Part 2: Thrive Under Stress and Pressure - Consistency Creates Competency
Do you find that you're doing more with less? Do you find that there's work piling up and you never get to it? Do you find that you're always busy and things are always happening and you never get time to get anything done?
Before I speak at a conference or training, I always interview around five people from a company. One of the 'pain points' that always comes up when I'm interviewing conference delegates is feeling overwhelmed or stressed. I'm going to share with you a specific strategy or hack that is used by successful and resilient individuals to get things done, to keep focused, and to keep overwhelm and pressure down.
We all have a roadmap to get somewhere. If we didn't have a goal, then we would be shooting randomly. But we have rituals that have become so subconscious that we don't even become aware that sometimes they hinder us, and there's some rituals that help us.
Imagine with me that you have a goal. The goal is to get to a destination. Being in Alberta, Canada, we usually end up going to the mountains quite a bit in the year, and I love it there. So just imagine that you are going to the mountains and you have to drive to get there. On your journey, you have to take a major highway. Notice that it's a three-lane highway. What if we could use this analogy of your trip to plan for the year and be productive?
Plan Your Year
Break up your year into 3, 90-day slots. For example, January to March, April to June, (no place for July and August because we only have a short summer and I want to enjoy it with my family), and September to December. Note, December is not a full month either. It's usually a half month because of Christmas.
I usually have just two or three goals. In fact, I'd recommend one to two goals, outcomes or achievements, that you want to have in that 90-day slot and add it in.
Chunk it Down
Let's continue your journey to the mountains. Eventually, you have to get off the major highway, and swing onto a secondary highway, which is usually one to two lanes. Your lanes are chunking down and similarly its time to chunk down your 90-day goals into a system. Think of your secondary highway as your weekly list and as we go through this example, think about your upcoming week and make a list of tasks you have to do to meet your goals. On that list you don't want more than 10 to 13 items of which some you're going to delegate. This does not include your appointments or your daily habits, that's an add on. If you exercise every day, that does not have to be one of the 10 things that you put on the list.
Above is one of my weekly list and I specifically do this on a Sunday night so I'm prepared to take on the upcoming week rather than being reactive and distracted.
Now as you continue your journey to the mountains, you're nearing the town that you're staying in and you have to exit onto the street that will take you into the town and eventually to your hotel or cabin. Think of the street as your daily task list. Remember, we keep chunking our goals down into manageable tasks - from 90-days to weekly to daily tasks.
Therefore, I take my weekly list and I plop the tasks it into the days that I'm going to do it.
I've noticed that individuals who are resilient and successful are focused this way. They're doing things that matter to them and that fills their tank.
Alright, I'm sure you're having some a-ha moments, but let's continue on and get to our destination, shall we? Now you're on the street that's taking you to your hotel, and you notice your hotel down the road and swing into the parking lot, and find a parking space so you can check in.
Think of your parking slot as your agenda or daily planner. This is where you 'park' your daily tasks and routine habits into the time slot that you're going to do it.