Have you ever felt overwhelm from having too much to do?? And do you ever feel like your just not getting anywhere??? Maybe you need to a few ideas about how to mange focus, and prioritise so you can increase your productivity.
When we work on setting our goals, often we get excited and end up with too many—sometimes even more than we can handle! As our to-do list grows, we find it more challenging to tackle each one. And then we get stuck, not knowing how to proceed with just so many to accomplish.
Frequently this results in overwhelm. We begin hiding away from our forever growing lists, we create distractions and procrastinate rather than getting in and mowing the list down! Basically, it can become a huge barrier to effective productivity.
Believe it or not, one of the richest, most successful men in the world has almost nothing on his to-do list. I discovered an article by Scott Dinsmore from Live Your Legend, in which a very rich businessman credits his success to keeping his to-do lists as short as possible. I've shared the story again below because I know so many of us need more focus in our business (and our lives).
American business magnate and investor Warren Buffett has a very interesting 3-step strategy, which he shared with employees to help define their priorities and actions.
So one day, Buffett coached his pilot, asking for his top 25 career goals. Then Buffett told the pilot to review his list and circle the 5 most important goals. After careful thought, he came up with his top 5.
This created two two lists: List A with 5 goals and List B with 20.
The pilot was excited about his five goals, he created a plan of how he would achieve them and who he would get on board to support them.
When asked what he would do with the second list of 20 goals, the pilot responded by saying they were the second most important goals. He felt they were not as urgent but should still be given effort.
Surprisingly, Buffett responded: “No. You’ve got it wrong. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you, until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”
Buffett argues that you cannot accomplish your five biggest goals if you have too many distractions. Yes, even secondary goals are distractions, and the most dangerous are the ones you love the most. The long list of goals will only keep us moving but without accomplishing anything. By eliminating anything which is not a top five priority, you will create more focus and get more done.
Removing the secondary list (for the moment), allows us to focus on our priorities which create the maximum productivity and payoff. These are often the important things which make us feel happy and fulfilled.
Before I read this anecdote, I really struggled with focus in my business. I had a book launch to manage, which involved growing an email list to 20,000 people, creating an event and the actual publishing itself. I also had my coaching business, a course I was trying to put together and build myself as a speaker. I was trying to do all this on a budget of under 20 hours per week.
Long story short, I had too much to focus on and ended up spreading myself too thin across all my little to do projects. I didn't get much done on anything!! After reading the above story, I nailed down my top five priorities, discovered more focus and started really flying forward with my business.
So, did this technique surprise you? For me it was definitely a reason to pause and really consider my to do list. We give our second most important goals the same amount of attention as our main priority. Getting rid of those second in line goals will require tremendous effort. It’s easy to eliminate items that may be a complete waste of time. But it’s difficult to abandon the things that you care about.
I encourage you to try this exercise to have a better view of your goals and keep away from distractions.
Remember, hold on to your Top 5 list and never deviate from this path until you’re sure you are 100% sure you have accomplished them.
So please share! What are your top five priorities for the rest of 2017???
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