I like many who are in the field of personal development look in from time to time to see what my peers are doing and where they post and whom they are following and learning from. Since January 2019, I have noticed a troubling trend. The trend is from their posts on social media and in the groups we jointly belong to, it seems they have fallen into the trap of jumping on board anything that sounds like it might be a “solution” or “great idea.”
Is this a bad idea? Or is it a good idea? This is strictly my opinion on this specific topic, but what I am wondering is how they have time to work. These folks are following, listening, doing assignments all hours of the day and night, and from the looks of it, they are not getting down to the business of working vs. learning.
One of my mentor’s once told me this: “…just because you have a great idea or a thought does not mean you have to express it…” and this is true too of these types of decisions: “…just because it sounds like a great idea, course or something you want to explore does not mean you should abandon your daily schedule, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals and jump on the next learning train…”
Another one of my mentor’s from long ago impressed upon me the freedom which is experienced by have days to do certain distinctive types of activities, just like an athlete. One day the athlete will do strength training, on another day endurance training, cardio one day, upper body, lower body, the psychology of their specific sport and so on, you get the idea. As an author, trainer, speaker, coach and mentor, each of these requires different skills, and I am not good at trying to do multiples of each every day of the week. However, I can be very effective if I block off one day for research for training, or for writing, or developing a training program. I block off my “people” days for coaching and mentoring my clients. When I speak publically, I have to do my due diligence for the audience I am going to speak to and write and practice my speech and that has specific blocked time to do that.
Daily, I read, I have my own spiritual practices, and block off time to eat, wind down, exercise, speak with loved ones, and so on. These are my daily non-negotiables. A grown child is just as disappointed as a grandchild if you forget the important dates in their lives. I also leave “WHITE SPACE” in my calendar. When I was much younger, I falsely believed that having a packed calendar with every day and hour packed with something meant, “I WAS GETTING SOMEWHERE!” The only thing I got was burnout, irritability and disconnected relationships. A packed calendar is one of the sure ways to bring on overwhelm and distress.
There are principles that never change, and one of the best ones comes from the field of “Marketing”: “…a confused customer never buys….” This is so true in business when we have an influx of multiple learning sources, multiple mentors, multiple social media influencers who are all vying for our attention, time, and dollars we become deer in headlights – frozen on the road. Good decision and good reasoning suddenly become lost in the noise of the constant email solicitations, the reminders, memes, and social posting rants that are continuously being brought to our attention through “alerts.” It all becomes a dizzying lifestyle that leaves us empty. We do not have enough time to implement or use what we have just expended our most valuable resources on….our time before we are jumping into the next thing being offered to us.
I am of course talking here about our own “personal development.” I have counseled my new entrepreneur clients on the dangers of accumulating knowledge which is not implemented into a business plan. I learned this the hard way. Each time in my early career when I thought I didn’t know how to do something, I actively sought out that “something” and I was plunged into the world of lists, fresh lists, old lists, partnering lists and it goes on. Once on these “lists,” it is virtually impossible to get off of them so the solicitation cycle can go on for your entrepreneurial lifespan.
We must first learn the basic, then once we have that, see where the gaps are in our skill base and go from there. You may have heard this called Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.
So, every day this week, I have set aside a small block of time [basically while I am waiting], and I have “unfollowed” anyone or anything that is not adding value to my feed. I have also made this a habit each December when I purge my own lists and contacts. It is incredible how much you no longer are distracted by when it isn’t in your face or tech items. I can attest it is very freeing and time blocks open up which are better spent on other pursuits.
Next month we will explore the idea of putting yourself first before all your “To-Dos.”
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