Focussed or Fighting Fires?
The day is over? It’s 10:30 at night, and I’m writing the email that I should have sent out hours ago, yet the day got away on me. How often has your day gotten away from you? As a busy business owner, the things that call your attention in a day are plentiful, some days it can feel like you are putting out fires all day long.
Ideally I like to have all of my content pre-thought out. I have the topics I want to talk about from one week to the next - quite honestly for the next number of weeks (even months) in advance. As I prepare to launch a brand new podcast in September, the list of guests, topics and show ideas are all plotted out as well. Yet there are things that can pop up and completely steal our focus. Take for example today. We got a new dog on the weekend, she’s wonderful, and she fills our home since we had to say goodbye to our last Angel in June, but today - she was not winning points. I recorded a webinar, did a coaching call and then answered some emails among a number of other things. Then I decided it best to head upstairs to check on her, as I could hear her pacing. When I arrived upstairs I discovered my beautiful ring light (the one that makes me look so much better than in real) was no longer capable of lighting up because she chewed the wires apart (it wasn’t plugged in at the time, thankfully). That led to an entire afternoon of bad behaviour, watching her like a hawk and my feeling so exhausted I just wanted a nap - you know the way you feel after watching a three year for an afternoon. Many of the projects I had on the go, were suddenly sidelined.
It wasn’t until tonight when I took her for yet another walk (I’m putting on a lot of miles these days, let me tell you) when I was admiring the peace and calm over the slough, as the sun was shining just perfectly, that I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t gotten my weekly email out. I had put it off, longer than I should, the topic hadn’t felt right, but that wasn’t an excuse for not staying in integrity and doing what I’ve promised to myself and to my followers that I would send one each and every week. While walking I realized I needed to scrap my so called ‘perfect’ topic and write from the heart instead. As school heads back in, and schedules become more demanding for many, and we start approaching the busiest season of the year, it is important that we find a way to focus on what needs done and a way to purge off what doesn’t. With my coaching clients, I’ve really started focussing on what their next 90 days looks like. What are the three things that they want to have accomplished by the end of 90 days, and those need to be measurable. If you have a goal to hit a new revenue target, it needs to have an actual number attached to it, not just “I want to grow my sales”. It needs to be “I want to grow my sales by $X or by X%. Once you know what those three goals are, each day you need to set aside time for accomplishing a task that will directly impact/affect that goal. For me, I have a goal of growing my email list by 500% with an engaged audience. My task each and every Wednesday is to ensure that I have an email that goes out. There isn’t much point in growing my list if I’m not going to hold up my end in providing quality and engaging content.
Life is busy, work is busy, time is limited. But if we always focus on what “is” we won’t ever see what might be. All of these things are relative, we get to determine what each of these stories we tell ourselves actually mean. I encourage you to take some time today, write out what are the three big goals you want to accomplish in the next 90 days, then decide one task you can accomplish towards each goal today. It’s not about “eating the whole elephant” of a goal in one day, it’s about doing one mindful task each day that takes you a step closer, one bite closer to accomplishing that goal. Before I sign off, I want to say, if that goal isn’t scaring you a bit, pushing you outside of your comfort zone, then it isn’t big enough. These goals need to make you uncomfortable. They need to stretch you a bit.