Breaking Barriers – Part 2

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Go After What You Want – And How To Overcome It!   PART 2

By: Ben S. Fogel

In part 1 of this series FOUND HEREwe discussed the first 2 reasons why we don’t go after what we want and these 2 things were the fear of failure, and time.  In part 2 we are going to discuss the last reason and probably the one we have all struggled with the most – procrastination and the loss of focus.

Procrastination or the loss of focus

Our world is full of things where we can lose focus very quickly (look, there’s a squirrel!).  This can be a huge issue with technology right at our fingertips 24/7.  Use the following strategies to help with procrastination or losing focus:

  • Have a “Daily Three” – your to-do list with only three things on it you want to get done TODAY and make a schedule for when you will complete it.

  • Find your “magic time” where you have the least distractions and can get the most done in the least amount of time.

  • Find the time to have your personal time built into your schedule – time to workout and take care of yourself.  This needs to be scheduled into your day.

  1. Have a “Daily Three”

This is a real game changer.  Start by making this a habit during a certain part of your day.  Before bed works great, or make it the very first thing you do when you wake up and you feel most refreshed.  Have a notepad ready and write down the top three things you know you need to complete for the day.  If you only have one thing, even better – but don’t make it a list of four or five to-do’s.  You will not have that sense of accomplishment if you only complete three out of the five, and not all five.

Why three?  This isn’t a magic number, but it does seem to work very well.  The second part of this habit is making sure you schedule a specific time for each task to be completed.  For example, if one of your daily three tasks is to call five clients you better have a 1/2 hour block scheduled to complete this task.  What seems to be the easiest thing to do is to assign a time of day you will complete each task.  So, “phone calls” will occur at 1pm-1:30pm, “Writing a work proposal” will occur from 2-4pm and so on.

  1. Find your “Magic Time”

Your “magic time” is that time of the day when you are the clearest in your mind and body.  It could be right when you wake up in the morning, just after a workout, or even after a certain meal during the day.  This time is all yours, so it needs to be protected and used appropriately.  For me, my “magic time” is in the morning before the kids and wife are up in the house.  I am able to take 20-30 minutes and make it all about me and setting up my day for success.  This is when I do most of my reading and writing, and when I am able to get the biggest bang for my buck and get the most done in the least amount of time.  This way, I am able to conquer my mornings and then have better control of my afternoons when things sometimes don’t quite pan out the way I always envision it.

To find your magic time, take note of when you are in the best “flow” state.  That is, when you are able to concentrate and focus the most on single tasks and complete the most work.  Maybe it is when you are able to write the most, or be the most creative.  You will figure it out.  Make sure if you have never tried to do this in the morning – wake up 15-20 minutes earlier than usual and get your #1 top priority done first.  I think you will be amazed at how you feel when you can do that!

  1. Schedule your own “Personal Time Off” or “PTO”

This one is hard if you are a work-a-holic like myself.  One thing I will tell you though is if you take the time to refresh and recharge, you will come back so much stronger and be able to re-focus to get things done and not procrastinate.  This could be something as simple as taking PTO in the middle of the week for two hours to just leave the office and “chill out” at a coffee shop or a park.  You will be amazed what a break during the day can do for your day and your week.  Having personal time as well to workout and work on your own health is very important, and to be sure to schedule it is crucial as well.

Self-care should be included here as well.  When was the last time you treated yourself to a massage, pedicure or facial?  These things are all added extras that our parents probably didn’t do much of, but it will surely lower your stress levels and give you the refresher you need to get back to work and bring your best and to be re-focused on those “big rocks” again.

This was supposed to be just a quick summary of the three main things that usually get in our way of being successful, but quickly became much more than that.  My hope is that you can take one thing away from this post and use it right away to become more successful in whatever you do!  Good luck and remember to take action!

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