April 11, 2021

“You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

If you didn’t get a chance to read the last blog (The Balance Myth – Blog 399), I highly recommend you do so.  This blog is a follow-on to the topic of “Life Balance” that we started examining in that blog. 

The unique approach to creating what we think of as “Life Balance” that Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach in their fabulous book The One Thing involves knowing that it actually takes constant COUNTERBALANCING – making constant, small adjustments on a daily basis  – for you to feel fulfilled and happy in your private life while still achieving purposeful Big Goals in your career or business.

As you will recall, the bottom-line secret, to creating a counterbalanced personal life you love is this: “In your personal life, go SHORT and avoid long periods where you’re out of balance.  Going short lets you stay connected to all the things [and people] that matter most and move them along together.”

In other words, you cannot neglect your health and fitness, your relationships, your homelife or your spiritual life for long periods or they will be irreparably damaged.  You cannot pressure yourself to try to serve everyone and attend to everything that you want to all at the same time, but you CAN prioritize and focus on the ones that need the most attention on a given day. If your child needs you now, that can’t wait. That means de-cluttering your home might have to wait another few days but you will get back it when it’s time to “counterbalance” and make cleanliness and order in your environment a top priority.

However, the authors say, in your career or business, you have to take a much different approach if you are going to reach your Big Goals with maximum efficiency, ultimately allowing more time for your personal life: “In your professional life, go LONG and make peace with the idea that the pursuit of extraordinary results may require you to be out of balance for long periods.  Going long allows you to focus on what matters most, even at the expense of other, lesser priorities.  In your personal life, nothing gets left behind.  At work, it’s required.”

Now, let’s examine the authors’ revolutionary “go LONG” approach that they say will get you to your BIGGEST stretch goals in less time with less wasted effort than most people can imagine. There are two major aspects to this winning approach: developing the Practical tools you need AND adopting the right Mindset for success. 

The practical tools they teach are simple and easy to learn and use and virtually guaranteed to bring you success – as long as you develop the right mindset so you don’t sabotage your best-laid plans.  First, let’s examine the practical tools you can use to achieve your Big Goal:

The Three P’s

The key to producing extraordinary results is to follow the three P’s:

1) First, identify your PURPOSE. Get clear on WHY your Big Goal matters to you — what it is going to bring you? Why is it worth getting up in the morning and pursuing it with focus and drive for however long it takes until you get it?

2) Then make your Big Goal your ONE PRIORITY. “Your most important priority is the ONE Thing you can do right now that will help you achieve what matters most to you.”

3) The third P is PRODUCTIVITY – You must create a clear plan that will ensure you stick with it consistently, day in and day out, until you achieve it. “Write your goals down and keep them close. Knowing your future goal is how you begin. Identifying the STEPS you need to accomplish along the way keeps your thinking clear while you uncover the right priority you need to accomplish RIGHT NOW.”

The KEY to Productivity

The authors believe the ONE great, overriding KEY to productivity is TIME BLOCKING. This is so vital to your success that there’s a whole chapter in the book focused just on how to effectively block your time.

I loved reading that because, in my 16-plus years as a Personal Success Coach, I have always told my clients: If you want to ensure that you have ENOUGH time and are doing the RIGHT things at the RIGHT time (AKA Productivity) you MUST plan your monthly goals and then lay out your weekly and your daily schedule in BLOCKS OF TIME in your planner.

The authors state, “Productive people get more done, achieve better results, and earn far more in their hours than the rest. They do so because they devote maximum time to being productive on their top priority, their ONE Thing.  They time blog their ONE Thing and then protect their time blocks with a vengeance.  They’ve connected the dots between working their time blocks consistently and the extra-ordinary results they seek.”

They go on to say, “Time blocking is a very results-oriented way of viewing and using time.  It’s a way of making sure that what has to be done GETS done… Time blocking harnesses your energy and centers it on your most important work.  It’s productivity’s greatest tool.”

How to Time Block

Time blocking is a simple habit to install, which I recommend to all my coaching clients: Spend one quiet, uninterrupted hour each weekend planning your upcoming week.

First, review your ONE Specific, Measurable Goal for the MONTH – The ONE Thing you vow to accomplish this month that will make everything else you could be doing either easier or unnecessary for reaching your Big Goal.  Then block out time to work on that ONE Thing EVERY DAY during your upcoming workweek.  

If you are serious about reaching your BIG GOAL by the end of the year, you must reach your monthly ONE Thing goal and that means you must work on it productively each workday. The authors’ recommended time for you to FOCUS solely on accomplishing your One Thing is HALF of your working hours each workday. If you work an eight-hour day, that means FOUR hours are devoted solely to working on your One Thing. The rest of your day, you tend to all the other routine tasks that have to be done – answering email, training, meetings, errands, etc. But none of those tasks is allowed to get in the way of your devoted One Thing time.

This undoubtedly sounds like a huge amount of time that you don’t think you have. But remember, you have already asked yourself the book’s Focusing Question about your blocked time: “Today, what is the ONE Thing I can do for my ONE Thing [Big Goal], such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

If you focus on accomplishing the ONE Thing and work productively toward it each day, week and month, a lot of the “busy work” you have been doing in your career, your business or on your passion project will end up being unnecessary. New ways of doing things more efficiently will emerge as you go along. Shortcuts will be found. Serendipity will happen.

You actually will GAIN more time freedom in the end because you worked with single-minded focus on accomplishing the RIGHT things that will get you to your Big Goal more quickly and easily than the haphazard approach most people take and the distractions they allow to derail their plan.

If you cannot devote four hours a day, that’s OK.  Just work as efficiently as you can toward the ultimate goal of spending 50% of your working hours on the ONE Thing that you know that you need to accomplish in order to reach your Weekly Goal, which will then carry you to your Monthly Goal, which will ultimately lead you to fulfill your BIG GOAL for the year that is going to make your life a dream and give you much MORE free time to spend on the people and things you love in your personal life.

We will finish this series on The One Thing next time by looking at the critical MINDSET side of the equation.  It’s great to have a solid plan, but as soon as you begin to work it, all kinds of challenges will inevitably arise that can derail it. Knowing what those pitfalls are and being ready to address them with the right attitude will ensure your success!

Coaching Results:

“I would not have the belief and confidence in myself or my team without Caroll, nor would I be able to bring out the best in my team without her coaching.  You should coach with Caroll if you want to create confidence in yourself, a positive mindset, a successful business and joyful approach to life.” – Lisa Davis, Top Team Leader for Crunchi Cosmetics

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please contact me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

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