If you listened to that one, you heard about that crazy travel day I experienced last week. When my flight was delayed, and then canceled, the airline kept my reservation but I realized that I didn’t have a seat on a plane. Finally, we worked it out…And that’s when I realized the power of what I’ll talk about this week:
While I was working with several clients here in New York City this week, we talked in our one-on-one coaching sessions about 2 specific topics: Focus and Procrastination. You know what’s incredible? The more senior people are, the more they need to focus on their priorities. So, when I’m working with a 10, 15 or even 20 year veteran in an industry, I always bring up this topic of distraction and focus.
If you know you’ve been putting something off, do something – anything – to start up (again). Listen to this short podcast for a couple of ideas you can use right away to get something important done.
Really? When did you learn how to disagree with someone? How do you deal with a situation that’s not going your way? These are questions I thought of after I ended my day last Wednesday. In this podcast, I’ll share a few ideas you can use from a situation I experienced recently. If it helps you make it through that next “tough event,” will you let me know?
So, last Wednesday was a travel day. Up at 4:45am to get to the Detroit airport so that I could fly to Dallas, hang out for an hour, and then fly on to San Francisco so I could speak at this event on Thursday. Well, the first part of the day went well, and then it got challenging, hard and surprising over the subsequent few hours.
As you listen to this week’s podcast, I hope you’ll think of your own recent example of when things were challenging. Then, see if you come up with a few ideas on how you could respond differently something like this happens. I hope that you get an idea or two that you can use right away…At work, and in life.
Every time you are interrupted or distracted, the energy you were building from moving your project forward is halted, and you need to start over. Too many times, you need to gather new strength to pick up where you left off, and you may waste valuable minutes trying to figure out exactly where that was.
Are Distractions Getting In Your Way?
Have you noticed that many times when you are focusing on your work and are approaching that momentum where things start to flow easily, you get interrupted?
“The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.”
W. Edwards Deming American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, consultant and all-round business brain, born in 1900.
Now, he was writing about interruptions and distractions throughout the 1960s through the 1980s. Do you know what that number is today? Nearly triple that of what Mr. Deming found in his consulting work…
In this podcast, I will teach you 2 ways you can not just avoid distractions, but possibly even use them to your advantage.
1. Science continues to prove what our intuition knows: Interruptions do impact productivity. However, there may be a positive or negative impact to your productivity. According to University of California, Irvine researcher Dr. Gloria Mark, there may be a difference between the different kinds of distractions or interruptions. Interruptions that add to the task at hand make us more productive. Alternatively, interruptions on topics different from what we’re working on force us to change our work rhythms, strategies and even mental states.
2. Interrupt other people first. Before starting a work session, think of the people that might interrupt you — it may be a team member, a client or even a manager — and interrupt them first. You can use the time before your focus period to get in contact with them and anticipate anything they may need from you. You should also mention that you will be unavailable during the next 45 minutes because you will focus on a specific piece of work that needs to get done.
Set your timer for 45 minutes, and leave your desk; go to a place where you can be alone. It can be a different office or conference room or even the nearby coffee shop. By getting away from your desk, you will not be available for phone calls or to check your emails.
BONUS: Ok, I know I said I’d give you two tips, but I’ve got one more that I have to share with you. Here it is:
3. Make a list today, for tomorrow. I want you to write down TWO (yes, only two) things you’re going to work on before noon tomorrow (even if tomorrow is a weekend day, or a holiday!). Put these on a note card and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Write them on your hand. Call a friend, and ask them to text you mid-morning and at noon tomorrow. However you can create the accountability to DO what you said you’re going to do…Do it.
I promise, if you pick two things you’re going to do by 12pm tomorrow, and you look at them through the rest of today, and tomorrow morning, you’re going to HAVE to make at least some progress on them. And, as I have thought for years, a little progress every day is about as equal to waiting until the last minute and doing it anyway!
