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Balance may be easy as PIE

Machen MacDonald

If you are bouncing, you are not balancing. Raise your hand if you have so much on your plate that you are bouncing all over the place, working your behind off, and yet, at the end of the day, you feel like you barely accomplished anything or have practically nothing to show for all your effort.

You are not alone. Many people land in the all-too-familiar place known as the busy trap throughout their day.

In order to change your ways, you first must become aware of the issue, next you need to take the right action, then stay accountable to the desired change so as to condition it as your new habit. By the way, that formula works for driving any kind of change.



What needs to balance so you don’t bounce is your focus.

Imagine if you were in a room with nothing more than the tools for one task and no other distractions to pull your focus off the task at hand. You would most certainly get the task completed. It probably would not take you as long as you fear either. Then you could move to another room where the next task is set up with only the tools and resources you need to accomplish it and focus on simply that, and before you know it, you will have knocked down that task as well. You could then move to the next room and so on.




I know. Nice in theory, right? That’s not the real world. I hear you. However, it can become your world. Here’s how …

The most typical reason most people get into overwhelm and feel scattered is that they have flabby prioritization muscles. The shiniest lure gets their attention. The shine comes from either the latest exposure to something or amount of emotional content imbedded within it, i.e. urgency. Going back to that room where there is only one task to focus on, notice there is not a chandelier of lures hanging overhead.

How can you create the equivalent of that pristine environment and limit or eliminate the lures?

1. Make a master control list of all the projects and actions you need to get accomplished.

2. Prioritize the list. Pick the single most important item from that list that must be completed today and place that on your calendar for today. Be realistic about the time it will take to get it done.

3. Locate yourself to the most conducive environment for completing the task; this environment contains the least amount of lures. It may be a conference room, library or coffee shop.

4. Once that task is completed, select another single item that must get done today; isolate it onto today’s calendar and work through to its completion. Not to worry about all the other items on the list. They will remain there awaiting your focused attention for when it is the appropriate time to be completed.

By prioritizing, isolating and executing (PIE) in this way, you can move from bouncing all over the place and only dabbling in accomplishment to balancing your focus and energy on the most important things and, thereby, achieving more objectives in less time with less wasted effort.

This week stop bouncing, take your time, enjoy your PIE and experience more balance and productivity.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen.

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and (530) 273-8000.


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