Driving Through the Fog

If you have ever driven a car, you have likely had the experience of driving through heavy fog. 
Building a business, building a career, and building a life can feel a lot like that.  In fact, that’s precisely the problem for many people; they spend their time navigating through the fog.  
  • A businessman with no real direction who leaps at the next new thing to offer in the hopes for profits that turn the business
  • The person goes all in to the next scheme guaranteed to make them millions
  • The girl or guy who obsesses over the next person they think will truly make them happy.
It’s a mirage in fog.
Many people make decisions when things aren’t going well. They look for relief in the despair of the valley instead of waiting for the clarity that comes from being on the mountaintop. And when you’re experiencing the darkness of the valley, it’s always tempting to make changes that you hope will relieve the discomfort.  -John C. Maxwell

Finding Your Way Clear

Successful people have CLARITY.  The path is clear in front of them and they are joyfully on their journey.  And while they path may wind, the hills may seem steep, and the road gets rocky on occasion; they forge ahead with determination because they can see where they are going.  How do you achieve this clarity in your life or career or business?
[snaptweet]It’s not the problems that make YOUR life song so special, it’s the clarity you get when you determine to see your way through it.[/snaptweet]

Key Elements to Achieve Clarity:

  1. KNOW YOUR CORE VALUES – Know what you stand for.  Know what defines are the very core of your organization or core of your person  exactly what has to factor in to every decision you make and everything you do.  Honesty and integrity are key core values that you want to integrate into everything you do.
  2. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE – What are you driven to do, what do you want to accomplish.  Here’s a tip: if it takes more than a sentence, then you haven’t fully defined your purpose.
  3. VISUALIZE THE END OF THE ROAD – See where it is you are trying to go.
  4. KEEP AN EYE ON THE PATH IN FRONT OF YOU – That’s where you are going to encounter those rocky roads and if you spend all your time looking ahead, the roadblocks in front of you may stop you before you can get there.

Focus or Flurry – Too Busy

Non-stop from the moment you get up until it’s time to put your head on the pillow.  Personal and professional schedules often overlap.  You spend a good amount of time driving from location to location.  Sometimes you cut activities short in order to rush on to the next one.  When you are ready for bed you are totally exhausted and can’t seem to catch up on rest.

too busyYou probably know someone like this.  You may BE someone like this.  It is tell-tale symptoms of someone who is too busy.

There is nothing wrong with being busy.  Busy keeps us active and keeps us from wasting time focusing on the negatives of our lives.  It’s not being busy that is the issue, it’s HOW we are being busy.  Are we busy with things that are targeted or are we simply busy with activities?  Busyness that is not targeted and purpose-driven can lead to a distinct feeling of emptyness.  We are so busy that we must be getting somewhere, but why does it still feel incomplete.  Our busyness has no real meaning.  We spend our time in flurry.

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”   Socrates

“It is not enough to be busy.  Even the ants do that.  The question is: what are we busy about?”
Henry David Thoreau

Not sure if you are one of those who are too busy?  Here are 7 signs that you are too busy:

  1. You are always surviving.  You can’t remember what open time on your calendar looked like or the last time you were ahead of schedule.
  2. Meals coincide or overlap with other events.  If you don’t have time to sit down and simply enjoy a little family meal time or quiet meal time, that’s definitely a sign.
  3. You tend to be tired even in the mornings.  You can get rest from all the flurry.
  4. You can’t remember the last time you read a book.
  5. You have interruptions to your interruptions.
  6. You cannot consistently set aside a time-frame for a specific activity, like exercise.
  7. You do not engage in intentional, daily growth

Focus or Flurry – Making the Change

We must make the transformation from being too busy to being productively busy.  We have to move from flurry to focus.  And it starts with the decision to do so.  You must resolve that you are tired of being tired, you are fed up with not getting where you want to be.  It doesn’t solve your problems, but it helps provide the resolve you are going to need to implement this.

Action Plan

Create calendar blocks.  Each block should be at least an hour preferably but certainly no less than 30 minutes each.  You won’t need to block every waking moment, you are simply trying to make sure that you set aside specific activity blocks.  You will protect these blocks ruthlessly, letting nothing short of real emergencies (spurting blood, sinkholes, hurricanes, earthquakes) get in the way.  You need these blocks labelled on your daily calendar:

  1. Spiritual Time.  I call this devotional time but you can call it what you want.  The point is you need daily time dedicated to developing your spiritual life.  This helps make everything else better, it is THAT critical.  Ideally, this is your first block of the day.  Get up earlier if need be to have time for it.  I find that’s what works best for me, before everyone else gets up to have my devotional time.  If you have kids, it’s even better to let them see you engaged in this daily as it also encourages them to develop the habit.
  2. Hard Time.  This block is set aside for doing things you know you need to do that day but avoid and postpone until it is too late to do them.  Set aside time for it and strictly do not allow yourself to do anything else during that time frame until the hard thing is done.
  3. Personal Growth Time.  A block designed for you to intentionally grow yourself.  Remember my 1% rule:  if you simply grow yourself intentionally by 1% a day you will see exponential results.
  4. Reading Time.  Do nothing but read.  Magazines or trade journals, books, white papers.  Do not spend this time on the newspaper or social media.  We want reading time that feeds us.
  5. Me Time.  A block where no one else but you is your concern.  Do whatever you want as long as it isn’t for someone else.  You need this for your sanity and balance.