Thursday, October 7, 2010

Common Blocks To Success

Often in my business coaching I inevitably come across problems in the client's personal life that block their business success. Today, while sharing a few of these blocks, a friend suggested I post a few to help you overcome your own blocks to success through my advice at AspireNow. So, here they are:

Common blocks to success:

1. Time Wasters. People waste time with many activities. The biggest time wasters include the following:

  • Gabby friends. Some friends will literally expect you to talk to them for an hour every day. Why do that? It is a huge time suck. If you have four such friends, you'll literally spend FOUR hours a DAY just talking about stuff with these friends. It's good to share with friends, but limit the time you spend to time face to face, if at all possible, as much as possible - especially when you're launching something new or exciting that requires extended effort.
  • Television. Watching television is one of the biggest time wasters. You don't learn very much from watching television. You can learn much more surfing the net or visiting a bookstore. If you start timing your television watching, you might be alarmed. The average number of hours college students in America watch television is between two to three hours a day. Elementary kids often spend up to five or six hours a DAY watching television! How do you find time for homework when the television is on? Just asking! Try turning off the television. I went so far as to cancel television ENTIRELY. I do miss it when I want to watch Dancing With the Stars and select sports games. Now I have a reason to go to a sports bar. Usually, I'll connect with a friend or two, watch the last half of the game, but I avoid watching an entire day of football on Sunday. I just don't have time for that much television watching anymore!
  • Commutes. This is mostly true in a big city, but also true for those who live outside their city but work in town further away from home. If you have a commute longer than twenty minutes each way, you're wasting up to five to ten hours a week just driving around! Try to select jobs near where you live, or live closer to where you work. Save yourself the time wasted on a commute and you'll be more productive.
  • Internet. The Internet is powerful. You can keep in touch with thousands of people all around the Globe in instant time through IM, Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. I strongly encourage people to use social networks; however, I also encourage you to limit the time spend on each of these each day. Schedule Internet time, so that it doesn't dominate your life. In America, college students are now spending over twelve hours a week on the Internet. That's more than television! Consider how much time you spend online. Some of the people I know are online as much as twelve hours a day. Back down your Internet time to between one to two hours a day and watch your productivity skyrocket.
2. Attitude. The state of attitude can determine many things influencing success, including:
  • State of mind. If you are in a positive frame of mind, you can do more.
  • Negative talk v. Postive self-talk. Studies I've read indicate that those who are most successful use positive self-talk over 80% of the time, while those who do not succeed use negative talk about the same ratio. If you can switch your self-talk to talk that supports your activities, you'll succeed more often.
  • Proactive v. Reactive. Have a perspective of doing it versus perspective of allowing things to be done to you. Control your life to the extent you can.
3. Clutter. The state of being of clutter can block your success, though:
  • Tools. If it is harder to find your tools, you are less effective. Just as good website design is a sign of an easy to navigate site, your own office, house, garage, computer, and phone ought to be organized, tidy, and ready for work. (As I write this note, I make note to schedule organizing my own garage and computer!)
  • Work space. If you cannot find what you need, what are you doing about it?
  • Mental clutter. Worrying about things you cannot control is a block I see. Stop worrying about those things. Instead, focus on what you CAN do, right now, to make a difference.
4. Productivity Plan. Many people have simple task lists each day. But you can remove these blocks to productivity through a better plan:
  • Power of Three. Focus on no more than three projects at any given time.
  • Top 5. Make a list of the top five things you must to do to move that project forward.
  • Who:
    • Make a list of who you must talk to today who can help you move a project forward.
    • Make a lit of who you need to follow-up with who can help move projects forward.
  • Top 10: Then have your next "top ten" tasks after these lists. If you follow this plan, you will get more done on your core projects and not feel "stagnated" or "stuck" nearly as often.
I'm a big believer in clearing out messy stuff, getting things organized, then working hard on what you must do now to succeed. I am currently putting in a plan for #5 in my own life. My goal? Better health, optimum weight. We can succeed if we make the effort. Try following each of these steps and see if some of your own common blocks aren't removed so you succeed more often.

Do you have an idea of your own on how to remove a block to success and improve productivity? Share it here on our comments for the benefit of our readers. Thanks!
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