April 18, 2021

“All distractions are equal.” – Leslie Zann

In the last blog, we discussed the revolutionary approach to reaching your Big Goals presented by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan in their amazing book The One Thing.  (Keller is the co-founder of Keller-Williams Real Estate, the largest real estate company in the world.)

The authors say you must make your Big Goal the ONE priority in your professional life and then focus daily on the ONE Thing you must do to reach it.  First, determine what specific actions you must take each day, each week and each month and then block the time in your appointment planner to allow yourself to focus on carrying out those actions without interruption.

Bottom line: Productivity is the KEY to success and TIME BLOCKING is the key to productivity. 

But, as we all know, focusing on anything during your workday without interruption is a challenge.  Just ask any parent of school age children who is working from home during the pandemic.  But even if you are lucky enough to be working in an office, there are plenty of distractions from colleagues who try to hang out at your cubicle or a boss who has an urgent question or just the usual lineup of office meetings that are 20% useful and 80% wasted time.

What, then, can you do to consistently follow your One Thing plan to be productive in pursuing your Big Goal? The key is to develop a STRATEGY and adopt the right MINDSET. Here’s how:

Protect Your Time Block

First and foremost, you must commit to protecting your Time Block.  The authors say, “The world doesn’t know your purpose or priorities and isn’t responsible for them – you are.  So it’s your job to protect your time blocks from all those who don’t know what matters to you, and from yourself when you forget…The best way to protect your time blocks is to adopt the mindset that they can’t be moved.  So, when someone tries to double-book you, just say, ‘I’m sorry, I already have an appointment at that time’ and offer other options.”

But we know that’s tough when the requester is a high-level person in your life: “How do you say no to anyone important – your boss, a key client, your mom – who asks you to do something with a high sense of urgency?  One way is to say YES and then ask, ‘If I have that done by [a specific time in the future], would that work?’ Most often these requests are more about an immediate need to hand a task off than about a need for it to be done immediately, so the requester usually just wants to know it will get done.”

But what if the request really IS urgent and it comes at the time you have blocked to be productively working on your ONE Thing that day? “In this situation, follow the rule ‘If you erase, you must replace’ and immediately reschedule your time block.”

I agree!  I have always recommended to my coaching clients that they leave at least one hour of unscheduled “white space” in their planner each day.  Then if something comes along that truly MUST be handled during their Time Block, they can use their free hour to make up that ONE Thing productivity time.  If nothing gets in the way, they can reward themselves for their productivity with an hour of “Me Time” to do whatever they want!

Finally, you must overcome your own Ego’s constant preference for keeping you “safe” by keeping you from carrying out your One Thing plan for the day.

“The key” the authors assert, “is to fully internalize the domino fall that will happen when your ONE Thing gets done, and remember that everything else you might do or have to do will be easier or unnecessary.”  The authors even helpfully include a colorful little sign you can pull out of the book and hang on your office door handle that says “In case I can’t say NO, this sign will have to do it for me.”

The Four Thieves of Productivity

Keller and Papasan warn that there are “four thieves of productivity” that can stop you from accomplishing your Big Goals and they tell you exactly how to avoid each of them:

1) The first thief is an inability to say “NO” – This comes as no surprise to us recovering People Pleasers! “Peers will ask for your advice and help. Co-workers will want you on their team. Friends will request your assistance. Strangers will seek you out.  Invitations and interruptions will come at you from everywhere imaginable. How you handle all of this determines the time you’re able to devote to your ONE Thing and the results you’re ultimately able to produce.” The solution is to respectfully say NO promptly, and (if you can) give them a lead to someone who might help them. Bottom line: “If you can’t say no a lot, you’ll never truly be able to say yes to achieving your ONE Thing. Literally, it’s one or the other – and you get to decide.”

2) The second Thief of productivity is the Fear of Chaos. “Focusing on ONE Thing has a guaranteed consequence: other things don’t get done…Other areas of your life may experience chaos in direct proportion to the time you put in on your ONE Thing.  It’s important for you to accept it instead of fighting it.”

During a very busy fourth quarter of 2020, my home office looked like a war zone.  It was hard to go in there each day, stepping over piles of binders and folders and seeing the dust bunnies in the corners. But I put blinders on and did my One Thing each day because I knew a pristine office wasn’t going to make me successful.  Eventually, we always get a chance to catch up on the truly critical things.  When things quieted down during the Holidays, I was able to devote a half day to cleaning and organizing my office. That felt great, but not as great as what I had accomplished toward my Big Goal.

