As we approach the halfway mark this year, what’s your level of satisfaction with where you are at this point in the game?
What progress are you making executing on your plan, and how many of your objectives for the year have been met or are on their way to being achieved?
I have been struck with how much good advice there is out there (much of it unheeded) focused on increasing productivity and personal success.
There is Tony Robbins and his Hour of Power. How many of us spend our first hour each day drinking a glass or two of water to hydrate ourselves?
How many of us start the day with exercise to jumpstart our metabolism, or meditate/pray to anchor our emotions?
The reality for many is that the first activity of the day still tends to be checking our emails. Rather than centering ourselves, and deciding what is most important for us to focus on, we choose to start our day by concentrating on what others would have us focus on in the morning or for the rest of the day.
For those of us who are most productive in the mornings, this permission we grant to others to dictate our agenda starting at the very beginning of each day, prevents us from digging in and maintaining focus on what is most important for us to achieve on a daily and weekly basis.
Then there is the advice of Michael Bungay Stanier who last year was on a mission to “cut the crap”. Michael’s professional focus on helping people do “great work” led him to examine where people were wasting money, bandwidth and time.
This Waste Of Money, Bandwidth And Time, or WOMBAT, prevents us from focusing on what is most important and on what represents our greatest work.
Where are you wasting money on projects or resources that are not likely to provide an acceptable return on investment?
Most of us learn, over time, where our investments tend to pay off, and where they don’t. Yet, often we continue to pour good money into projects or advertising or other places that, based on our experience, we can predict with some degree of certainty will not pay off.
How about bandwidth? What are you focusing on right now? What will you be focusing on later this evening?
There are many distractions competing for our attention, as documented so well by my friend Dr. Geri Markel.
Since we can truly only focus on one thing at a time, why do we keep trying to multitask? Don’t our best ideas and projects deserve our undivided attention?
And, then there is our time. While many complain that there is never enough of this precious commodity, we all have 24 hours each day of our lives. How we choose to spend our time is entirely our choice.
Reality TV and other mass entertainment will take up as much time as we allow.
Alternatively, we can spend the time we might use to sit and watch TV to further develop a new idea, to catch up on our personal reading and growth or to volunteer in our communities.
What are your WOMBATs? Take a few minutes to name them and to write them down, and then commit to eliminating as many as you can so that the second half of your year is even more productive and fulfilling than the first half.