Dear High-Level Performer,
There is a stagnating dynamic that is shaped by perfectionism. There is a craving to get it right the first time and leave little room for learning and mistake-making. This approach is like ready-aim-fire. If you live in the world of business today you know it’s a cosmic joke to build a business based on certainty and order, when in fact there isn’t any. This honesty level is so confronting because it suggests true powerlessness over what will happen. Our nervous system hires us like weathermen, to make our movements happen.
You have tons of new ideas, options, opportunities, and paths, but…how do make up your mind about a commitment, especially when you aren’t sure it’ll work? I’ve seen leaders wallow in torturous latency only to finding all their stalling is under the assumption that they need to “have enough”. These come in many shapes and sizes:
“If I had enough clarity, then I’d do it”
“If I had the resources, then I’d take it”
“If I knew it’d work, I’d take it.”
“If I knew how the worst I could survive it, I’d take it.”
All of these theories of action (beliefs) arise from an underlying concept that implies a need for control and power over the future. It doesn’t take a second to realize that no one can predict a future, we create one. Seriously, you can get to everything. It’s not a question of the method; it’s a question of commitment. ‘Not having enough’. The complexity is in the belief itself–once you believe it, you bring things to make sure it’s true. If I don’t believe I have time, I’ll ensure to fill the time up to make my belief seem true in fact. This is an affirmation I make to my own particular inclination since I select information like a subjective reflex to help the belief I am using. When I face people with taking more free time, this is the basis for their over-work–they don’t lack time, they haven’t made up their mind about how much time off they wish to take. So, they wait and see how things line up. Isn’t it interesting that as time was filled by whatever arose, the could-be vacation never came to fruition?
To have enough, to be good enough is, in fact, a misstatement of reality. The reality is you’ll never know until you know what you want. Once you know the outcome you want, then a baseline describing the present situation becomes necessary. Avoiding mistakes is a problem-solving motivation. I envision the worst, I setup action to avoid failure, then move to do that, then ignore learning what’s really commensurate with creating the outcome. You can remove the unwanted thing and still not create what you want.
A thought process for making great decisions on what to focus and what not is an impact filter. This requires you to look carefully at everything in front of you with vigilance and careful investigation. First, take a cross section inventory of what you’re doing every 15 minutes
For 168 hours–that’s one week’s time.
You’d be surprised to find that over 30% of what you touch is non-productive, maybe even more. Hover this question over everything you touch:
“WHY AM I DOING THIS?”
– Should I be in this meeting?
– Should this piece of paper be sitting on my task?
– Should I be opening this software to use?
– Should I be tracking or recording this?
– Should I be signing this piece of paper?
– Should I be doing this activity?
COMPOSE A ‘NOT TO DO LIST’ BY SCORING EACH ITEMS 1-3. One = least competent, most dread, two = ok, part, competent, and three = good. Any remaining items would be fours (level 4) and these are activities you’ll keep doing because they make you enthusiastic and you’re unrivaled at them.
Now…the 1-3’s. Questions to ask:
1. Who on my team or in my support system has an uncommon skill (level four)?
2. If I stop doing this activity entirely and let go of guilt, what would happen?
3. If you passed 1 and 2 questions, then: What if I hire someone to do it?
a. Outsource, employ part-time or full-time?
b. Create a job description that defines what success would look like if done right
c. Automate it to a system or technology; auto-piloted or semi-auto-piloted by a point person.
4. If you passed 1-3 questions, can I delay this, task yourself to discuss it in the next 90-day window.
The key here is ‘CLEAR THE DECKS FOR ACTION, BY CREATING A LANDING STRIP FOR NEW IDEAS AND CONTENT TO GET ATTENTION.’
REMEMBER, CREATING IS ABOUT REMOVING EVERYTHING ELSE, EXCEPT WHAT YOU’RE CREATING. Creating requires mobilization. When you can’t fit new ideas, you envision or new projects it’s because you haven’t made any space for anything new. So, you keep doing what you’ve always done, and life becomes dull. Energy is also commensurate with learning something new. This is why spending your time on things you don’t enjoy with low skill level is an act of self-betrayal and violence.
Being overwhelmed isn’t having too much to do, it’s assigning equal meaning to everything. To thin what’s on your plate, it always starts by knowing what to do and not to do. You have to make up your mind before getting to the activities and task that matter most. You will not finish it all, that is a fact, so don’t suck it up. The most important thing is knowing the most important thing. And if you concentrate on that, the trade-off of what you don’t do isn’t an issue. This is because of the domino effect.
Your 100% day is composed of the top 3 items you intend to carry out each day. Sit down and chat with yourself about this the evening before for 10 minutes. This will probably change the entire way the following day will go for you.
Plan to finish your #1 thing in the first 90 minutes of the day when your energy and concentration is highest. You might make this #1 the item of the three you feel the most fear or reluctance doing. Always do this first. Second, finish your 3 outcomes by noon. That way you’ve got the rest of the day to focus on the rocks after your first 3 boulders are finished. You now have the confidence to tackle what’s next.
To make sure you stay on point with this and don’t all off, set up a gotta minute meeting in the afternoon for your team to interrupt you with questions they need to ask you. By having a routine time of 30 minutes it empowers the team to hold off until then, which naturally motivates their creativity and problems solving initiative. Make a rule not to talk about problems until that time. You’ll also be ready on two feet to answer, and since they’ve had to wait, the only issues they’ll discuss are boulders, not rocks.
By clearing the decks for action, identifying three things daily, and supplying your team the advice they need at a certain time, you’re not a gotta-minute-manager anymore, you begin to take delivery of being operationally irrelevant, with greater and greater capacity for strategic, big-picture thinking and activities that bring you confidence and productivity to an entirely new level of growth. Now you can get to the ideas and projects sitting in your vault that you’ve been waiting to create.