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Average reading time – 4 minutes

How’s your year going?

Come the 31stDecember, will you look back on this year and judge it to have been a great year?

Or will you look back on it with a sense of frustration and disappointment?

Frustrated that you didn’t achieve your most important goals?

Disappointed that you weren’t true to your purpose and core values?

Saddened that you weren’t the leader, parent, partner or friend that you know you could have been?

Or even angry that yet again, you’ve had to work longer, harder and more frenetically to get everything done, meaning you’re left with a lingering feeling that you’ve missed out on some of the joy in life?

The good news is that this story isn’t yet written.

As Marcus Aurelius wrote;

“The longest and shortest life, then, amount to the same, for the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses. No one can lose either the past or the future, for how can someone be deprived of what’s not theirs?”

The only question that then remains is, how will we use the present?

We are three quarters of the way through 2018, which means that we still have three full months of opportunity ahead of us. We have time to ensure that Q4 goes brilliantly well.

We have time to ensure that 2018 is a fantastic year and perhaps more importantly, that we set ourselves up for un-paralleled success and happiness in 2019.

I believe that the way many of us work, simply doesn’t work. I also believe that working longer, harder and faster isn’t the route to success, happiness or a life well lived.

My personal experience, and the success stories from my clients, tells me that we need to slow down in order to speed up. We need to block out time in our diaries to scan the horizon, think, reflect and plan.

If we don’t, we will be condemned to constant fire-fighting and increased levels of stress; which aren’t conducive to peak-performance, health or happiness.

But how do we get off the busyness treadmill?

On a typical day we are faced with choices between tasks with varying levels of urgency and importance. Recent research from the Journal of Consumer Research found that people often choose to perform urgent tasks with short completion windows, instead of larger tasks with larger outcomes.

Why? Because important tasks are more difficult and can’t quickly be ticked-off as complete, meaning we don’t get the same feel good dopamine hit and immediate pay-off as we do with the more urgent tasks.

This is why stepping back to plan is so hard and often gets consigned to the “if only I had time” category.

One of the tactics I share with my one-on-one mentoring clients focuses on helping them step off the busyness treadmill in four weeks time, as opposed to attempting to change years of learned behaviours over-night.

If you’re serious about having a standout Q4 and ending 2018 on a high, here are three things that you can do right now to make that a reality.

Schedule a Quarterly Review

Block out half a day in your diary for the end of September and plan on being away from your primary place of work. You’ll use this mission-critical leadership time to do the following:

  • Review your core values.
  • Review progress against your highest priorities for the year.
  • Reflect and plan what you must do differently in the last three months of the year to be the leader, parent, partner, friend or colleague that you want to be.
  • Create your 90-Day Plan for the final three months of the year.

Schedule a Weekly Planning Session

Starting in 2-4 weeks time, schedule 30 minutes in your diary every Friday to scan two weeks ahead and make a plan for the coming week. Download your free copy of my 14-page Weekly Planning Protocol toolkit if you want the blueprint for this.

Schedule an Annual Review and Planning Session

Schedule at least half a day in your diary (preferably a full day) for late December. You’ll use this day to detach fully from the day-to-day, to “go dark” and disconnect from all social media and phone calls.

You’ll then focus on:

  • reflecting deeply on the year that has passed
  • gaining clarity on your highest priorities for the coming year
  • mapping out your personal blue-print for an incredible year ahead

Once you’ve scheduled these events in your diary protect them and hold them sacrosanct just as you would a meeting with your most important client or your son or daughters first day at school!

Where next?

If you want to know more about what I teach my private mentoring clients to do as part of the Annual Review and Planning Session, then simply download the Weekly Planning Protocol and I’ll add you to my monthly mailing list. This means that you’ll be one of the very first people to get the next new toolkit I’m building for you, to be released later this year.

Good luck stepping off the busyness treadmill.

Ben

PS. If you want to find out how you can work with me, book a free 30 minute call here.

#LeadOn

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