Monday, September 5, 2016

3 “Fog-Cutter” Questions for a Better Week

Your best questions address the Important, not the Urgent

We all want to work on the important things in life, but instead we get caught up in what Chris McChesney calls the whirlwind of the urgent.

Usually important items help us achieve our long-term goals, and urgent items are necessary to achieve someone else’s immediate goals.

The whirlwind of the urgent blows hard, requiring a ton of energy just to stay the course. That almost guarantees that we won’t get to our important items any time soon… unless we have a plan! These 3 questions will help.

1. What is my most important item that I am NOT getting to?

The rushing winds of urgency are loud; they drown out the quiet but steady voice of the important. Since we don’t think about it, most people don’t even identify their top important goal. But you are not most people! So, right now, answer this question: what is the absolute #1 most important item that you need to finish or make progress on? Stop reading and write it down (or put it in your “Notes” app), then come back and answer the next question.

2. How much am I willing to suffer?

Suffer? Really? Are you sure? Yes, I think that’s the right word—read below and then you tell me!

We all have to face pain this week. We’ll either suffer the pain of discipline or we’ll suffer the pain of regret. We’ll have to wake up before we want to, eat veggies instead of dessert, and work hard or be fired. We’ll have to work with challenging people and we’ll have to “bite the bullet” on more than one occasion. And that is just a normal week. But to accomplish something important, it’s going to require some extra pain. How much are you willing to suffer? I’m suggesting suffering for a total of 90 minutes (15 minutes per day for six days this week!).

We’ll either suffer the pain of discipline or we’ll suffer the pain of regretCLICK TO TWEET.

3. Will I put it on my calendar and treat it as IMPORTANT?

If you’ll assign the exact time and the exact place that you will work on your important goal, you’ll probably move towards completion. If you don’t, you probably won’t achieve your goal. Having it on your list of goals—probably won’t happen. If you put in your calendar, it probably will happen.

Put it in for 15 minutes per day, even if Day 1 is simply listing the urgent vs. the important. How will you use the other 15-minute blocks? Outline it, gather resources, do the work, celebrate!

Discipline is simply choosing between what you want now and what you want most. CLICK TO TWEET.

BOTTOM LINE: Discipline is simply choosing between what you want now and what you want most. Pay the price; put it on your calendar and allow no interruptions.

What are you willing to suffer? Leave your comments below.

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