Thank you for listening to this week’s podcast. Hey, I have an offer for one listener… Jump over to http://GetMomentum.co/podcast and sign up for the Bonus Course I posted for you there. THEN, after you register, send me an email letting me know how YOU found out about the podcast. I’m going to choose one listener and send you a surprise gift in the mail… You ready for this?
As you listen to this episode of the Your Best Just Got Better podcast, I hope you will take time and really consider all the different aspects of how limitations may actually help you be more productive. At the beginning of the podcast you will hear me talking about a very influential book in my bookcase, it is called Tuesdays with Morrie. And it is an amazing example of how by having known limitations it was actually possible for the author, Mitch album, to have an income relatively rich connected experience.
Now, I’m not going to go into detail in this blog post about that book, however, it may be worth it for you after you listen to the podcast to consider picking up at least an online version of that book.
In this podcast, you’ll learn how to use limitations to get ahead. For a few moments, consider the kinds of things you KNOW you have in limited supply:
Just over a week ago, I posted a Discussion Prompt for the global community of GET MOMENTUM members to consider. For several days we discussed this topic of limitations and productivity.
As your coach, I’d like for you to consider the impact – both positive AND negative of these kinds of guidelines/groundrules/limitations.
Now, the results of the poll I posted on our discussion forum indicate that people are split…about 50/50. Almost half all members say that constraints can actually limit productivity, while others say that these very limits – some call them guidelines or boundaries – create the conditions for freedom and creativity.
Now, I want to share with you what I do to make it work to my advantage. I’ll do this by giving you an example, and then detailing exactly what I do to make it work for me:
1. Since my wife and I work together – we’ve run the Womack Companies for more than 7 years – we only get a few blocks of time together each day to really be with each other. There are days, in fact where from morning till night we’re both super-engaged in what we’re doing; it’s up to each one of us to make time to connect on the being level each day. So, we do this thing where when one of us returns (she from running errands in town, me from going out for a run, or some such thing), the one who has been home walks outside to celebrate the return! So, I’ll hear Jodi’s car pull in to the driveway, and that’s my cue: Zuma (our black lab) and I walk outside and welcome Jodi home.
2. Articles, podcasts, interviews…each one has a deadline, a time when it’s due or else! So, once I find out when a client would like something, I write it on my calendar to be due 24 hours EARLY. I don’t do this so I can let the reminder float those 24 hours; no, I actually turn whatever it was that was due in early; with a note. I ask, “Will you please look this over/read this/watch this/listen to this, and let me know first thing tomorrow if there is Anything I can add to make it better for you. Wanna know something? It’s about 5 times out of 10 that they DO get back to me with some positive feedback. I edit/add to it, and voila, it gets better!
If you are facing some limitations today or this week, here are the steps I recommend you take:
1. Acknowledge the limitation.
2. Ask yourself, “How can I be as or more productive even though I’m limited?”
3. Break the “thing” (the project, the task, the issue) in to a 15 minute activity.
4. Actually set a timer, and work on THAT thing for just 15 minutes. (Email me and I’ll send you my favorite countdown timer.)
5. At the end of the day, look back and acknowledge exactly where you DID make progress. I promise you’ll have SOMETHING come to mind…
I mentioned that this was a discussion we had over about a week in the GET MOMENTUM global discussion forum. If you have anything you’d like to talk about when it comes to this topic of constants, productivity, time management and professional performance, let me know…I’d love to chat by phone or email!
Distractions…the productivity killers! When you set your goal to make your best even better, one of the main questions you will face is: How do I improve my productivity? It All Starts With Your Focus Have you noticed that many times when you are focusing on your work, and you are approaching that momentum where
Jim decided to visit the new restaurant in town. As soon as he sat down, the waiter approached. “Could I take your order?” asked the waiter. A little surprised, Jim replied, “Well, could I see a menu? “We don’t actually have a printed menu. Some of our items are there,” the waiter said, pointing to
A dear friend of ours just moved away from Ojai, and on a run we took together along the river here in Ojai a week ago, I asked, “How do you achieve on important goals?” Over the next 5 miles, we circled around that topic. One of the comments that I remember from the conversation was, “Is the goal believable?”
