Do you tackle many things simultaneously and spread your focus so thin that you feel like nothing gets the attention it deserves?
You don’t have time because you are working on many things, yet things are not working out a lot of the time. You want to be productive, but you feel busy and overwhelmed.
Here are 5 things that keep people from fulfilling their potential:
– Trying to please everyone
– Imitating the desires of others
– Chasing status without questioning why
– Playing superhero and trying to do it all alone
– Dividing your attention between too many projects
Warren Buffet suggests making a list of goals you want to achieve; you sort the list in order of priority and then split the list in two. The top five items become what we are going to focus on. All the other goals on the list from position six onwards become your ‘avoid at all cost list’ until the first five items get accomplished. Meaning the goals from number six forward do not get attention from you until you succeed in achieving the top five.
Why do you think one of the greatest investors of all time gives this suggestion?
By limiting your scope of focus, you will not only dedicate your prime time and energy to what matters, but you will also avoid developing decision fatigue.
An excellent first step to gain some perspective on your choices, identify opportunities to improve how you invest your time, and recover from decision fatigue is to create a mental inventory.
I invite you to play with a simple exercise to declutter your mind. Take pen and paper (no typing), place the blank sheet of paper horizontally, divide it into three columns and populate each column with a list of:
1. Things you are currently working on (E.g. Presentation for ‘x’, Helping mum with ‘z’. etc.)
2. Things you should be working on (E.g. Learn how to invest, Set weekly goals, etc.)
3. Things you want to be working on (E.g. Plan my new vacation, Hire a coach, etc.)
Slow down, be honest with yourself and get everything out of your head.
Once populated, this sheet becomes your mental inventory. It shows what choices you are currently making and how you are investing your time and energy.
The last step is to decide which tasks matter to you. For each item on your list, ask yourself two questions:
1. Does this matter to me or someone I love?
2. Is this vital? (What would happen if this item would never get done?)
Be ruthless. Any item that doesn’t pass this test is a distraction, so cross it off the list. The more items you cross off the list, the more time and energy you will have for the things that matter to you.
This simple exercise, if done thoughtfully, can bring enormous contentment, peace and satisfaction to your life.
What are the items you crossed off your list?