12 Steps to Raise Your Game – 7 to 9

15th July 2010


Employee Engagement & Motivation


7. Get Ruthless with your Time

Friends of mine and fellow mastermind group members Jo & Neil Fellows keep themselves on track by saying “Everytime you say yes to something that has nothing to do with your goal, you are saying no to your goal”

These are your goals / objectives which have personal significance to you. You need to be ruthless in carving out the time to focus on them. Schedule into your diary time where you are going to focus solely on working towards your goal. This requires phone and email to be switched off. Yes, that does include the Blackberry! Work in concentrated blocks of 45 minutes to make progress towards your objective. You will be amazed at how much more you achieve in that focused uninterrupted time. Just think back to any exams that you may have taken. It’s amazing how much you got through in a short period of time when you are totally focused on ONE thing.

I must hold my hand up here. My business mentor had been advocating doing this but I resisted doing this for a long time. Out of the need to get more done in less time, I had to do something differently so I gave it a go. I got my PA to force me to switch off my phone and email and shut myself away in another room to achieve a particular objective in 90 minutes: 2 slots of 45 minutes (tracked using a count down timer) with a 5 minute break in between. Result: delivery of high quality work towards my goals in a short period of time. Brilliant! As soon as I got out of my own way and on with it I got great results.

I know doing this can be challenging in a corporate environment. Book time out in your diary and book a quiet meeting room if you work in an open plan office. Let people around you know that you cannot be disturbed. If meeting rooms are in short supply go and sit in a coffee shop or arrange to work from home for the 1st hour or 1.5 hours explaining what you will have achieved in that time.

This links us nicely to Step 8. Now that you have carved out time to work on your objectives/goals you need to take action.

8. Take Action

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step” Martin Luther King Jr

It is no good in thinking about want you want, believing in yourself, getting a plan together unless you actually follow through and take action. Given that you have set high standards for yourself and you have no doubt set ambitious goals it can sometimes feel a little daunting when you look at how far you have to go to achieve your goal. This can cause the “rabbit in the headlights” effect where people are stunned / overwhelmed into inaction.

You do not need to know all of the steps you will take between where you are at now and your goal, only the very next step. All you need to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. This takes away the feeling of overwhelm.

If things slow down or don’t seem to be going your way you need to trust and keep your focus on your goal / outcome. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Commit each day to take at least one action towards the achievement of your objective. At the very least commit to taking one action each week! Action is key.

9. Add More Value

The more value you add to your client, your boss, the company you work for the higher regarded and valued you will be and ultimately the more you will be rewarded. Seek to serve your clients / company. A rule of thumb I work to and indeed have noticed in common with very successful business men and women is to aim to add 10 times more value than you are actually been paid. This will not only guarantee a delighted customer / employer but it will ensure that you are their resource of choice going forward. This of course leads to a much better working relationship and financial reward over time. You stand out head and shoulders above the competition.

Look out for the next post with Step 10 – 12

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