3) The third Thief is Poor Health Habits. This is the opposite of their advice about putting up with chaos for a while in order to do your One Thing.  You can never put your health on hold  while you pursue your dreams. “Personal energy mismanagement is a silent thief of productivity.  When we keep borrowing against our future by poorly protecting our energy, there is a predictable outcome of either slowly running out of gas or prematurely crashing and burning.”  Instead, here is the authors’ Highly Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan:

  • Meditate and pray for spiritual energy.
  • Eat right, exercise and sleep sufficiently for physical energy.
  • Hug, kiss and laugh with loved ones for emotional energy.
  • Set goals, plan and calendar for mental energy.
  • Time block your ONE Thing for business energy.

4) The fourth Thief is an Environment that Doesn’t Support Your Goals. Our physical surroundings and especially the people we surround ourselves with influence our health, our mindset and ultimately our level of success. “Surrounding yourself with the right people is the right thing to do.  While attitude thieves will rob you of your energy, effort and resolve, supportive people will do what they can to encourage or assist you.  Ultimately, being with success-minded people creates what researchers call a ‘positive spiral of success’ where they lift you up and send you on your way….Hanging out with people who seek success will strengthen your motivation and positively push your performance.”

The authors strongly recommend getting an Accountability Partner to support you in reaching your Big Goal.  They say that a professional Coach makes the BEST Accountability Partner, but you can also ask a trusted colleague or friend to keep you honest and on track. “An accountability partner will positively impact your productivity…. Just knowing they are waiting for your next progress report can spur you to better results. Ideally, a coach can ‘coach’ you on how to maximize your performance over time.  This is how the very best become the very best.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who achieves extraordinary results without [a Coach].”

There you have it — your foolproof Formula for Success: If you are committed to reaching your Big Goals, spend your working hours identifying the ONE Thing you must do each day to reach them, don’t let the Four Thieves waylay you, and get support in holding yourself accountable for doing what you promised to do.

Above all, remember no one succeeds alone and no one fails alone and, in the words of comedian Lily Tomlin, “The road to success is always under construction!”

Coaching Results

“Caroll has been very helpful in guiding me to clarify what my most important goals are, what they mean to me and why they are important.  Learning to focus on the important things makes me more efficient and able to get there faster.  It’s a huge stress reliever to know where you want to go and the necessary steps to get there.” – June G., Realtor ™

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 email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 March 31, 2013 

Welcome back to A Cup of Caroll!

Yes, it’s been awhile! I’ve missed our connection at the beginning of each week, and I’m very excited and happy to be picking up my “pen” again.

After writing over 100 blogs in a row, I realized that I needed to take a break, but I never imagined it would last almost TWO years! The time has flown by with a LOT of challenges and blessings happening in my own career and personal life.

In the interim, I’ve gained new clarity about HOW and WHY the Law of Attraction works to help us manifest whatever we want to show up in our life. Now, as we resume our weekly chats, I’m eager to share some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned personally and from my clients, which will hopefully make YOUR path smoother. I promise to keep each weekly blog as short and sweet as possible – for your sake as well as mine!

This January, I re-read The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, a licensed medical doctor raised in rural Mexico, who eventually gave up western medicine to practice the ancient wisdom of the Toltec nagals (spiritual masters). I hadn’t read this powerful little paperback for at least a decade, but at the dawn of the New Year, I somehow felt guided to pluck it off my bookshelf.

Re-reading this book had a profound effect on me that I don’t remember feeling the first time around. I’ve been recommending it to my current coaching clients, and I want to share the key teachings from it with you, too.

For the month of April, I’ll discuss each of The Four Agreements, along with some examples of why each one is so important for us to strive to keep on a daily basis.

I’ll begin our discussion next week by “telling one” on myself.  And it’s a doozy!

Summer’s definitely right around the corner now! And while Summer is my very favorite season, it does present one unhappy challenge. People go on vacation and take their Big Goals and Dreams with them! Most people don’t realize it, but Summer is truly the “Make or Break Time that can determine whether they will look back on their entire year with joy or regret.

