This is a topic that I touch on a regular basis. But this time I want to take it to the next level. Imagine for a moment, do you multitask out of fear?
Despite what todays hectic society and the frazzled people around you want you to believe, we as humans are not wired for multitasking. Multitasking indeed has its place, but not when it comes to productivity and creativity. Performance wise we are at our peak when we’re focused. When we’re really focused and we’re leveraging our God given skills, talents and creativity in a way that is challenging, It stimulates us to be at our best and eliminates all the ancillary noise. It allows us to recognize our fears and immediately rationalize them. In turn putting them in a manageable “box”.
We all can relate to the feeling of being so into the task at hand that you lose yourself in what you are doing. Your sense of time is diminished or even nonexistent, any sense of nervousness or anxiety completely diminishes and trivial thoughts not related to the task at hand evaporate before we even are fully aware of them. You become who you are naturally. No fear, no unknown feelings of “why”. In that moment in time you create success. That is where the “Genie in the bottle” begins.
So how do you actually get and even more importantly stay focused? What are some practical ways to get this focus, even what some people call “insane focus” in your life?
Here are a few simple points that you can begin implementing today.
The key to focusing and becoming more productive has everything to do with eliminating or at least minimizing distractions. Ask yourself what are your distractions? What keeps you from being focused?
Make A Distractions List… Take a few minutes and write down your major distractions. What are the things that are keeping you distracted in whatever area of life you want to achieve more focus in? What’s distracting you at work? Is it friends or a significant other who calls or texts often during business hours? Is it your email notifications? Is it a client who is unreasonable and is negatively affecting you? Is it your Facebook notifications? Is it a associate that just comes in to your office and sits down? You need to get very clear and honest with yourself about what’s really distracting you.
I’ll bet that once you get your distractions identified, that what you will find is that one of the biggest culprits that sucks the energy out of you and that makes you the jack of all trades and the master of none, is multitasking. You’re attempting to do multiple things at once.
Distractions are the antithesis of focus. When you’re attempting to do several things at once, you are by definition not focused. You are dividing your focus and attention. When you divide or divert your attention you will never perfect the task at hand.
When your attention is scattered and not focused you become much less effective. If you want success in every aspect of your life, you must be focused on it.
“If it is worth your time doing, then make your time worth it.”
Your undivided attention has to be focused on whatever it is you’re doing, if you expect anything worthwhile to come from your efforts. You can’t do that effectively if you’re always trying to multitask. Make no mistake about it, multitasking and the “I’m very busy feeling” that you tell yourself all too often when you have poor time management, is just that, a ridiculous feeling. It’s a productivity dirty bomb that has you fooling yourself.
Being busy is in no way the same as productivity. If you take the time to honestly analyze the perfect transaction from beginning to end you will discover it’s the exact opposite. You didn’t feel “busy” or crazed at all. You most likely were in a rhythm of what makes you who you truly are. You were relaxed. You were singly motivated to accomplish what you wanted and didn’t allow the noise to effect you. You may have appeared busy to the outside world, but on the inside you were actually at ease, to the point that other actually say that you made it look easy. All the moving parts came together because you focused and orchestrated every move.
As I have said time and time again. Multitasking is for those who “need” to feel busy as a sense of accomplishment. They simply do not measure results in the truest sense of the word.
The introduction of the calendar
Yes I know the Egyptians invented it first, but I want to believe I am perfecting the use of it.
Establish set times where you tackle a specific task. Repeat those times on a consistent basis.
Focus your full attention only on the task that you set for yourself during that time. Your calls can go to voice mail. The emails can wait. Your Facebook can wait. Then let the people around you know that you will be unavailable during those times.
When you schedule time for everything you have to do during the week in order to achieve your goals, you will become focused, what you’re going to discover is that you have more time then you used to have. You are no longer so “busy” that your time management is no longer an issue. You are working your calendar and time is not working you.
