How to stay focused on your goals

#entrepreneur #contractors #contracting #business #leadership

We’re half a month into the new year and chances are you’re it’s been a challenge to stay focused on your goals. You probably have good intentions and are trying to stay the course, but one little thing is making it harder.

Saying “Yes” to other good things.

Far too many times we say ‘yes’ to good things because deep down we’re trying to be good people who impact others in a positive way.

Certainly, if someone asked you to do crack, plunder a small midwest town or lie to the next hundred people you saw, you would say “NO!”  Those are all bad things.

But, what do you do when someone wants a ‘just a few more hours of your time’ for a non-profit or another good cause?

I was recently in a meeting with some seriously high performers in the business world.  The dudes at the table were at the top of their game and were leading great teams producing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year.  They all worked hard and served different causes and non-profits in many ways.  They are good men making a difference in the world.

What I learned at this meeting will stick with me for the rest of my life and we will all benefit from the lesson I am about to share if we apply it.

This leader, we’ll call Hank, was asked at the meeting if he could give ‘one more day’ to the good cause.

To be honest, I would have said “no problem” if I were asked. What’s one more day, right?

But Hank, immediately replied, “Absolutely not. I lead this, and I give money and in 2012 I spent 13% of my working days on this ‘good cause,’ and I only have so much time I can afford to give.”

Why was Hank able to respond in such an unyielding manner? Why was the ‘no’ so forceful?

Because he knows the value of his time. 

He doesn’t plan things in a non-chalant manner throughout the year. He doesn’t just throw things in his calendar like many of us do. Instead, he knows exactly what he wants and how much time he is willing to spend on things. This keeps him from overcommitting and taking energy & focus off of his BIG GOALS for the year.

It all starts with knowing what we want and taking control of our time.

Live your life by design or you will default to all the other urgent things that come up.  Every day, we should know exactly how we’re going to spend our time.

Saying ‘yes’ to good things can be honorable. We should all do good things. But, one secret to staying focused on your goals is being a master of your time.

What say you?

How do you track your time? Do you know the value of one working day? Can you share off the top of your head what percentage of your time last year was spent on ‘good things’?