I was so struck by this quote from Stephen Covey, I decided to write a blog about it. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. What if it were possible to do this, every single day?
Think of all the obstacles you could eliminate. No more procrastination, no more second guessing yourself, no more false starts, no more wasted time. You wouldn't be at loose ends when you start your day because you would have a blueprint right in front of you. It would be simple. No more dithering about, wondering what to do. You would just do THE MAIN THING.
How would you "operationalize" this concept? (to use another Stephen Covey term). Here are a few hints I've shared with my clients when they've asked for help with setting and accomplishing their goals.
1. Prioritize. This is a snap, now that you know you are going to be focusing on "the main thing," no matter what it is. It doesn't matter whether it's writing a novel, following through with a daily exercise plan or organizing your paperwork. Prioritizing--or keeping your eye on the prize--will pay off big-time.
2. Remember to keep an absolute YES list by the phone. This is an important adjunct to place to Covey's strategy. If someone calls you with a request (no matter how tempting or worthwhile), you simply must decline...unless it fits in with THE MAIN THING. You can't let yourself be distracted if you are serious about concentrating on the main thing. Say yes to things connected to the main thing, say no to everything else. Yes, I know personal emergencies come up and life takes some twists and turns, but for the most part, your day is predictable. How you spend your time is up to you. At least your "free" time.
3.You should feel a sense of peace and calm descend on you. Now that you have a goal and a road map, there should be less stress, less chaos in your life. A burden has been lifted. Your focus today is simple: just do the main thing! Everything else is a distraction. When you fall into bed at night, you should feel a sense of accomplishment. You are one day closer to your goal. Why? Because you did the main thing.
4. There are loads of other tips in Covey's books. Start the day by doing the hardest task, divide a task into do-able pieces, take short breaks to reward yourself, etc.
But nothing compares to his concept of the MAIN THING. I hope you write down what you want to accomplish and ask yourself if you are *really* making it a priority in your life. Is it really the main thing? Or are you frittering away your time watching TV, chatting with friends, or spending too much time on social media? This is a time for total honesty. Try it and let me know how it works out!