Clarity and focus can be SO powerful. Just read this testimonial from a recent client:
“Sherry far exceeded my expectations of what coaching could do for me and has enabled me to discover what it is to feel powerful. It’s no exaggeration to say that the experience of working with her has been life-changing.” [My emphasis in bold].
When I work with clients, if there is a lack of clarity on what they are trying to achieve and why, then it takes so much longer to achieve the goals. Well that’s hardly surprising, is it. If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to figure out how to get there. And that was so true for this particular client. When I first started working with this mum who wanted to get back into paid work, she didn’t know what exactly she wanted or how she would benefit and so she really did not know where to start.
But how does one get clarity? In this busy world, when often we are trying to juggle many different demands on our time from co-workers, friends and family, it is so easy to become distracted and sidetracked. And then there are all the electronic distractions – Twitter, Facebook, text messages, instant messaging, emails …
Here are a few of my tips, learned over the years.
- First of all STOP. Yes stop and look around you. Look at what you are doing. Take a step back and see it from another perspective. Is everything that you are doing of equal importance? Are you spending time on the most important things? Do you even know what is the most important thing for you to focus on right now? Very often we find ourselves spending time on what is the most urgent or dealing with the request from the manager or client shouting the loudest, rather than spending time on the most important task. Check out Covey’s urgency vs importance window from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“.
- DISCIPLINE. It is so easy if you are on a conference call, listening to a webinar, in a meeting, helping children with homework or even at home relaxing with your family, to get distracted by flashing lights. Yes, you know the ones I mean – the notifications that you have mail! People believe we can multi-task, but you can’t, not really, not effectively anyway. Read this interesting article about a study at Stanford University or here. Yes basically I’m telling you to put down your iPhone or your BlackBerry and concentrate on the task in hand.
- VALUES – are you clear on what your values are? What is most important to you? Often when we are chasing after a goal for example a promotion, because we feel we ought to, we get there and discover, it’s not really what we wanted.
- Trust in your INTUITION. In our modern society, often we don’t even hear our intuition, let alone trust it. Here’s a blog I came across today on this very topic.
- Set yourself a clear GOAL. If you want clarity and focus, then you need to know what exactly is it you want. And when I say a clear goal, I mean something very specific, that you can measure and that is realistic and achievable. Yes a SMART goal. You know that acronym, I’m sure. But honestly, how will you ever get clarity and focus if you don’t know what you are working towards.
- What are the BENEFITS? Having a clear goal on its own is NOT enough. Are you clear on what reaching or achieving that goal is going to give you? What will achieving that goal do for you? How will it help you?
- VISUALISATION – something that many top sportsmen and women use. Visualise how you are going to feel when you have achieved that goal. What will you be thinking? What will it feel like? What will you be hearing? Where will you be? What will others be saying to you or doing?
- Get yourself a PLAN. It’s easy to get distracted, but if you know what you want to achieve, what the benefits are, if you can visualise it, AND you have a plan on what exactly you are going to do to achieve that goal, then you will have greater clarity and feel so much more powerful, and in control. Just like my client.
Let me know how you get on … and if you want time to focus on your implementation plan, I’d love you to join me on 23 October at my Implementation Plan workshop. Early bird bonuses if you book and pay by 30 September.
(p.s. yes, you may have read this blog before on my corporate blog but it’s such a powerful message, I wanted to share with all my followers)