Start Focusing On What's Important, Not What's Immediate

ARTICLE 11 OF 52

Why are you reading this blog? Is it because this blog’s important to you? Or because it’s immediate and what’s in front of you? If it’s immediate, then I recommend bookmarking this in your Evernote and revisiting this content later. If this is important to you, please, keep on reading. I welcome and thank you for your time.

We’re living in a digital age which has us keeping up with fast paced trends, constantly connected whether it be email, phone, text, social, etc…, and we all suffer from extreme content and information overload. Add on top that we use platforms that bombard us with clickbait content, an overload of digital advertisements and videos galore. We’re constantly distracted, we’re constantly jumping ship and we’re constantly focusing on what’s immediate, not important.

As top performers, sales sharks, stellar entrepreneurs and business owners, we have to always on  our “A” game. Distractions waste time, and wasted time will kill our success. You know as well as I do, time is money and the one thing I’m always chasing isn’t money, it’s time!

 

Accept We’re Living In A World of Distractions

How many times do you plan to do something then you open up your inbox and BOOM you get insanely off-track and distracted?

My biggest challenge is managing an inbox which gets about 40 relevant emails per day. All these emails take rather close attention and thought, which in return means my inbox takes time. It’s a problem I’ve yet to resolve - I know I’m one of many who struggle with this.

What’s worse, is the buck doesn’t stop at just email? We have a connected phone, app notifications, multiple messaging apps (Slack, Trello, Google Chat) that insanely hit our screens on a continual basis. We’re living in the greatest time ever when it comes to being distracted.

As a society I believe we must start accepting the fact we now have welcomed a world of distraction. We have to accept the fact these multi-channel notifications are part of our everyday. Here’s the catch; we can accept this fact, but we can CHOOSE to make these distractions relevant or not.

I’ve had to come to terms that my life is busy and what I do (being a chaotic entrepreneur) comes with a world of distractions. I’ve had to learn lately about the importance of walking away from the immediate and focusing on the important. Every time I get distracted, I now take full ownership of it. It’s honestly because I’m CHOOSING to allow myself to be distracted.

Learning to accept the busy and choose the relevant is key here. When I started accepting the fact I was letting the “immediate” control my life and I was choosing to ignore the “important” my mindset started to change. My focus was different, and more than anything, my priorities started to align.

 

Stop Being A Slave To Your Task-list

Having a never ending task-list is one of my biggest downfalls. Again, most of this stems back to myself. I put a TON on my shoulders and most the time, foolishly, think I can “do it all” myself. I’m have to learn to retrain my brain on how to think about simple tasks, delegation and asking for help.

The two biggest things that give me the most anxiety is my crazy busy inbox and a never ending task list. Again, things that give me anxiety are mostly things I make immediate, which is rarely the right thing for me to do.

When I’m bogged down with a stupid tasklist I’m not focusing on what’s important for my businesses. I need to be focusing on leadership, making new connections, selling and doing things that move the needle for my bottom line. Rarely does my tasklist feed into these goals.

Here’s a few ways I’m solving my task list slavery:

  • Learning to delegate: This is a major flaw of mine. I need to find good talent and delegate to that talent.

  • Saying No: A big reason for my tasklist is because I don’t always say “no” when I should. This needs to change.

  • Surrounding myself with talent: When I have talent around me, I can offload and have trust things are getting done to a standard I can accept

At the end of the day, when you’re a top performer, you’re going to be busy and that’s just our reality. I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is wasting time on useless tasks that bog down my time which impacts my mental wellness, my businesses and ultimately my overall attitude and life.

 

Do You Have Freedom at Work?

Last month I wrote a blog called “Stop trying to do everything yourself.” In short, this blog was directed at business owners and entrepreneurs who try to put EVERYTHING on their shoulders. I’m the poster child of being guilty as hell when it comes to this. The main reason I ask if you have freedom at work or not is because I’m finding “work” is the key area we tend to make an immediate priority.

Most people who aren’t 100% self employed don’t understand the tight routine most 100% self sustaining top performers have to keep to maintain their level of success and workflow. Although my schedule is made up of a major task-list and very much depends on my client involvement, at the end of the day I can still say fuck it and do what I want if I so shall choose. And yes, that is what I consider freedom.

Let’s take a step back though? What if you don’t work for yourself? What if you don’t have the luxury of creating your own schedule? What if you work a true desk job and 9-5? You’re probably thinking “I have no choice to focus on what’s important, I have to focus on my job which is very much so immediate.”

Although this is tough, and somewhat true, it doesn’t have to be a case for my employed friends out there. All too often, self-employed or not, we tend to make work of HIGH importance and we tend to make it ALWAYS immediate. If this truly isn’t important to us, we need to stop making it so damn immediate all the damn time! We have to change our mindset and have to identify what our true priorities are outside of work.

Listen, if you’re literally strapped down in an office for six or more hours a day, I HIGHLY encourage you to find a new gig or start your own business. Our minds will always focus on our paycheck and employer (the immediate) if we don’t automatically cross of the time we’re at work as a loss when it comes to focusing on things that are important to us. If you're struggling with leaving your job, here’s a list of 100 different side-gigs you can do to make $1,000.

In all honesty, work is important to me, but the small mynute tasks are not important for what I do and are always “immediate”. I know what my priority is, which is making the important more immediate and the “less important”, less immediate. Now it’s up to me to make it a reality.  

 

What’s Important To You?

This seems to be a theme of mine lately. Last week I wrote about The Negative Impact of Making Non-important Things Important. Importance and purpose is critical for success. The more I learn from people smarter than myself the more I see how critical it is knowing what’s important to you.

I listed my personal principles and priorities last week. Here’s what’s important to me for my entrepreneurial life.

  • Having positive impact on those around me.

  • Having freedom. We live in the best country in the world, staying locked in a cubicle sounds awful.

  • Making sure my businesses stay profitable, scalable and respectable.

  • Always learning - My fear is complacency.

  • Financial success: I like money, and frankly, you should too. It gives you freedom.

  • Having a team of winners around me.

So I’ll flip the question to you. What’s of high importance in your life? What means something to you? Stop wasting time on what’s immediate versus what’s important.

Happiness is what’s ultimately important, and if ‘immediate tasks’ are taking away from your happiness, start focusing on what’s important.

 

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