Return on the Moment (ROM)

How do you spend your time? Are you focused on the most important things, do you jump from distraction to distraction or maybe you just fly by the seat of your pants just filling the time?

If there was an investment portfolio for the time and energy of your life how would you rate your return on the moment (ROM)? Is it break even? Are you getting a negative return? Or, maybe you are getting an exponential return?

Look at your allocation of your time, attention and energy as an investment decision. Where will the payoff be? What activities will give you the most bang for the buck in all of your roles (personal and professional)? Conscious and vigilant decision making will make a huge difference every single day. With so many options and opportunities, you really have to pick and choose.

Contributed by Todd Musig, Productivity Practice, FranklinCovey

Keeping the Important Clear

Your phone rings, your computer dings and someone walks into your office.  You already have a long task list of those things that you need to accomplish.  Then there is the task list that your boss, significant other and children might have for you as well.  And, don’t forget that you have goals and dreams.  How do you make sure that you get your most important things done in the day, month and/or year?

Start by creating a clear picture of what it is that is most important to you in your most important roles.  Write it down.  Review it often.  When distractions and the long task lists get in the way, use your clear picture to keep you focused on what matters most.  Then, make time to “paint that picture.”

Contributed by Todd Musig, Productivity Practice, FranklinCovey

How’s Your “Quality Attention”?

Does it seem like, more and more, you are so busy working to accomplishing a variety of tasks all at once that you are rarely able to dig deep and focus on accomplishing any task or project with excellence?

A number of years ago, Linda Stone coined the term, Continuous Partial Attention (CPA).  Continuous partial attention is the process of paying simultaneous attention to a number of sources of incoming information, but at a superficial level.  In essence, it is a kind of multitasking but adds the element of just skimming the surface and quickly moving on to the next set of data.  The other critical difference between multi-tasking and CPA is that multi-tasking is an effort to be productive and efficient by attempting to accomplish two or more tasks at once.  Whereas CPA is an effort to just get by through the least amount of effort and attention. Consider two examples of CPA:

Example 1: You are researching an idea related to a new product that you are developing, but rather than diving into books and articles on the related topic, you go to Wikipedia or copy and paste some Executive Summaries.  Your research might contain the essential elements of “average” but the differentiating elements that could bring insights to your research are not discovered or included.

Example 2: You come home from a crazy day at work.  You are tired (physically and mentally) and dinner still needs to be prepared.  You turn on the news and begin pulling out ingredients from the fridge when your 6 year old comes running into the kitchen excited to tell you all about her day.  You nod a fair amount and say “that’s great” a few times as you continue to try to pick up the news headlines and prepare the meal without burning it.

If you start to see the quality of your work decrease or the relationships in your life begin to falter, maybe you are getting out of the habit of focusing your attention to the most important “jobs to be done.”  CPA can be the cause of “settling for ordinary” rather than “going for extraordinary”.  When you feel this happening, maybe it is time to slow down and re-train your brain to take the time necessary to focus on a few critical things and accomplishing them with quality.

Contributed by Todd Musig, Productivity Practice, FranklinCovey

5 Choices for Me

The biggest win for me was ruling my technology.  I have been able to use Outlook to remove my paper lists from my desk and to stay focused on what is important (looking at my calendar) and not email.

I am having to schedule ‘review email’ as a big rock to make sure I am not missing any critical to do’s. Overall, I feel less behind on my work.  I am really staying focused (most of the time) on those big rocks.

Aaron, a The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity Participant

Savvy, Productive, and Always Extraordinary

Things I’ve learned from the first 3 Choices:

  • I know how to gracefully decline tasks to focus on the important
  • I have a better understanding of my roles and how I’m performing within each role
  • I have listed out my goals for each role and the time frame of when I want those goals accomplished
  • I’ve become friends with my “gravel” because it’s going to be there until I have time to take care of it and that’s okay

I’ve found myself planning and thinking outside the box more often and ignoring those items that waste my time. This course has really opened my eyes to what I’m capable of and has show me how productive I can be when I prioritize my tasks and have goals for each role.

Contributed by a 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity participant

Give It A Name

I am excited to have attended the FranklinCovey Time Management workshop offered by my employer. 

Because our industry (Automotive) is such a fast paced business where previous customer retention, broadening your existing customer base through branding, farming and developing potential new customers is so critical to what we do, I recognize I was already prioritizing many activities in a similar fashion as was outlined in the 5 Choices Workshop.  Simply, I am compelled to focus on one goal and temporarily discard another because of the daily constraints on my time to do everything I need to do to achieve those goals on a daily or weekly basis. I just didn’t have a name for it other than “prioritizing” or have an actual set of well defined categories for those priorities, as is effectively accomplished in the 5 Choices by defining and utilizing the 4 Quadrants.

Anything that can minimize or eliminate the potential of a cluttered approach toward achieving any goal can only in the end prove beneficial and aid in that effort.  So I am excited to have the opportunity to incorporate the 4Q/5 Choices approach to time management to my day to day activities and what I do. 

Submitted by Stan Adkins, FranklinCovey Client

 

 

 

Stan Adkins

 

Cable-Dahmer Chevrolet

 

Independence, Missouri

The Brain Power of Focused Attention

At the end of the day do you ever think, “gosh, I was so busy but what the heck did I accomplish today? The goal is to be very, very intentional about “focused attention”.

Attention is the brain’s ability to LASER FOCUS on a particular sensory input, while INHIBITING the urge to focus on distractors elsewhere in the environment. The Prefrontal Cortex (front of your brain) CHOOSES what gets through for attention AND…research is clear we can only truly pay attention and do quality work on ONE THING AT A TIME! The great news is we can get better and better at focused attention and really move our accomplishments and contributions to a higher level. “Neuroplasticity” meaning “rewiring” happens as a result of focused attention. Neurons that are near each other can connect to each other in new ways . This is the basic system of learning and building good strong habits. The more we are clear on  what is important… the more “intentional”, “mindful” and focused we can be on what big rocks we need to accomplish and then accomplish them with quality leading to greater habits and contribution everyday!

Contributed by Kory Kogon, FranklinCovey Global Productivity Practice Leader