July 7, 2008

Getting What You Want From The Week Ahead

“A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.”  — Harry Nilsson, Singer/Songwriter

What’s the difference between a work week that leaves you exhausted and one that leaves you energized? No, it isn’t what happens to you.

It’s the quality of your focus.

I’ve had weeks in which I felt as though I’d been run down by the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse, and weeks just as busy that I ended feeling energized and on top of the world. We all have our share of each. But I’ve found that I can increase the percentage of weeks I end feeling great by approaching them with the right mindset.

It’s as simple as answering one question: What One Big Thing do I really want to accomplish this week?

I hear what you’re thinking. “One thing? Good grief, there are a dozen things I have to get done this week!” Well, of course there are: You have errands to run, people to see, calls to make, bosses to please… the list seems endless, I know.

Yet, when you identify the One Big Thing you want to accomplish, you’ll find that all the other “things to do” become a little less troublesome. And when you keep your focus on the One Big Thing, not only is your mind clearer, but when you get that One Big Thing done, you’ll feel a sense of freedom and personal power that will give you the momentum to move forward and assess your next One Big Thing.

Exercise

Sit down now and visualize the week ahead. See it clearly in your mind, and see yourself meeting all the twists and turns with equanimity.

Imagine finishing the week relaxed, full of energy, and having a sense of completion. Then, on an index card, write down the One Big Thing you want to accomplish this week.

I recommend setting aside 10 to 20 minutes for performing this exercise at the end of your weekend. You’ll be astonished at your increased productivity and lowered stress.

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