Do you ever get so busy in life you forget what you were doing? How many times have you started a project but never finished it? I know this is one of those ADD subjects: staring things and then never working on them again. I find through talking to as many people as I do that this is a very common theme. Even in my own life it’s hard to keep focused. I look back now and it is almost a year since I started posting this blog. It’s been 13 years ago since I moved to Dallas from the Philadelphia area. Life just seems to be moving by so fast! Now, I know many of you are saying, “You’re just getting old, Tim.” Maybe that’s true, but there’s nothing like the passing of time to make us reflect back.
Well, my thoughts today are that it’s been a year since I started this journey. It was close to five years ago that the very concept of becoming a coach was mentioned to me by my mentor, Zig Ziglar. In this time of reflection, I’ve been asking myself why I always seem to be behind on my goals. Why do I seem to be missing things I need to get done?
Well one thing life throws at us is distractions. I know I’m a stay-focused person. I’m also told I’m a calm person and seem to keep things on track. Maybe this is why I am always bouncing back from those pitfalls we all seem to fall in.
So, I was thinking of what has happened over the last year that has put me behind schedule, how one thing led to another thing, then another, then another. I took a motorcycle trip and along the way, I dropped my bike at places like gas stations. This resulted in lowering my own self-confidence.
Then, once I was back home for the holidays and feeling confident because I “knew” I’d be working from home without distractions for a few months. I was also looking forward to having my mom visit for the winter. Then, my dad died New Year’s Eve. This was by far the biggest hit to my confidence yet. I went back East to help Mom settle things. After a month of being there, I came back to Dallas and had to drive through two ice and snow storms, resulting in me having a car accident. Wow! Did I get that all out? Most of you are saying you’ve had a rough new year!
In previous blogs, I’ve written about starting over in response to tough days. I wanted to touch on another subject that you could be facing, as I did at the beginning of my year: distractions and how to handle them. Don’t let the distractions of life keep you down. All the things I listed above are just part of life. We are going to face things like this every day. Yes, these things are tough and take time to handle. But they must not be allowed to become the consuming part of us. I still have to write, still have to talk with my clients and help them to see past their road bumps and distractions. We all must move past what is trying to hold us back.
So in my typical way, let me give you three things to help you keep moving when life throws you distractions:
1. Keep a list of what you’re working on. No matter where I go and what business matter I’m discussing with people I meet, the most effective people I know work from a list. If you cannot get a note system on your computer, then work with one on a sheet of paper. If something is not done by the end of the day move it to the next day’s list. If something becomes more important move it up the list. But simply get yourself a list so you can always keep in mind what is most important to you today.
2.Organize your life. If you find that things are out of order in your life, get yourself a system to help you make sure everything in your workspace – and the rest of your life, for that matter – is organized in a way to help you. I have a friend who is an organizer. Check out her website here for some cool ideas to get your life organized in a way to help you stay on track: http://www.find-my-desk.com/.
Is the way you organize your time helping or hurting you? I try to set a schedule for myself each day that helps me get things done. One of the most important things for me is to have my set quiet time each morning where I spend an hour or two reading, writing, thinking, and praying over coffee at my favorite Starbucks. Organizing a schedule for yourself and sticking to it is a very helpful way to stay on track through distractions.
3. If you cannot get things done by yourself, get some help. Outsource those things that others can do for you. Hire a coach to help keep you on track. The key to life is to become better today then you were yesterday. I try each day to improve myself and make myself a better person to be around. However, most days I need help with this. If I’m feeling down, I try to find something to do that will bring me up. If I can’t, then I go to my support team. If I can’t get organized, I hire someone to do it for me. If I need a coach, I hire one. If I need to write down a list of to-dos, I write out that list and stick to it.
Bottom line: we are all going to get distracted by some things in life. But don’t be like the 30-year-old guy I used to work with who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. He works part-time in a mall near me and moves from one distraction to another. When I asked what goals he has this year, he said he never makes goals he just goes with the flow of life.
Well before you know it, life is over. Don’t let it distract you. Keep focused and you will be living an ideal life sooner then you think.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Get ready to be a RockStar in your world.