieving very little each day. Avoid getting bogged down in a myriad of minor tasks that simply sap your time and energy. Spend minor time on minor issues and learn the art of focus, where you spend the majority of your time on completing major tasks each day. As you learn the art of saying no to the unnecessary, you free up valuable time to focus your energy on things that really matter.
When you point a torch at a piece of paper, all you get to do is see a little better, when you take sunlight and focus it through a magnifying glass, you are able to start a fire, as you focus light even further you are able to create a laser beam that can cut through steel. This is how I want you to see the way you get to focus your energy on your daily activities. Think of yourself evolving from pointing a torch at everything in your life, to over time, developing a new habit set that will allow you to routinely practice the art of having incredible laser focus, on everything that you do. Add your resolve to say no to minor things into the mix, that only sap your time and energy and you have created a set of focused success habits that will allow you to achieve extraordinary things in your life.
Plan – Stop Reacting and Begin Creating
When you plan your day the night before you become proactive and you become the creator of your day. As you continue to just allow your day to evolve and unfold, without any planning and thought, you open yourself up to have the way your day unfolds, dictated to you by others. Until you decide to fill your day with proactive and creative activities, it will continue to be filled with unnecessary enquiries, interruptions and spent meeting the needs of everyone around you. All the time you invest into focusing your energy on tasks and activities that matter, is time you do not have available to waste on doing trivial activities that really do not matter and are adding very little or no value to your life at all.
All the distractions that cross your path each day, emails, texts and telephone call interruptions, are all things that force you away from focus into reaction. Unless you manage your time around the use of these technologies you are like a puppet and everyone around you is forcing you to react to their every whim. Allocate time in the day for handling emails, texts and phone calls and do not allow your valuable creative time to be diluted by interruptions and unnecessary distractions.
Use your Now for Creative Activity, Not for Instant Gratification
Learn the art of patience and avoid looking at your long to-do list, throughout the day, only feeling satisfied when you have crossed a myriad of tasks off it, each hour. These are probably unnecessary tasks that you should not have even tackled in the first place. This is an empty sense of achievement as you have expended time, spinning your wheels and have achieved very little. Ensure that your to-do list is only filled with necessary creative tasks that are going to make a difference to how your day turns out.
Break your addiction to constantly be informed and be the first to know what is going on. Always on the prowl, constantly searching through your smart phone, looking at the next tweet, Facebook post or news alert that will deliver the next piece of gossip, etc. These are useless distractions that insidiously creep into your life and steal your time and sap your energy. These constant distractions throughout the day serve no purpose at all, save to make you feel good and think that someone is thinking of you. Expending so much energy and time on getting a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy, knowing someone is thinking of you, is far too high a price to pay. These constant distractions become an unhealthy addiction, because they gradually and relentlessly, rob you of the time you could be spending focused and being creative, carrying out productive high value tasks.
Stop mistaking movement for achievement, activity for productivity and constantly rushing from one activity to another and mistaking this for results. Commit to learn this new set of daily routines and over time they will become your new success habit set. You will effectively have introduced a system into your life to begin achieving things that would have seemed impossible before.