Are You Doing the Right Things?

Self-ManagementWe start each day knowing we’re not going to get everything done. Every year, we reflect on our progress and wonder where the time went. Why haven’t we completed our to-do lists?

I hear about this all the time in the work I do as a coach. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of wheel-spinning.

While we assume we’re doing our best to juggle work, family and friends, we often move along a path that isn’t quite right. Even when we recognize this aberration, we don’t do anything about it, or we let ourselves intentionally become distracted. We instinctively know, nonetheless, that we can improve.

I don’t think reading another “do-it-now” time-management book is the answer. We need to break our self-sabotaging patterns.

  • How can we ward off the unimportant?
  • How do we interrupt our inertia?
  • How can we start feeling good about our accomplishments?

“Reducing your forward momentum is the first step to freeing yourself from the beliefs, habits, feelings and busyness that may be limiting you,” writes Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review columnist and consultant.

In his book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done (Business Plus, 2011), Bregman offers four starting points in:

  1. Where are you now? Are you doing the right things, with the right people, in the right way to make the most of who you are?
  2. What is this year about? On which five areas of focus (work and personal) do you want to spend most of your time over the next year?
  3. What is this day about? How do you concretely structure your day so it’s productive, satisfying and capable of measurably fulfilling your five identified focal areas?
  4. What is this moment about? How do you get started, manage distractions and stay on track?

You’ve probably known for some time that you need to apply focus and make smart, thoughtful decisions about what’s worth doing (and what’s not).

In the following posts, I’m going to give you some simple tools and tactics to help follow through on these decisions—and even enjoy the process. For now, think about where you are. Are you on the right path? Are you doing the right things? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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