As you develop a discipline of working your calendar you will also find that you’re really preventing yourself from unconsciously multitasking. You’ll be getting things done in a more timely and effective way. Your energy will be supercharged and you will be on top of your game. People will take notice and before you know it they will follow your lead. Then you have achieved the ultimate goal. A culture in all aspects of your life that follows you around.
One without noise, negativity and best of all, without fear.Posted on July 27, 2015
A little over a year ago I read this commencement given by Admiral William H. McRaven for the first time. I have read it at the end of every month since then.
Within it, I hope you will find, as I did, what are the three C’s of success.
William H. McRaven is an admiral, former commander of the Navy’s SEAL Team 3 and current commander of the US Special Operations Command — the man who led the mission to get Osama bin Laden. On May 17, 2014 he gave the commencement address for his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, which touched graduates with its earnest, simple advice about living a better life. This Memorial Day, an excerpt:
If you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better world.
And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.
It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.
Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward — changing ourselves and the world around us — will apply equally to all.
I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for basic SEAL training in Coronado, Calif.
Basic SEAL training is six months of long, torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.
It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.
But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.
To me, basic SEAL training was a lifetime of challenges crammed into six months.
So, here are the 10 lessons I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life:
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room, and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — rack, that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that we were aspiring to be real warriors, tough, battle-hardened SEALs — but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
During SEAL training, the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students — three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.
Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surf zone and paddle several miles down the coast.
In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.
Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.
For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.
You can’t change the world alone — you will need some help — and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.
Over a few weeks of difficult training, my SEAL class, which started with 150 men, was down to just 42. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.
I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made up of the little guys — the munchkin crew, we called them — no one was over about 5-foot-5.
The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African-American, one Polish-American, one Greek-American, one Italian-American, and two tough kids from the Midwest. They out-paddled, outran and out-swam all the other boat crews.
The big men in the other boat crews would always make good-natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.
But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the nation and the world, always had the last laugh — swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.
SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.
Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.
Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.
But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle — it just wasn’t good enough.
The instructors would find “something” wrong.
For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surf zone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.
The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day — cold, wet and sandy.
There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right — it was unappreciated.
Those students didn’t make it through training.
Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.
Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform, you still end up as a sugar cookie.
It’s just the way life is sometimes.
Every day during training, you were challenged with multiple physical events — long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics — something designed to test your mettle.
Every event had standards — times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards, your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to — a “circus.”
A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics — designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.
No one wanted a circus.
A circus meant that for that day, you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue — and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult — and more circuses were likely.
But at some time during SEAL training, everyone — everyone — made the circus list.
But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Over time those students — who did two hours of extra calisthenics — got stronger and stronger.
The pain of the circuses built inner strength — built physical resiliency.
Life is filled with circuses.
You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.
At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot-high wall, a 30-foot cargo net and a barbed-wire crawl, to name a few.
But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three-level, 30-foot tower at one end and a one-level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot-long rope.
You had to climb the three-tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.
The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.
The record seemed unbeatable until one day a student decided to go down the slide for life — head-first.
Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.
It was a dangerous move — seemingly foolish and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.
Without hesitation, the student slid down the rope — perilously fast. Instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time, and by the end of the course he had broken the record.
During the land-warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island, which lies off the coast of San Diego.
The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks.
To pass SEAL training, there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim.
Before the swim, the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.
They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark — at least not recently.
But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position — stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.
And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you — then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.
There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with them.
As Navy SEALs, one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.
The ship-attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles — underwater — using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.
During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.
But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight — it blocks the surrounding street lamps — it blocks all ambient light.
To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel — the centerline and the deepest part of the ship.
This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship — where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.
Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission, is the time when you must be calm, composed — when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.
The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.” It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and — one special day at the Mud Flats. The Mud Flats are an area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slues — a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.
It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing-cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.
As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules,” was ordered into the mud.
The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit — just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.
Looking around the mud flat, it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up — eight more hours of bone-chilling cold.
The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud, it was hard to hear anything, and then, one voice began to echo through the night — one voice raised in song.
The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.
