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Tackle the Important and Stop the Urgent

The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People_by_Stephen_R_CoveyStephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that one of the traps of ineffective people is getting caught in doing the urgent rather than the important. Bottom-line this is reacting to life rather than responding.  While urgent things will come up, they seem to happen more when you are not planning. Eventually everything will become a crisis. STOP.

When you care for the important you will have less urgent things to deal with. There will always be truly urgent things, but these are called emergencies, not daily urgent tasks. Make a list and determine what is important for you to do to move forward with your business (or life). What do you need to do in order to accomplish these goals? This is what is important.

It often seems like it will not matter if important things get done today or tomorrow and therefore often are perpetually put off until they become urgent. It is similar to the bad habit many of us had in school with reading. The teacher gives us what is important to read each week. Students are busy and do not read what is important and then a few days before the test when there are 200 pages of reading, the assignment now becomes urgent. Thus the cycle begins as we create urgent tasks that would not be urgent if we did the important things we need to do each day.

In order to break this cycle, it is important to :

  • Recognize the cycle and how much time you spend reacting to the urgent.
  • List what you are trying to accomplish (your goal)
  • Decide what is important to do today to reach that goal.
  • Determine what is important this week to reach that goal.
  • Highlight these things on your to-do list.
  • Block one hour in your day to do the important tasks.
  • Force yourself to do the important today and watch how the overflow of urgent tasks decrease off your plate

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

 

Prioritize: Empty Your Full Plate!

Eat That Frog!Brian Tracey has a great book, Eat That Frog. This book is awesome for illustrating the basic concept of prioritizing. In order for you to get your plate empty you will have to stop and assess what is the most important thing for you to get done. Our to-do lists do not usually include unimportant things to do. Everything is important. (The urgent things don't even make the list, they just take up time so we don't even get to the lists). Then, when we just start chipping away at to do lists, we often eat desert first. We do what feels good but is not really most essential to our performance.

Tracy's concept is whatever is the most important thing you need to get done, do it first; this is your frog. Do it before you do anything else (including urgent things – unless it is a real emergency). Your frog is the #1 thing on your to do list. As you get that done, you will have more energy for everything else on your list and will be able to accomplish more in your day besides having greater results as you take care of the most important things first.

Action:

  • Make a "to do" list nightly.
  • Prioritize the list.
  • The #1 item is your frog. Compete it before you do any other projects.
  • Make it your goal to do the complete the next 5 top priorities before moving on to anything else on the list.

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

Your Winning Season!

  • TrophyAre you winning your game?
  • Are you playing at peak performance?
  • Do you feel like you are sometimes on the court, but more often on the bench, in the bleachers, or (even worse) at the concession stands?

There is a concept called “pattern language” which means taking language and concepts that are already familiar to you and applying them in a new environment, to quickly and effectively communicate a new concept or message. The Coachville, LLC/Your Winning Season coaching company is using the pattern language of sports in such a way that it will dramatically improve your results in business and in life.

Dave Buck, CEO of Your Winning Season, says:  “In my 10 years as a professional coach I have noticed that most people—even those who seem to be successful on the surface—have an awkward feeling that they are falling behind in reaching their goals. Every day, no matter how long or how hard you work, the to-do list just gets longer. It’s like being on a losing team in a season that never ends! By using sports pattern language and seeing yourself as the player-coach of a highly visible sports team, you can dramatically improve your results AND your level of fulfillment.”

When you approach life like you do the preparation for a winning season in sports, you are clearer, focused and prepared to win the games, and ultimately the season. Coachville/Your Winning Season coaching company teaches seven keys to have a winning season in your life and business so you can play your season with CLARITY, FOCUS and a STRATEGY to WIN!

To start thinking as the player-coach of your own game, ask yourself the following:

  1. WHAT IS MY GAME? In life we do play a game. Your game is what you are focused on, what you want to win. Maybe your game is an aspiration to be a professional speaker, maybe it is earning a certain income, or maybe it is something else. When you know exactly what game you are playing, you have the CLARITY that is needed in order to really play full out, excel to the next level, and win. Write down the game you are playing and that you intend to win this year. As noted playwright Wilson Mizner said, "In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept destructive criticism. Without 100% dedication, you won't be able to do this.”
  2. WHY ARE YOU PLAYING? Answering this question gives you the focus you need to compel and motivate you to work hard. No athlete is going to spend the time and energy without a clear purpose! Why are you playing? What is it that you want to accomplish by playing this game?
  3. ARE YOU WINNING? If yes, great! Keep doing what you are doing. If not, what is happening? Assess and design your strategy for a winning season. For example, an athlete might say “we are losing because we don't have enough players,” “we are weak,” or “we are not as skilled as the competitor.” But, what is it for you? Write down three things that will be critical for you to start doing so that you can win the games and have a winning season (e.g., more training, team development, networking, more focus/discipline). What will it take for you to be competitive in the game, playing hard and pushing for the win? How can you play full out?

This is just the beginning of designing your winning season, but it is an important beginning because every game starts with:

  • CLARITY – the specific game that you are playing,
  • FOCUS – the reason why you are playing, and
  • STRATEGY – the things you need to do to stay in the game.

Wayne Gretzky said, "We miss 100% of the shots we don't take." Take your shot: if you pick a game, focus on what it takes and work your strategy, you will score. So, know your game, focus and plan, and enjoy a winning season this year!

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com

The Top 10 Ways to Stay in the Business Flow While on Vacation

Sunset

  1. Set Boundaries - Decide when and where you will check voice mail and e-mail. Limit your time and frequency of checking to one time a day. You are on vacation.
  2. Business Cards - Take 100 business cards and pass out along the way. You never know who will be so thankful that your paths crossed. A great habit is to pass out 5 cards a day, and while you are on vacation let your journey take your card distribution into new territories!
  3. Podcasts - There are so many motivational and educational podcasts you can listen to as you drive, fly and relax. This is a great time to soak in new information or review old information. You are on vacation, so don't act on it; just savor it!
  4. Books - Take one book and really get it read! Rather than packing 5 that you "hope to get to." Be serious about one and enjoy reading it.
  5. Ideas - Before you go, pick something you would like to discover or get new ideas about. Take the questions with you as conversation starters and gather information from those around you. Pick their brains. They have great ideas and you might be able to glean new resources and information that will be greatly applicable when you return.
  6. Perspective - Look at your business from a new perspective. Look at your business from the framework of relaxing on the beach, enjoying the breathtaking mountains, etc. What is possible here? What can you take from this view and apply to or bring into your business?
  7. Explore - Look at phone books, ads, posters and businesses around you. Check out the needs and saturation of your market. Is your vacation spot your next target area?
  8. Focus - Evaluate your goals and progress. Where have you been and what do you want? Revise your goals and set new ones. While you are away from the office it is a great time to do some longer "thinking" activities that you do not have time for when you are in the chaos and rush of normal schedules and business life!
  9. Journaling - Spend some time just writing down and capturing your ideas. What are you learning and noticing? What do you want to do differently when you get back? Brainstorm something new. Write a top ten to keep your mind sharp. Writing is powerful. Even if you never look at the entry again, there is an amazing connection in the act of writing thoughts down and remembering them later!
  10. Keep Motivation Pieces - Look for an item (postcard, picture, souvenir, etc.) that is motivational to take back with you into your working day. Bring your trip and the inspiration from it back with you!

Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach, www.synergystrategies.com