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Stop Getting Distracted And Start To Take Action!

Aug 17, 2007
Nothing happens without taking action. However, action without a plan is just busyness and is not guaranteed to get you anywhere. Before you can take focused action, you need to know the big picture. Where are these actions taking you? This is why it is important to set long term, medium term and short term goals for your business. Once you do this, you can break the goals down into activities that once completed will move you closer towards your goals.

Goals can be broken down into monthly and weekly objectives which you can then plan how to achieve. This planning will create a list of activities which will help you to achieve your goals. Every night, make a list of essential activities you need to do the following day in order to move your business forward as well as those activities that are a part of the necessary daily activities of the business.

Once you know what actions you need to take to develop your business, the key to taking action and avoiding procrastination is to always to the most important thing. If you always do the most important thing, you will always be moving towards your goal. Consider delegating or outsourcing activities which must be done but you can't seem to get to personally.

Being focused on your goals and knowing the difference between profitable activities and busy activities can help you resist the pitfall of distractions. Distractions include busy activities unrelated to your goal-oriented activities, non-business activities, interruptions and problem-solving. While it may not be possible to totally avoid distractions, it is important to limit their intrusion on your business. If you are not free to take focused action to achieve your goals, they will remain out of your reach.

In order to minimize the impact of distraction, prioritize your daily activities. Not all actions are equal. List your scheduled activities in order of importance and work through them in that order. Separate other tasks from your important priorities, including so-called urgent jobs. Time management expert, Harold Taylor calls it "Giving in to the tyranny of the urgent." When the telephone rings, we feel we have to answer it and someone hijacks our time. Or someone brings us a problem that they want solved immediately so we put everything on the back burner while we deal with this 'urgent' issue. Yet, these 'urgent' actions are really distractions keeping you from doing the things that will ensure your success.

If you want to be free of the tyranny of distractions, you must be able to say 'no'. There is nothing wrong with choosing not to comply with someone else's wishes. However, if you are going to say 'no', you must be able to do it without guilt. If you are going to worry about it, then do it if it can be done quickly, defer it if it can't and delegate it if at all possible. Even if you are quite happy to comply, deferring or delegating the task will free you up to finish your priority work.

One of the biggest distractions we all deal with is the intrusion of the telephone. If you need uninterrupted time, unplug the phone and turn off your cell phone. If you have a secretary, have her take messages and tell her you are not to be interrupted. You have to decide that your goals are worth fighting for and distractions are the enemy.

Taking action to build your business and achieve your goals is all about prioritizing. If you are clear about your goals and the actions you need to take to achieve them, then you need to make a firm commitment to remain focused on doing what is required to attain them. Distractions are the bane of everyone's life, but you can choose to ignore them or minimize them and always take the most important action in your daily planner.
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