One voice became two, and two became three, and before long everyone in the class was singing.
We knew that if one man could rise above the misery, then others could as well.
The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing — but the singing persisted.
And somehow — the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.
If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person — Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala — one person can change the world by giving people hope.
Photo: Getty Images
Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.
All you have to do to quit — is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing-cold swims.
Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.
Just ring the bell.
I have said it time and time again.
Sitting at my local Starbucks recently, I overheard a young adult asking her mother; “Why did you let me quit?” The young lady was making reference to her younger days as a ballet dancer. The mother was taken aback by the questioning. Her reply was simple, “I let you quit because you wanted to.” I of course, being my shy self introduced myself and stimulated a conversation. The mother didn’t want to push her daughter. She felt she didn’t show any passion for the activity. Now, years later, the mother found herself in a catch 22 situation. The daughter felt that she didn’t know better. That she needed someone to tell her what to do and yes, even if it was forced, she felt that her life would have turned out differently had she had that push. The young girl felt that she would be thinner today, more confident and more importantly, she would have been confident enough to have conquered life, and so forth and so on.
Are you that young lady is some way shape or form? Do you need a push, someone to tell you to jump as you stand at the edge of the cliff called life?
JUMP! Yes…..DO IT……JUMP!!!
I am here to tell you that if you want to be successful, if you want to go farther than you ever imagined, then you need to jump. Take that leap of faith; Trust that I know what I’m talking about and take the first step to making your dreams a reality. As you stand on that cliff of life, you may not have those white wings that you need to carry you safely to the bottom, but guess what? Sooner rather than later those wings will extend and YOU WILL land safely.
Now hear me when I tell you this, you will stumble, you will lose control and descend faster than you would like. You will feel uncomfortable and you will lose faith that you will not be able to attain your goals. You will face all that and much more, but in the end YOU WILL SUCCEED!
Standing on the edge of the cliff, do you want to be that young girl full of regret, or do you want to jump and try to spread your wings? The choice is yours. I’m here to tell you that it’s better to jump and try to accomplish something, rather than to stand there and look out over the horizon and wonder why life isn’t fair.
Here are a few steps on how to prepare for your leap:
- Determine what EXACTLY you want to achieve, and then write it down.
- Formulate a precise plan, a road map if you will on how to get there. Make sure you have specific milestones and a specific timeline as to when you will hit each milestone.
- Take action. Implement your plan with passion, desire and unwavering conviction that you will succeed.
Posted on June 2, 2015
It is said that the difference between steam and hot water at its boiling point is 1 degree; One simple degree. On paper and in black and white, one degree seems so insignificant, correct? Yet, to leap from that one stage to the other in business, seems so insurmountable when it comes to obtaining our goals. Why do you think that is?
I have clients who first start out with me and spew out the barrage of excuses.
Think of yours now, go ahead, I know your brain is rattling them off anyway………..NOW STOP THE NOISE!!!!
I’m here to tell you that No excuse that you can come up with will stop you from succeeding. I believe if you have the drive, the passion and the persistence, you WILL make that dream come to fruition.
You can choose to be mediocre or you can choose to be spectacular but at the end of the day you need to choose which path you would like to travel down. It’s not enough to work hard. Working hard will make you relatively successful but it is those who excel that bring the water from hot to boiling, those individuals that hunger to reach the pinnacle of success and without a certainty of doubt know that one degree is just that, a number, nothing else.
Whether in business or in your personal life………….bring it to a boil. Give more of yourself and don’t quit. You are just one degree away from brilliance.
Posted on May 20, 2015
Is it drive, passion, or is it purpose?
Are you thinking no matter what you do, no matter how small or how big, no matter what you complete, you are constantly thinking or even stressing over the next big “Thing”, the next milestone in your life. Is it hard to simply take pleasure during the journey on the road to your accomplishments? You feel the heated need for the next success all the time.
When is enough really “ENOUGH”? The need to do more and making more happen, is a clear indication that you are being motivated by your drive, not by your passion.
