It’s been said that the difference between a successful person and one who doesn’t achieve his or her goals is focus. The ability to stay focused on a goal rather than getting sidetracked is, perhaps, the greatest skill you can develop.
Here are five of the biggest time wasters that we see when business mentoring.
1. Not knowing what your goals are
Let’s imagine that it’s time for your annual holiday. If you’re going to take a vacation, the first thing you need to do is decide where you want to go. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself sitting at home for a week eating crisps out of a bag and wasting the time off. It’s the same thing with your personal and professional goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, you’re not going to get there and you’ll waste time on something else.
2. Not having a plan for what you’re going to do
It’s not enough to have a goal. You might say to yourself, “I want to grow my client base.” That’s nice, but how are you going to do that? Does this mean working late, taking on extra work, or getting additional training to develop a new skill? If you don’t have a specific plan for achieving your goal, you’re going to waste time wandering around hoping that the goal will just land in your lap.
3. Not sticking to your plan
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, quit smoking, or begin an exercise program, you know that having a plan isn’t enough. You have to stick to your plan! There are generally four reasons why a person doesn’t stick to his or her plan. Either they don’t know how to do what they need to do, they don’t really want to do it, they don’t have somebody to be accountable to, or they haven’t set aside the right time in their calendar to do it. If you are consistently deviating from doing what you planned to do in order to achieve your goal, look at what is causing that.
Although having a good plan to achieve your goal is essential, over-planning can get you off track. Let’s face it. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. The difference between someone who actually achieves his or her goals and someone who does not, is often the difference between someone who can adapt to circumstances and one who cannot. For example, let’s say that you were planning on taking a workshop in order to learn how to use social media for your business. But, there is not enough enrolment in the class and it gets cancelled. What do you do? Do you wait for the next one? Or, do you get creative and change the plan. Maybe you can take the class online. Maybe you know someone who can personally teach you how to use it effectively. Maybe it’s offered at another school. When we over-plan, we fail to adapt to the circumstances that come up along the way.
5. Engaging in time suckers.
No article on time wasting would be complete without discussing the personal time wasters that we all engage in from time to time. The biggest ways that a person can waste time either at home or at work are:
- Web surfing/Facebook
- Instant messaging/chatting
- Talking on the phone
While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, it’s easy to get sidetracked into doing them instead of the things that you need to be doing to achieve your goals, and make a difference in your business.
“Most people engage in activities that are tension relieving rather than goal achieving. ”
~ Brian Tracy
Question: What other time wasters impact on your focus? Please share your comments below.