“I know what I should be doing. I’m just not doing it!”
What if I were to reword the above to “I know what I should not be doing, I just keep doing it!”?
There’s a powerful framework I use to help clients (and myself) clarify focus. You will find that this framework often helps clarify where you are actually spending most of your time, and where you SHOULD be spending your time in order to achieve more without putting in additional unnecessary hours of work in…
When you segment your tasks into these quadrants, you may just find a bit of clarity about which tasks you should and shouldn’t be doing.
And I hope you can then draw on that power of the made-up mind!
Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:
Hi! This is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is focus.
What is Focus?
When one hears the word focus, one generally thinks it’s about having the clarity as to what needs to be done. But I have a different version to focus. Focus is also about knowing what not to do. In fact recently in one of the coaching sessions a client said “You know I know I should be doing this detailed side of my business, but I’m not doing it.” And I looked at him and I was like the problem is not that you’re not doing what you should be doing. The problem is you’re doing what you shouldn’t be doing. A little of word play here.
But let’s have a look at the framework which is exactly what I shared with him which gave him an understanding as to where he was spending most of this time versus where he should be spending most of his time. So let’s have a look and I’m sure it will give you a very clear picture as to what kind of transition you need to make in your business space so you can actually achieve more with the right focus on the right things.
The Framework for Focus – The Quadrants
So if you look at this – just maybe you should actually draw it on a piece of paper. So you are looking at a vertical axis which says what’s the purpose or meaning. The activities which are actually meaningful which will help you achieve more in your business in terms of profitability or the asset value or release more time for yourself. Meaning in your own ways. And then the horizontal axis is where you actually have fun doing those things. It’s joyful, it gives you happiness, it’s gratification. You enjoy. Basically, that’s what we’re looking at. Now, each axis goes from low to high. And so we’re looking at four quadrants.
My clients know I love quadrants because they just make life easy, doing decisions, to think it through. It’s just a form of simplification.
This is the model which I took from Marshall Goldsmith who’s one of the leading executive coaches in the world. And I found this very useful when he shared it with us because it just makes sense. So have a look ok?
Low-Fun Low-Meaning Tasks = Surviving
Now if I look at the bottom left quadrant. This is low-fun and low-meaning, right? Lots of trivial, lots of noise in day-to-day business life and what I call this is “surviving”.
When you see this try to identify what percentage of your time, your business time, you actually spent in this quadrant, which is surviving. Somehow just getting through the task getting through the day all the time.
High-Fun Low-Meaning Tasks = Stimulating
Now if we look at the bottom right quadrant, you can think of many activities which sit there which are fun to do, exciting. But you know what? They’re not really taking you to your goals. They’re not really meaningful activities and it’s called “stimulating”.
So what percentage of your time are you actually spending on activities which are stimulating but not really meaningful? Now, when I’m working with clients as their coach my objective is, and that I get permission from them to do, is to actually move them from these bottom quadrants to the top quadrants. Generally speaking, to start off with, they move in this quadrant and
Generally speaking, to start off with, they move in to the top left quadrant and eventually, the transition happens to the top right.
Low-Fun High-Meaning Tasks = Sacrificing
Let’s have a look at the top left quadrant first which is – yes you’re not really having fun. It’s like you know when you start going to the gym your muscles hurt the first few days or first few weeks. It’s painful but you still do it because there is a very clear meaning a very clear purpose as to why you’re doing it and when you’re in this quadrant, you’re looking at this.
It’s “sacrificing”. It’s painful. You’re not enjoying it. But you know what. You know you should be doing it.
Then as you build that habit, you build that muscle you build that practice you do that day in and day out without questioning it because you’re very clear, you’re very focused that’s why that needs to be done, you eventually move into the top left quadrant.
High-Fun High-Meaning Tasks = Succeeding
This final quadrant is where you’re ‘succeeding’. And I totally understand as a businesswoman myself, that a hundred percent of the time can not be spent here.
But I’m very clear about one thing, that majority of the time needs to be spent in these top 2 quadrants. Even with sacrificing, I will be there with absolute clarity as to why I’m in that quadrant and how it will eventually move me to the succeeding quadrant.
But having the focus and knowing what not to do is very powerful. And as one of my mentors told me, that a made up mind, a very clear mind, is the most powerful thing in the business and in life. So I really hope you can see for yourself as to where you are and where you need to be.
Remember, a made up mind is a very very powerful tool to have.
See the ActionCOACH founder LIVE in the UK
Brad Sugars is visiting the UK once again – this is your opportunity to get coached by one of the world’s leading business men.
He’ll be covering how to “Finish It!” – how to turn your business into a real asset by making it a profitable enterprise that works without you.