“It’s bleeding really bad and I can’t get a bandage on it good enough to make it stop!”
My friend had fallen with a glass in his hand and obviously cut himself deeply.
“Can you help me get the bandage on there so the bleeding will stop?” he asked.
“Sure,” I replied, “let me have a look at the cut.”
“No, just put this bigger bandage on so the bleeding will stop,” he snapped and handed me a roll of gauze and tape.
“If you want me to help, I need to see what we’re dealing with.”
Reluctantly, he followed me into the bathroom and we rinsed his hand under the sink. As the blood cleared, I noticed a gleaming shard in the wound. “Hey, grab that towel over there,” I told my friend. Just as he turned his head, I grabbed the shard of glass and yanked it out.
It was a good thing I had a good grip on his wrist because he almost climbed the wall. “What are you doing?” he screamed.
“Fixing the problem,” I replied as I put the smaller bandage on. It fit perfectly and the bleeding stopped immediately. My friend’s strategy of a bigger bandage to stop the bleeding would have worked, but it would not have fixed what was wrong. If anything, it would have only hidden the real issue.
We do this all the time in other areas of life and don’t give it another thought. One in particular is in time-management philosophies and tactics. The chant is always to “Get More Done.” I don’t have a problem with that by itself, except that getting MORE done doesn’t seem to really improve anyone’s life or business.
Thousands of time-management products have hit the market in the past 20 years and been consumed like cake at a weight-loss camp. So why is society at-large still unsatisfied with their production and seeking to get even more done? I submit that trying to take our lives and businesses as they are and only focusing on getting more done is like my friend trying to use a bigger bandage.
It might stop the bleeding temporarily but it doesn’t fix the problem.
The first step in improving our productivity is to identify what actually needs to be done. Instead of instantly focusing on MORE things, let’s start with the RIGHT things. Answer these questions:
- What do I want my LIFE to look like? – Use this to create a context for decisions. Every area of your existence is to support the vision of your ideal life. If it doesn’t fit, start making plans to get rid of it.
- What do I want my business or career to look like? – This is the first of a series of questions to determine the role each area will play in creating the life you want. The answer must fit within your LIFE vision. Replace “business or career” with family, spirituality, relationships, health, etc. and answer each. These are the support pieces on which you build everything else. They all have to fit together if you want maximum benefit.
- What are the things I must do to make these areas look the way I want them? – Here’s where utilization of your time starts. What needs to be done and by who? According to priority, where does it fit in your schedule? Put it there and honor the commitment.
By following these simple but powerful steps, you can identify what belongs in your schedule and focus on the tasks that provide the biggest benefit first. You just might find that your desire to get more done is satisfied by getting the right things done.
PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy personal roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. You can download a copy of his best-selling book, Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset, by clicking here.