I don’t mean what’s stopping you as in, why aren’t you doing it. But literally, what activities are getting in the way of your success, what’s or who’s distracting you from doing what you want to do?
If you know what you want in life, what your goals are. Then it becomes a lot easier to manage your time and energy. You only have to do one thing. Ask yourself the following question with everything you do:
Does this activity take me closer to or away from my goals?
If you do something that’s brings you closer to your goals, brilliant. If not, then you have some thinking to do.
There’s stuff you have to do (like brushing your teeth), stuff you should do (like cleaning the house), stuff you want to do (going to the movies). It’s surprisingly easy to fill up your time without giving it much thought whether it’s worth doing it or not.
If you’ve made a conscious decision that you want to go to the movies or sit at a bar all your life, then I have no problem with that. If you have evaluated your choices and the movies is what comes up as your number one priority, then please go ahead and do as you decided. But if you want to be a successful businessman and you’re watching movies all the time, then something is not what it should be. Then you’re just wasting your time if you watch a movie.
Is it worth it?
Good reasons for doing stuff:
You get paid for it. (Work, selling old stuff…)
It looks good on your resume, profile… (charity work…)
You’re making useful contacts that may prove useful further down the road. (networking events…)
You have to do it. (dental appointment)
You enjoy it. (watching a movie)
It’s good for you. (sports, eating healthy…)
You want to do it. (travel, racing, your bucket list)
However, most stuff you do, will be for the following reasons:
You’re asked to do it.
You’ve always done it.
You feel obliged to do it.
Put it to the test!
Now it’s your turn to identify why you do the things you do. The following exercise has three parts.
– Identify all the wrong things you’ve been doing lately.
– Make 2 columns. One with activities you positively choose to do (‘good’) and the other you just happen to do (‘bad’).
If you’re doing something for the reasons in the first list, put it in the ‘good’ column, otherwise, it goes in the ‘bad’ column.
Be critical. for example, What if you’re going to a gym class each week, but you have a bad trainer. I would put it in the ‘bad’-column. You can then drop the class, and spend the time gains looking for a better trainer.
– Look at the ‘bad’ column and see what activities you can stop doing.
It will be very hard, if not impossible, to eliminate the bad column completely. There are certain things that will be difficult to avoid. Like supermarkets. But you could think of ways to lessen the time you spend going to them. for example, you get your groceries delivered at home or you could avoid going to the supermarket at rush hour.
– Look at the ‘good’ column and list next to them what the benefit of doing them is.
Some might have multiple benefits (it’s fun and you get paid…).
– add up how many you’re doing for money, for fun, for …
Is any category dominating the list? If their is, I would suggest you try to spread your benefits a bit more. For example, If you’re doing a lot for money, when are you going to spend it. Vice versa, If you’re doing a lot for fun, you’ll end up broke and without money someday to even do something fun.
Being smart with your time is about getting something in return for it. Their is a thing called ‘diminishing returns’. If you spend to much time on one activity it will happen, and that’s the point you should consider doing something else with your time.
Any activities and commitments that don’t bring you closer to your goals are distractions and, to be honest, a waste of your time. You are reducing your chances of succeeding by doing them. This site contains lots of tips and tricks to say ‘no’ to distractions and help focus on your goals so that you can get the best return on the time you invest in anything you ‘want’ to do.