The difference between drive and passion…
There are many different factors that can motivate you. When you are motivated by your passion, you are in line with your vision, your goals with every part of your being and belief. You are focused on getting things accomplished because you are really inspired to see this vision become a reality. You truly have a sense of urgency and importance of not only manifesting your goal, but enjoying the path in making it happen.
When you are motivated by passion, you are able to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor once you have achieved your goal. You have the ability to take a break and feel good about what you have done. You are satisfied with your accomplishment.
Now, being motivated by drive may yield similar results to being motivated by your passion. You achieve your goals, however, it feels very different. If you complete goal after goal, and still feel like you haven’t accomplished enough, you are most likely being motivated by drive. When you are motivated by drive, you are being driven from a place of fear and insufficiency.
When you are motivated by drive, your desire for success, recognition or materialism overtakes your sense of purpose and your true vision. When you are motivated by drive, you are actually disengaged from your passion.
How can you recognize if you are motivated by drive and not passion?
No matter how much money you make, you still feel like you need to make more. Even after you have reached your goals.
You achieve the goal you had been working on, and immediately change focus on the next goal. Not stopping to enjoy the moment.
You have difficulty committing to and sticking to your “C” time, your personal time.
You spend more time working then you want to, even though when you dissect it, you are actually only working four hours a day productively.
You are often exhausted and overwhelmed. Your adrenaline is carrying you.
You feel most comfortable when there is “too much” going on.
Do you want to stop having your drive motivate you and get real?
Once you recognize that it is drive that is motivating you instead of your passion, it’s time to take a closer look at your fears and your limiting beliefs. Some common limiting beliefs that are behind drive are: “There is never enough”; “I don’t know what I want out of life, so I will work harder and I will find it” (without purpose). And the good old standby, “I have to prove myself to my _____________” (insert father, mother, wife, sibling. Or even worse, some insignificant person that should not even be allowed in your head anymore).
Take some time to identify the fear and limiting beliefs that are behind your drive, and work with them. Next, take some time to get clear on what excites you. What is your purpose? In other words, begin to connect to your passion; what is exciting about your career, your business, your family, and your vision. Examine if you can excel forward from the position of passion, vision and purpose to get things done.
At the end of the day, the single most important reason to be motivated by passion and purpose instead of raw drive is sustainability. If you are passionate about achieving your goals in all aspects of your life, you will act upon them consistently. Not merely go through the motions in order to feel fulfilled by your drive.
Get passionate about life and all it holds in store for you.
Get focused on what is really important to you.
Get real with yourself and the world around you will be real to you.
And most important, ACT ACCORDINGLY, with passion focus and a true sense of purpose.Posted on April 29, 2015
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
— Michael Jordan
Failure can be such a disappointing Blow. Ouch! Frustrating!
You work hard, you push everyday, you give it your all, you think you have mastered “It” and at the end of the day, sometimes… after all of that, some thing still gets in the way.
I don’t know about you but I would NEVER consider Michael Jordan a failure. He didn’t let fear stop him and neither should you. I’m not encouraging anyone to fail but when we do, we should learn from that experience and understand that failing helps us grow and become even more successful. Stronger, wiser and yes even more accomplished!
I want you to take risks. No matter what you have experienced in the past, make today the day you will commit to dusting yourself off and begin anew.
Let me ask you: What is one action you have been putting off that would change the game for you?
Identify it. Strategize how to tackle it. Embrace it.
NOW TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN ACCOMPLISHING IT!
Posted on April 21, 2015
In Jewish tradition, it is customary during a funeral, especially a funeral for one’s spouse, to ask for forgiveness from the deceased spouse for any transgressions that may have occurred throughout the entire marriage. Clearly, after 54 years of marriage, one would think that we would have plenty to ask forgiveness for. Maybe an ill thought, a bad word spoken in anger, something, anything and yet, during the funeral of the great Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s wife, people were stunned to hear the following message out of the mouth of the great Rabbi himself:
“Although it is customary to ask forgiveness from a person that has passed on,” “I shall not do so. Throughout our entire marriage we never offended or hurt one another. We conducted our lives according to the laws that govern our faith, and I have no reason to ask her forgiveness.”
