How easily are you stolen-away from your agenda?
Perform a spot-check now of the last few days. And notice how frequently, easily and without resistance we’re knocked off course. When our agenda for the day looked so otherwise set!
This post, for example. I hope, when you opened it up, you were doing so at a time you’d set aside for browsing personal development posts. A time you’d marked to get intentional with your development.
Is that what happened? Perhaps not. Probably not.
(If this post was/is a distraction: I apologise! Stop reading! Stop reading now! … You’re still reading: in which case, thank you! I really appreciate you spending your precious time here … Perhaps I just need to get right to it – to make reading this time well spent!)
Here are a few distractions to watch for.
- Email and Social Media. ’nuff said.
- Phone. What was it time management gurus used to say about the phone being there for our convenience, not the callers?
- Offers. For a limited time only. Must act now. This is exactly what you need … and so on. Moments ago, you had a plan. And now, out of the blue, an offer’s come forward and you’ve dropped your plan without a moment’s thought.
- Quick Wins. “I’ll just finish this off quickly, first”. I’m all for a dose of achievement. But not when it turns into overdone productive procrastination. Ask yourself: do you want to end the day with a few quick wins. Or one massive piece of the puzzle in place, done and dusted?
- (Over-)Education. Education is seductive. We all love to learn and better ourselves. It feels great. And it feels like progress. So it’s an easy out, when we want to stray (legitimately?) from the task in hand – or when we just don’t want to know what to do. Watch for over-education. Focus only on the knowledge gap you need to fill to satisfy your agenda.
- Some Else’s Agenda. Ah, another big one. And we’re not talking about your boss of your employing company. That’s a bit different. We’re talking about every other agenda you come into contact with, throughout the day. Is your agenda standing its ground when agendas clash?
You know what an agenda-focused day is
You know what an agenda-focused day looks/feels/sounds like. And it’s not: “I did my email”; “I tweeted”; “I snoozed my way through irrelevant meetings”.
It’s: “I reconnected with my agenda, got crystal-clear on what the key pieces are – and set about getting them done.”
You also know what it takes to get your agenda delivered. Here are a few reminders.
- Get crystal-clear. On your actual agenda. And just as crucially, why it’s good. What it’ll lead to.
- Make the decision. This is what I’m working on. This is happening now. This will get done.
- Get focused, 1000%. Write a task list – with ONE item on it.
- Pre-empt obvious distractions. And turn them off. Set your environment-up right.
- Practise noticing distractions. Get really good at spotting when you “drift”. And then, (gently) move yourself back on target.
- Just Start! Get going on it. It’s much easier to continue finding distractions from something not yet started, than it is to stop momentum, in train.
At the start of your day/week/month/quarter/year, you had a plan. Like a postage stamp to its envelope: stick to it, until you reach your destination.