Monthly Archives: April 2014

10Apr

Important vs Urgent

There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.

In life you must identify what is important and what is urgent.

Important things are like paying your bills on time, spending time with love ones, and doing the task that will push you towards the goals that you have set out to accomplish.

Urgent things are items that show up suddenly, like a co-worker wanting to chat, a complaining customer, another meeting to discuss a change.

Many urgent things masquerade as important things, and distract you from what you actually need to get done.

Fortunately there is a solution to dealing with the urgent and unimportant task.  Simply say “NO” to them.

At first it may feel odd to say no, you may feel that you are letting people down, or not being a team player.

However if we were to use a sports analogy, if you are a goalie, you can’t be expected to go out of your way to try and help score a goal.  You have to do what’s important, which is guarding the net, not go to what’s urgent at the time, an attempt to score.

Can you imagine if the goalie came out to help with the scoring process every time there is an attempt?  This would be disastrous.

Stick to the task that are most important, and that only you can get done.  Let others handle the rest.

 

8Apr

Stuck when trying to get stuff done.

Writers block

Writers block or the inability to pursue creative endeavours affects all of us.

I struggle with this “Resistance” on a daily bases, it blocks me from producing work.  I was introduced to the concept of resistance by the book “The War of Art“, by Steven Pressfield.  In the book he explains that any action that takes you from a lower sphere to a higher sphere in life insights resistance.

Resistance is that feeling of discontent.  You feel like you want to get up and party, but you want to stay in bed.  You want to leave your dead end job, but you are too afraid of the new change.  It is a state of indecision, unable to commit to an action that you know deep down you should do.  An action you would tell your best friend to do in a heartbeat.  An action you would tell yourself to do, if you only had the guts.

Fortunately there is a way to overcome resistance.  That is as Mr. Pressfield puts it, “turning pro”.  Turning pro is the act of committing, not only in words but in body, mind and action.  Committing to move towards your goal inch by inch each and everyday.  With this action you are telling resistance that you are not going to be bullied anymore, that you will fight it tooth and nail, gaining ground an atom at a time.

My mentor Brian used to tell me, “beginning with the end in mind”.  When I set out to write my book, I knew I needed about 10 hours of content, the approximate length of a 250 page non-fiction audiobook.  I worked backwards, if I had to finish recording in 30 days, 10 hours of audio, I could do it by recording 20 minutes each day.  If I simply followed this rule, I would arrive at 10 hours like magic.

I pre-committed to recording 20 minutes a day before leaving my room each day.  Before leaving my room, I would send the recording to my virtual assistant to transcribe.  After 30 days I had recorded over 13 hours of audio.  The simple act of starting each day towards my goal, got me motivated to record above and beyond the 20 minutes I set out for myself.

The act of pre-commitment helps with our willpower.  If we slot the action into what happens naturally in our day, the action has a chance to form into a habit.

Beat resistance by moving towards your goals little by little each day.

2Apr

The 10/10/10 Rule

Often times we run into the need to make a tough decision.

One way to help is to use the 10/10/10 rule.  Imagine how you would feel about the decision, 10 minutes from now.  Then imagine the feeling 10 months from now.  Finally imagine how you would feel 10 years from now.

For example:
Imagine you have been dating someone for a while.  Things are going good, but you feel it’s time to take the relationship to the next level.  You want to say “I love you” but are not sure if you should. To help you decide, imagine that you have already said the phrase and 10 minutes have passed.  At this point you will have either found out if they said “I love you” back, or you would have gotten another response.  10  months from now, you are either in a happy relationship, or have found someone new.  10 years from now, if things go well you are still with the person you are currently dating, or you would have completely forgotten that the conversation had even happened.  The result, saying it has little downside.  You are either going to push the relationship forwards, or you will have forgotten the results of the action eventually.

There are tonnes of ways to help your decision, this technique and many of the others can be found in the book Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath.

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