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Machen MacDonald: Traction vs Distraction… is your plan working?

Machen MacDonald

When it comes to improvement such as growing your business, experiencing more joy, deepening relationships, becoming more physically fit, etc. you are either getting traction towards its achievement or you aren’t.

Those that are getting meaningful traction and achieving what they want for themselves have learned to limit, eliminate, or delegate their distractions so they can stay in their power and on track with their progress.

Think of it this way: Traction is you pulling yourself toward what you want. Distraction is what you don’t want, pulling you towards it.

The challenge is most distractions feel good in the moment. They are easier things to do. They take away discomfort, or help us avoid the feeling of rejection, set back, and upset. They tend to get us back into a feeling of being in control. However, what we really want is often outside that bubble of control and in the land of not knowing, uncertainty, and what we fear. Who wants to go there? It’s scary.

Getting traction is about building our self-efficacy and agency. When we have high expectancy of being able to do something with minimal distractions and interruptions our motivation rises, and we take action to get things done. To the degree our expectancy of getting it done is low and divided by distractions and interruptions, then our motivation greatly dissipates, and we actually seek out distractions to cope.

Let’s raise your motivation and get the traction you desire.

In the work world, we are all after traction and the feeling of progress because progress equals happiness. Progress towards the promotion; towards the raise, towards getting the client, towards learning new skills, and so on is the objective.

Here are some questions I run through with my clients to help them get the traction they desire:

(Keep these handy for when you need them)

1. Think of the something you are wanting to achieve.

2. Get clear on WHY you want it. What will achieving it do for you? How will it make your life better? It’s important to have a compelling WHY and to remember it. Make it ubiquitous and be attentive to your WHY throughout your efforts.

3. What’s the one thing, that if you did it, figured it out, or got it handled would make everything else easier toward the achievement of what you want?

4. Identify what’s in the way of experiencing or executing #3. What is absorbing your time, energy, and resources away from that one thing? What’s pulling your focus away from what you really want? It may be a list of things. Write them down.

5. For each of the items you listed in #4 above, What are three ways you can limit its exposure to you? What are three ways you may be able to actually eliminate it? If it’s something that must be done, are you the person that should be doing it or could you delegate it to a person or a system? Who are three people or systems/processes you could delegate it to?

6. Add the relevant action items you came up with in #5 and place them into your calendar over the next three weeks when you have time and energy to do something about them.

7. What could get in the way (mentally, emotionally, or physically) of doing those items in #6 and what’s your plan to keep your commitment to getting those items done?

8. What support do you need? How can you ask for and get that support?

Run through questions #3-8 as needed until you achieve #1.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. 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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