Now is obviously a hard time for many of us.
First and foremost all of our hearts go out to those who are sick and directly impacted by the virus.
For many others on the frontlines, in our medical and emergency services, it’s harder than ever.
Yet fortunately, this is what they are trained to do.
“It’s always chaos around here”
A friend in emergency medicine said to me.
His business is emergency, and he’s been conditioned to deal with it.
“You can’t know whether you can save the patient, or often even what surgery they need.”
But that’s when you fall back on your most basic training, he says.
“You do the most important thing right now that the patient needs, and go from here.”
It’s simple, right?
But especially in our hardest times, this can be very hard to do.
None of us know where this is headed
We have no idea how bad the virus will get.
How many people will get sick and die? What will be the short and long-term impacts on our society?
And what about economy?
That’s got a lot of people worried right now, doesn’t it?
What does it mean more generally? Where are we headed? How many people will lose their jobs?
And specifically, how will it impact your business, you, your family?
We can’t know.
But we can know one thing
There’s lots you can’t control.
Many many things that all day every day can distract your attention.
Like my buddy says about the ER—
“If I’m paying attention to the wrong things, and I’m not focused on what the patient needs right now, people die.”
And in a less dramatic way it’s the same for us and our families, isn’t it?
There are lots of things going on, tons of information coming at us, many different things that we might wake up and do.
And like a deer in the headlights, many of us feel stuck, not knowing what to do.
That’s why I find my buddy’s advice so powerful focusing on the most important thing you can do.
I did this nice little video
Some of you said, yay, nice work Geoff Blades, now give me something I can use…
Focus your mind.
Get yourself feeling right.
Take your best actions.
Great, now what?
Get real clear on your highest value uses of time
They are your most important things.
What are they for you?
In a list of all the things that you might do.
Or could do.
Or are thinking about perhaps maybe doing, what things matter most?
What are these highest value uses of time for you?
And, more specifically, what is the one highest value use of time that matters most right now?
As my doctor friend puts it, “If a patient comes in from a car wreck in cardiac arrest, it doesn’t matter that his leg needs setting.”
So, what is this for you?
What are your highest value uses of time? And your highest value use of time right now?
And perhaps more importantly, how do you avoid the low value uses of your time?
Where are you burning time on the wrong things?
A problem a client has is there’s lots of fires right now.
And he can feel good putting out fires.
All day every day he can be on the phone having the same basic conversations.
Putting out fires he’s doing his job as CEO.
It’s a very high value use of his time.
It feels good that he is immersed in tasks that are valued by others, and valuable in his business.
Yet he also knows that’s not his highest value use of time.
And unfortunately, it can be hard to shift it.
A hard part of achievement is…
We avoid those things that we know matter most, right?
In the ER my buddy doesn’t have a choice but to focus on what most matters, but often in life we can find excuses, can’t we?
People procrastinate studying for exams, the one thing that matters most to achieving in school.
We say, I’ll make that hard call later in the day.
We convince ourselves that we’ll get to that thing that really matters when you just get through this other thing.
Although we know these things matter most, it’s often easier to avoid, to resist, isn’t it?
Even though we know that’s where your achievement is, it can be hard to shift your time here.
It’s easier for your emotions to win
For your brain to avoid those things that are hard.
That’s why people rarely make it to the gym, and why it’s easier to eat fries than carrots.
We rubberneck car accidents, because just like right now, it’s hard to avoid looking where the fear is.
Living in fear, worried about where all this is headed…
Our emotions hijacked, it’s easier for us to remain stuck like that deer in the headlights or put hours and hours into things that stall our achieving.
And worse, entirely block the road ahead.
Yet with discipline it’s just as easy to shift your time to its highest value use
A former client and one of my first bosses in business…
Has driven massive success by following just this one principle from achievement expert Tom Hopkins.
I don’t even want to make the time to quote him, so I’ll paraphrase what he says.
Find the highest value thing that you can do right now, and do it.
Then, once you’re done, do it again, and again, and again.
With just this one principle from “self-help” from one book he read 3 decades ago my friend has driven massive success.
And you see it’s exactly the same thing my doctor friend suggests.
“When there’s so much going on, and you don’t know what to do, just focus on that one highest value thing,” he says.
btw, this is the focus of the Masterclass for Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, getting yourself focused on what truly matters, especially in hard times like now.