Procrastination is Opportunity’s Enemy

In my seven-plus years as a full-time professional coach, I have seen just how tempting it is for people to put their dreams on hold and “sit out” the season with a cool drink by the pool – or by getting very busy with vacation trips and family activities. They tell themselves, “I’ll get started on my goals in the Fall – as soon as the kids are back in school.”  And when September rolls around, they say, “We’re too busy right now with the kids just back in school; I’ll do it next month.” In October, it’s “The Holidays are right around the corner.  I’ll get started on my dreams right AFTER the Holidays.” Sound familiar?

Avoiding Painful Resolution Regret

When people put their goals and dreams on hold for the entire summer, it almost invariably leads to the death of those dreams – because before they know it, it’s New Year’s Eve again….and they shake their heads in amazement and say, “Wow! Whatever became of my 2012 Resolutions?  Why didn’t I make the changes I had planned? Where is my wonderful new relationship?… fit body?… great income?… dream career? …beautiful new home?” Also sound familiar?

If you don’t want “Resolution Regret” to happen to your friends, colleagues and loved ones, please encourage them to get into ACTION NOW on their Big Goals.  NOW is the perfect time to re-focus and pursue their personal and professional goals, because it’s still only “Half Time 2012.” There’s still enough time to discover their life purpose, create unlimited prosperity and reach their biggest, juciest dreams THIS year! And coaching offers the guidance and support they need to break through every barrier to their success.

The Time is NOW

Because this is so urgent, I’ve made it QUICK and EASY for you to help your friends:  Simply forward this message to them along with the two attached gift certificates and give them the priceless gift of ONE F*R*E*E HOUR of focused coaching to jumpstart their goals and dreams at no obligation whatsoever. 

And here’s the BIG incentive for them to get out of the beach chair and do it NOW:

 If, after our F*R*E*E coaching session, they decide that they are committed to breaking through the barriers standing between them and having what they REALLY want once and for all, they will receive this BONUS jumpstart: HALF OFF of their June coaching fees!

I have different coaching programs to fit any need and budget, including:

  • Practical Prosperity Coaching™
  • True Purpose Coaching™
  • Dream Coaching™
  • Personal Success Coaching 

By maintaining their momentum, they will achieve their Big, Juicy Goals NOW, while SAVING anywhere from $150 to $2,250 — just by getting into ACTION NOW!  (Even if they choose a monthly payment plan, they will still save 50% OFF whatever they invest in coaching during the month of JUNE.)

Proven Results:

And in case your friends are skeptical that really BIG results could happen so quickly, one of my clients had this amazing recent outcome in just THREE WEEKS:

“Sandy” is a single mother with a serious physical disability who lives in a small town and shares custody of her two kids with her ex, so moving for greater opportunities wasn’t possible.  She felt her career options were extremely limited, but still she followed my coaching guidelines and created a written list of everything she wanted in her “Ideal Career.”  Three weeks later, the career of her dreams came and found her through an unexpected referral to a nearby company that she hadn’t even known existed. Sandy got a promotion, a raise, quarterly bonuses, flex time, a full health plan and much greater appreciation from her new boss — Absolutely everything she had asked for came to her effortlessly! 

 Results like these are possible for your friends, too – IF they don’t procrastinate.

 IT’S EASY to help them succeed!

Just forward this message and give the people you care about the opportunity to be living the Life of their Dreams by the time the beach umbrellas are packed away again!

P.S. For those who already have unbreakable commitments for June, tell them they don’t have to begin their coaching program immediately!  If after our one-hour F.R.E.E. coaching session, they choose to simply register by June 30, we could begin working together whenever it best fits their summer plans.  Whatever investment they make by June 30 will still be HALF PRICE! 

P.P.S. For clarity, this offer applies to:

  • NEW clients who have not yet registered for coaching with me and
  • PAST clients who have not been in coaching with me for at least two consecutive months and would like to re-start, begin fulfilling a NEW dream, or to find their life purpose for the first time.  


The available time slots for these F.R.E.E. sessions will fill up fast!  And the special offer absolutely ends on June 30, 2012. So please urge those you care about who could benefit to call or email right away to claim their F.R.E.E. coaching session and be sure to mention the “JUNE Special Offer.”  It will be the best gift you have ever given them! 

Best wishes for a Fun and Fulling Summer! 

Caroll Schwartz