After many, many years of marriage and what must feel like a lifetime, how could he utter those words with complete confidence? Surely one must have something to be forgiven for, no?
The Rabbi, a great teacher who was described as a “Gentle Giant”, once told a story that I feel shows a great sign of self-control. And better yet a “work around” that can be used in every aspect of todays life, especially in the business environment. He stated that everyday before he walked into his house, a home in which his lovely wife (Chaya Rivkah Ruchamkin) would be waiting to greet him, prior to walking through his front door, he would eat 2 COOKIES before entering the dwelling. He did this in preparation for the “unexpected.” What if dinner wasn’t ready? He didn’t want his hunger pangs to inflict any ills on anyone, especially not his wife, so he prepared ahead of time. 2 cookies, everyday before entering his home controlled any ravenous hunger pangs and thus caused the Rabbi to remain in control.
My question to you today is, What is Your Cookie?
What do you do everyday in anticipation for your less than perfect reaction? Reactions that if not anticipated ahead of time would hinder your progress in all you do or say. It is time to find your cookie. “Stack the deck” as we say in business. Don’t be blind to the behavioral traits you have that can cause an undesirable reaction. Don’t just stand there and say that you know you have this habit and you are “working” on breaking it. Work around it. Use the cookie and walk through life knowing you are in control of your thoughts, actions and ultimately your life and the way you want it to play out.
Develop a thorough understanding of what may cause you to react according to your surroundings and allow for a design to circumvent, that which may cause your legacy to be tainted. Like the Rabbi, whom, upon his death had a turnout of nearly 500,000 people at his funeral, you want to be remembered for your greatness in all areas of your life too; family, friends and not just business.
What are they going to think when you are not only gone, but simply when you step out of the room.
Leave your mark starting today……………What is your cookie?
Posted on April 10, 2015
Do More of What Matters…
- Identify what actually matters most. Be honest with yourself about the actions that truly move the needle in your business and your life. An 80/20 analysis is a great place to start. If you’re stuck, just think of the tasks you fear the most, that give you anxiety just to think about. Those are likely the most important.
- Pick your top 3-5 tasks each day. These are the things that must happen no matter what gets in the way. If you get these done your day is a success. Stick to no more than five. Then at the end of each day measure the results. They must move you closer to your big goals. Checking email does not count.
- Do not connect to anything until your set tasks are done. Don’t convince yourself you need the Internet or email to do your most important tasks. 95% of the time you don’t. Leave the Internet off and phone on airplane mode until you crush through the important tasks. If your tasks are segmented throughout your day, then disconnect yourself from email and cell phone for the times you are handling the task at hand.
- Kill multitasking. Stop thinking it’s more efficient. It’s not. No surfing during phone calls, reading during meals, chatting while writing. Do one thing at a time. Simple. Not only is multitasking terribly inefficient, but it stresses you out and it’s rude to anyone around you.
- Handle the task at hand from “Cradle to Grave”. Leaving a voice mail or sending an email is not completing anything. Don’t fool yourself in believing anything other then the desired result is acceptable. The idea of focus is to complete what you set out to do. Anything short of that is Mediocrity at its best.
- Plan more time for each task. This is the easiest way to balance the schedule. And things always tend to take longer than we think. If your core task will take you 45 minutes, then block out 60 minutes. Actually schedule it on your calendar. If it only takes you 40 minutes then suddenly you have free time.
- Take breaks and reward yourself. Most of us can only intensely focus on something for an hour at best. Take at least a few-minute break every two hours or so to clear your head. Find a fun way to get you free and clear. Take a walk, meditate, feed the ducks, breathe, get a snack or some water or listen to an inspiring song. You pick it. But in order to remain focused and effective you have to disengage every so often and recharge.
At the end of the day intense focus is the key to success. I have said it time and time again.
