July 6, 2023
The number one productivity killer that I've encountered in my work, both in my own journey and in helping countless business owners take one step back from the daily grind and one step forward toward growth, is not a lack of effort, a lack of time, or a lack of resources... It's a lack of clarity.
Everything starts with clarity.
What is Clarity?
Clarity is about knowing your destination and being able to plot the most efficient course to get there. Without clarity, you're left stuck “working” which will drain your energy and dull your focus. But with a crystal clear vision of your goals, everything changes.
With clarity, you’re able to focus on the most critical and high ROI tasks, and you start to care a lot less for the things that don’t truly matter because you’re able to differentiate. I’m referring to things like the news, the opinions of others, shiny objects, or what I call random learning (the learning type that most people spend doing and the opposite of just-in-time learning). As a result, you’re much less easily distracted and you become a lot more efficient with your time and progress.
This is also applicable to your entire team.
What is Just-In-Time Learning?
There is an unlimited amount of information that can be learned and consumed. Just-in-time learning factors your journey, vision, and goals. You begin to practice this when you realize that not all knowledge serves your purpose.
Instead, your attention shifts toward the systems necessary to achieve your current vision — The powerful gears and cogs that drive your business in the right direction rather than simply consuming resources. Your networking also becomes a lot more intentional.
How do you actually get MORE clarity?
At the highest level, clarity is achieved by clarifying:
- what matters most
- why it’s important
- the success criteria
When you have this amount of clarity, the final step is directing all of your efforts toward meeting your defined success criteria. This is also the exact process I follow to define projects.
For a copy of my project template, Click Here.
Now, here’s a practical and productive routine I've found to be very effective at cultivating this much-needed clarity:
Each month, identify your top 3-5 Rocks (your most important few projects). Be ambitious, but remember, you need to balance aspiration with realism. If you’re feeling lost and unsure what your Rocks are, spend uninterrupted time doing brain dumps or mind mapping to freely list out all of the things that could be of importance. Don’t rush this process… Clarity is everything.
Then, once you’re clear on your Rocks, every week define your 3-5 weekly goals — The things that you would be proud of achieving and will push your Rocks forward. This exercise promotes leadership, direction, and accountability into daily operations, and often takes less than 10 minutes to do.
To read more about how I plan my weeks, Click Here.
For larger businesses, you’ll want to review previous Rocks and set new ones quarterly, but they should still be reviewed, prioritized, and reported on weekly.
This is more than just setting a to-do list; it’s setting a roadmap for success. And you, as a leader, are taking the wheel, guiding your business toward the destination you’ve decided matters most.
Your time is a precious commodity and you need to invest it wisely. Time spent clarifying your vision, goals, and attaining clarity is time well spent. Clarity is the top dog, and work without clarity is rarely productive.
Go ahead and try it:
- Set aside time each month to clarify your top 3-5 Rocks
- Break these down into 3-5 goals every week
- Build systems that drive your goals forward
- Engage in just-in-time learning
- Network with intent
See you all next Thursday 👋
PS. Whenever you're ready... Here are three ways I can help you systemize & automate operations:
- Learn how to find, hire, and manage virtual assistants → Free Access
- Manage projects, meetings, and resources from a single place → Learn More
- Let me help you automate operations and exit the day-to-day grind → Work With Me
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