It got me thinking; I mean, what exactly does believable mean? You see, in this week’s GET MOMENTUM Ojai Winter Leadership Retreat (getmomentum.co/retreat) we are talking about a very important aspect of human performance and professional productivity: Expanding the comfort zone.
Are you going to watch any of the Olympics starting today? If so, you will see athlete after athlete who has spent a lifetime expanding their comfort zone. Fortunately for us, we can do this to a lesser degree than the physical effort they all put in; we can do it with our minds and step in to bigger visions of ourselves, achieving bigger and more important goals. In today’s podcast, you’ll learn THREE ways to achieve on your important results.
1. Suspend Belief
2. Act As If
3. Ask, “How could this happen?”
I talk about a book I read (and have since re-read and talked about in almost every seminar) called, “Don’t Shoot the Dog.” (See page two of these recommendations:bookswerecommend.com). The entire book is about how to shape/guide behavior so that more of what you want to have happen…happens. The quote I read in this podcast is one that has stuck with me since I was a high school teacher in 1997!
After you listen to the podcast, please do jump on over here and give it a rating. The Apple iTunes store recently put the Your Best Just Got Better podcast up on their home page. Please help us keep it there by giving it a rating and review! Thanks in advance.
Breathe in…Extremely deeply, and then breathe out. Next, do it again. Now, on that second “out breath” ask yourself this question: “What are my priorities for the rest of today?”
Careful now, don’t ask yourself what “are all the things” you have to get done; I’m talking the 2 (or maybe 3) things that you know absolutely need your attention. You see, the brain is an amazing computer, once it finds something out of place – in this case, something unfinished – it has to go to work seeking closure. People talk about setting goals all the time; they rarely talk about WHY setting goals is important.
Over the past couple of decades that we’ve been in the lab, studying the human mind, biological genetics and pre-dispositions, and physical activity, we’ve uncovered some very important facts. Having studied psychology and the impact of the mind on human performance, it is apparent to me that there are six areas to focus on if we’re going to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They are: Observe, Describe, Explain, Predict, Change, Assess.
Today’s podcast is all about that first one…Observe.
You see, someone is driving your attention. Sure you could say it’s someTHING; but, that something came from someONE. I like to remind myself that the ultimate arbiter of the information I read in a book, a study or a magazine was the EDITOR of said publication. There is ultimately ONE person who decides what makes it…And what doesn’t. So, as you listen to the podcast this week, ask yourself: “Who is that person editing incoming information and filtering what comes into my awareness in the first place?
Oh, and listen in to this episode for one of the most significant activities I know of to help you prioritize effectively, and get more done.
You know it’s time to believe what you’ve heard before; in this podcast, I am going to make the case that if you’re going to do make your best better, you’ll actually have to do the OPPOSITE of what Nike says. Yes, you’re going to have to…
Just Stop It.
What would happen to you if you spent 31 days studying just one leadership theme… Such as “Success”?
Well, this month, GET MOMENTUM members from around the world are studying exactly what that word means to them. If you know that you’re on track to have a bigger, better and more successful year, but need to know the skills, tools and tactics how to get there, visit www. GET MOMENTUM .co today. You’ll be glad you did.
Here is another one of my favorite quotes about success: This one is by Bruce Lee – “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
I’m recording this podcast for you here in Northern California. I’m actually looking to buy a new electric car while I’m working here in the Silicon Valley, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to say in this podcast.
Have you already found yourself promising to do more and more as you continue to seek this ever-elusive end point called “success?” Take a look at your calendar for the past week and identify the times that you put yourself second so you could make sure to do something…For someone else.
Look, I know it was important to get that thing done. You made the meeting, finished the project, took that trip…It was good. Things happened; your boss – or your client – was happy. But what about the promises you’ve made to yourself? Did you want to take on habits like exercising more, or starting to be more mindful, or even spend 30 or so fewer minutes at the office every day?