Then ask yourself, why would you care if some insignificant people think you are crazy???
Posted on April 1, 2015
What do I fear?
I fear stagnation and lack of progress.
I fear never reaching my potential and being average.
I fear being forgotten… The past… Yesterday’s news.
I fear giving up and being passed by, going softly into that good night.
I fear settling, giving in to the “that’s just the way it is” mindset.
I fear not feeling these fears anymore and just floating along.
These fears feed me, they nourish my drive.
I love my fear.
In life there are winners and losers. What separates the winners from the losers? FEAR!
The Problem is, people allow fear to cripple them. I’m here to tell you that you were born to win, but in order to actually accomplish it, you have to let go of those limiting beliefs that hold you back. You MUST plan to win and prepare by setting goals. Much like the famous saying: “Build it and They Will Come” type of mentality; Expect to win!!!
Own your fears, push into them everyday and the most amazing thing will happen, you will grow by every experience.
Realistically, you can’t rid yourself of fear 100%. Its in our DNA to react but its my hope that you will change what the fear based symptom is. To distinguish between a false negative and learn how to harness the power within to move up the success ladder.
Start living! When you get overwhelmed, scared or fed up in all the hard work you think is blocking you from reaching the next level, remember the end goal, which is to be great and leave your mark in this world. You can do it! Now you need to believe. Stop the noise and get out of your own way and accept all challenges that come your way. In this way, you will feel the thrill of victory instead of fear.
Posted on March 17, 2015
It’s Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, the sun is shining and faces are smiling. There is nothing quite like it!
Spring is often the time of year when you engage in some spring cleaning; getting rid of what’s been stored over the winter that you doubt you will ever use again. Cleaning the yard and around your home ridding yourself of the debris that has built up over the winter, and creating more order in your cupboards and closets.
What about your mental debris? You know, those limiting beliefs, those skewed expectations, that internal dialogue – “The Noise” — that is just not serving you any longer. What do you do with that? Most of us simply let it sit; like the filters in our furnace, these mental filters stay filled with dusty debris — much of which we no longer have use. Yet those beliefs, expectations, and thoughts influence every aspect of your life. They influence not just how you interpret what you experience, but they influence what you notice (and what you don’t).
In the spirit of spring and of cleaning, here are six reasons for more mental. (The acronym is HEALTH)
Hindrance: Get rid of the people in your life that are a hindrance. The naysayers. The negative people that hate their lives. The very people that are always complaining about the Noise that they create in their own lives and are not willing to do anything about it, in turn it spills over into your life.
Energy: Constructive, positive thoughts create energy. If you want more energy (and I cannot say I have met anyone who said they didn’t), you need to ensure you nourish your brain and your bloodstream with chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin…natural, effective, healthy ‘dope’ for your brain!
Assurance: The only way to be sure (as sure as you possibly can) you will be mentally healthy/psychologically well is to take preventative, deliberate steps to be mindful of your mind (thoughts). When you first engage this thought pattern, you will be surprised at some of the thoughts that are holding you back from fully experiencing a full life.
Life: Your very life depends on your psychological health. Without a healthy brain — one that serves you — your very life is at stake. (Not to be overly dramatic — but, really, think about it!!)
Trust: Cleaning out the debris in your brain — the negative thoughts, the limiting beliefs, the unrealistic expectations, the life-sucking story — will inspire trust in yourself and others’ trust in you. You’ll be the kind of person other people want to be around. And that increase in social connection with nourish your brain, which relies on it!
Harmony: In a world filled with epic disasters (planes disappearing, ferries sinking, extreme weather destroying homes and lives) and stories of people losing control of their psychological well-being (murder- suicides, workplace shootings, violent rampages) Mental Spring Cleaning will help you to add some peace and balance in a world of people that settle for mediocrity. Rise above -the social mediocrity and be a true “One-Percenter”.
What’s your favorite mental hygiene habit?
At the end of the day, you are in control of your own behavior. Clean out the noise and make life everything that you desire, crave and deserve.