It’s been raining for about 36 hours here in Shanghai and the weather outside prompted me to think more about my holiday to Bali next month. For a minute I even felt bored. Are you ever bored with life? Boredom is defined as “an emotional state experienced during periods lacking activity or when individuals are uninterested in the activities surrounding them.”
But if you are one of the lucky people in the world to have access to a computer and the internet, you can change your surroundings immediately. I pulled out my goals list for 2009, downloaded a few podcasts, updated my Twitter feed, checked in to see what my friends were up to on Facebook and started writing a few articles. With access to technology there is really no reason to be bored. But perhaps a greater problem is focus – or rather the lack of focus.
You may be unfocused if:
- You are flipping through all 222 photos of one of your friends on Facebook.
- You are “following” 20 people on Twitter and reply to all of their messages.
- You read an online newspaper “cover-to-cover”.
- You are chatting with friends on SKYPE, MSN and G-Talk simultaneously.
You get the picture. With so much activitiy and access to media and friends how do you stay focused on the important goals you want to acheive this year? Let’s go low-tech:
1. Print out your schedule
I use an A4 page to map out my weekly calendar and another A4 page to plan monthly. I post them up on my wall, so I have a four week ahead look at my schedule (4 sheets) plus I have the entire year (12 sheets) on the wall so I have a year-at-a-glance. Yes, it does tend to fill up an entire wall but I am lucky as my wife is understanding! I find this really powerful and more effective than my PDA / phone calendar. I can quickly skim through the whole year to see my holiday times (I plan on taking 6 weeks off this year), my client work is also blocked out, and travel plans. It’s quick to respond to people who call asking about my available schedule, I just turn around and it’s there. Plus I have a good visual grasp of how my schedule is looking over the year. When I am traveling its easy to take the weekly calendars with me in a folder. Low-tech but very p
2. Less goals, more results
The fewer the goals you focus on this year, the more productive and successful you will be. In 2008, I focused the latter half of the year on writing my book The One Minute Presenter . By being laser-focused on this one goal, I completed the whole project in less than 6 months with most of the writing done in 3 months. Now if I open my document for “Goals 2008″ there are many more targets and dreams that I want to achieve. I just decided to put all my energy into a big, important one. What are your essential, must-have, breakthrough goals that you would like to achieve this year? Focus on no more than 2 or 3 major goals. The other goals (like learning how to surf in Bali!) can wait. You will enjoy them a lot more once you have achieved your major targets.
If you need help with staying focused this year, contact The Change Catalyst. I can help you identify the most essential goals for you and accelerate your progress to reaching them. May 2009 be your best year yet!