Like everybody else, I struggle with the tyranny of the urgent.
That’s why one of my biggest aims is to carve out time to attack the practices, disciplines, and tasks that will nearly never be urgent until it’s absolutely too late.
But given the fact that most of us struggle with a nasty combination of overcommitment and procrastination, we have difficulty protecting dedicated time to engage our most important practices. We overcommit and then piddle until our only option is to tend to urgencies.
I go through seasons where I’m extremely disciplined about my practices like morning exercise, writing, prospecting for clients. And then I go through seasons where I feel a bit like a pinball bouncing from bumper to bumper.
When I’m doing well at creating time for my most important practices, here’s why:
- Start Small: I set a timer for 25 minutes and pick one practice. I commit to the 25 minutes, and then I let myself do all the urgent stuff.
- Do It First Thing in the Morning: I try to get one personal MIP done first thing after I wake up. When I get to work, I try to do one MIP first thing, before I open email – again only 25 minutes.
- Plan Early: Some days, the mornings just don’t work. If not, I’ll plan early and identify 25 minutes some time during the day where I can pull back. During lunch, prior to my commute home, as soon as the kids go to bed (in agreement with my wife). I set aside some moment to touch on at least one MIP.
- Be Flexible: Have enough grace with yourself to only do 10 minutes of a practice if that’s all you have. Just make sure to do something.
Out of all these, my main suggestion is to have one clear practice in mind before the day starts and a set, short period of time set aside to do the practice.
It works. And any traction on these important, not urgent activities is good traction.
My challenge today: Get two practices in. I was able to write and get exercise. Yay me!
What works for you?
Listening and Reading for Today
How To Be Effective At Social Marketing Without Content Curation – Web Search Social Podcast with Carol Lynn Rivera
Rivera makes a case against the 80-20 rule as many social media marketers have applied it to social media posts. Why do we have to spend so much time blasting everyone else’s stories but our own? Give the podcast a listen. Great stuff (and short – I’m starting to like short form podcasts).
Sales Hack: Salespeople help, salespeople – Sales Gravy Podcast with Jeb Blount
Blount offers up a great little hack. If you’re having a hard time getting through a gatekeeper, call back and ask for a member of the sales team. They can often help you navigate through the organization to your key contact.
Scroggins’ sermon is all about the difference between knowing what to do and doing what you know. The challenge was simply this: choose one thing that you know you should do and do it. The sermon was a part of the series ‘Anything But Average‘. The previous sermons in the series were about learning to (a) Exceed Expectations and (b) Delay Gratification. Great little series.