The thing about following your dream is that you probably have 101 other responsibilities. Maybe it’s a full time job, maybe it’s 4 part time jobs, maybe you have a family, a spouse, maybe you’re a care giver to an aging parent. What ever it is, I bet you don’t have all the time in the world to focus on you.
Well that is why we are taking a 52 week journey. Developing new skills, finding the focus, belief and confidence needed to move toward the future in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
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The one thing I believe in whole heartily is that I own my time. Even when I’m working for someone else, either as an employee or as a contractor, I must effectively manage my time. This isn’t always easy but being uber productive means making difficult choices in pursuit of the dream.
Let me set the scene.
I receive an email. URGENT it says. I read the email. I may or may not see the urgency, but I have no doubt that it is urgent for the sender. I receive 3 urgent emails that morning, and I also have a list of important tasks that will propel my business, my day, my dream forward.
What should I do first?
My #1 Productivity Secret
Learning the difference between what is urgent and what is important has changed my life and set me on a path of getting more done, period.
This isn’t really much of a secret. It’s more about crushing the myth that you don’t own your time.
We are always going to have urgent requests that must be handled. Which is why I tend not to drop everything I’m doing in order to address them. Unless of course it is an emergency.
So what is urgent? Often it can be defined by someone else demanding your attention. If my to do list is interrupted by something that is urgent I tend to look at it after I’ve completed my most important tasks. Important tasks are ones you’ve clearly defined as the ones that will move you forward toward your goal and dream.
Important tasks are sacred. When you hold off on completing one because something urgent (let me be clear this is not an emergency, this is someone else demanding your time) has come up, you will feel a sense of not moving forward. Frustration will sit in and you will tell yourself that you do not have time to follow your dream.
Think about the last week. Are there items on your to do list you haven’t completed? Has there been a time you thought I’ll do that later?
List 5 times this week when you procrastinated.
Beside each of them list the reason. Oh, and the reason it not I didn’t have time. List what you did instead of doing what ever it is you procrastinated on.
See any themes? Make a note of your go to reasons, excuses, stories, etc that become urgent.
Now write down a few ways to give yourself a better sense of urgency for your important tasks.
The possibilities and YOU are limitless!
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