Focus Requires Urgent Action

urgent focusAll week the topic has been focus; the importance of focus and where you place your focus, the difference between being productive vs just being busy (focus or flurry), and I shared my personal story of how I am learning to focus my efforts in specific areas instead of trying to be all things to all people.  I believe that personal growth is the first step in the process for everyone.  Without recognizing that intentional personal growth is critical to your success, you leave “money on the table” in terms of how much more of your potential you can realize.  You may even leave real money on the table by shorting yourself on growth.  So, my focus will be on helping you grow and part of that is focusing on what you really want to achieve.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.  Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Being willing is not enough, we must do.

Leonardo Da Vinci

What is Urgent to You?

What are the achievements that have your focus right now?  Do they feel urgent?  If not, you may want to re-evaluate them or their importance.  The problem for most of us is a lack of urgency driving us.  There is always tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.  As Brian Tracy and others put it, so many of us live on Someday Isle.  We talk about our dreams and say, “Someday I’ll…..”  We rationalize away with reasons we can’t start now.  When the economy gets better, when I have a little bit more money, when the administration changes.  It’s not the right time.  The holidays are coming up and nobody cares about this stuff during the holidays.  Wait until after the holidays and come January I will get started.  Then it’s recovering from the holidays.  Then it’s too cold.  Then it’s spring break for the kids.  Then it’s Spring and we should spend some time outdoors before it gets too hot.  Wait until the kids get out of school.  Well, the kids are out of school and underfoot all the time.  Wait until they go back to school.  Then school starts and things are hectic and the school football team is winning and we must go to the games and then the holidays are coming and….there we are all over again.

Urgent Demise

The Law of Diminishing Returns, while originally an economic concept, also applies here in a different way.  The law says that the greater the time span between when you get an idea or come up with a dream and the when you take action on it, the less likely you are to ever do anything at all.  In other words, the longer you wait exponentially increases the chances that you never will.  The longer you wait, the more it becomes just a dream.  It’s hold on you diminishes with each passing day.  That alone should create a sense of urgency for you.

Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.

Jim Rohn

Urgent Action

So, how do we avoid this?  Mel Robbins, author of Stop Saying You’re Fine, tells people to apply the five-second rule.  No, the not the one having to do with food dropped on the floor.  In this case, the five second rule mandates that you must take action on an idea within five seconds of having the idea.

urgent act nowIt doesn’t have to be necessarily massive action.

In fact, most of the time it is simply writing down on paper the first step you have to take to move forward and then set a deadline date.

Just that simple action, executed within five seconds after conceiving the idea, greatly increases your chances of doing that first action.

Many say that are waiting for inspiration or until they “feel motivated”.

It will never happen.  Motivator and Success Trainer Frank Tibolt says

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing.  Action always generates inspiration.  Inspiration almost never generates action.

Decide to take action.  Little bits add up as long as you keep it up.  Start now.  Make it urgent.

Action Plan

  • What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?  What is one thing you can do right away to move closer to it?