Performance Improvement & Professional Development

Intentional Living

We are beginning 2018 with one major performance theme, and that theme in intentionality.

Life is way too short to live any other way. We can do a better job of living intentionally by getting very clear on a few common behaviors.

Here’s a short-list of positive behaviors that can keep you focused and intentional.

Clarity of Purpose

You don’t need to become a better time manager. What you really need is clarity. An unfocused mind is a confused mind. Get clear on what you want to accomplish and why. The more specific you can be the greater the chances for success. Here’s an example of a six-month vision statement:

By 6/30/18 open a boutique fitness center catering to busy professionals with limited time schedules, by creating highly focused and personalized workout programs lasting no more than forty minutes.

Remember, complexity is the enemy of execution. Simplicity is the friend of execution.

Control Your Calendar

If you don’t control your calendar – someone else will – we talked about this last week. Become a time master – not a time manager. Time masters control their schedules instead of letting their schedules control them. And, you have more control of your schedule than you think you have.

Here’s a time mastery plan that’s easy to implement. Schedule 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon to work on High-Value Activities (HVAs). HVAs are goal achieving tasks or activities.

Stop Multi-tasking

I write about this all the time. Nothing good happens when you try and do several things at once. The secret to being effective is concentration of effort. This is particularly true when you really need to bear down and focus on details or important data. You’ll get more accomplished – in a shorter period of time – by eliminating distractions and concentrating on one activity or task at a time. Remember, you may be able to multi-task – but you cannot multi-focus.

Minimize Interruptions

After working from home for a number of years, I’m amazed at how anyone gets anything done in the typical office or workplace. When I visit client sites, I’m struck by how many interruptions most people have to deal with in a given day.

Now, to be fair, many are self-inflicted. More often than not we allow others to drop in and disrupt. Whether it’s because we want to be friendly, or a team player, or help others just get away and clear their heads, we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot by tolerating interruptions – especially when we’re in our HVA time block.

Control the Controllable

More often than not, this means taking charge of our day and the events of the day. It means being very clear on what you want to accomplish. It means being intentional in establishing your HVAs. Be clear on your real priorities: control the calendar, stop multi-tasking, and minimize interruptions.

Make 2018 your most productive year yet by living intentionally. I look forward to helping you make that happen.

About the Author

Les Taylor is the founder and managing partner of Outperformers International. He is an award-winning author, professional speaker and recognized expert in the field of performance improvement and professional development. Les is a former law enforcement executive, served as the executive director of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association.

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