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“Keep Yourself Focused"

The Law of Forced Efficiency says, “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.” Here are some questions that you should ask yourself, to help keep you focused and working on your top tasks, activities, and responsibilities:

1. Why am I on the payroll? Exactly what have I been hired to do? What results are expected of me? You must be clear about your answer to this question. Discuss it with others. Ask your boss.”

“2. What are my key result areas? Of all the things I do, what are the most important results that I am expected to achieve in my position? There are seldom more than five to seven key result areas in any job. It is essential that you identify yours and then work in those areas all day long.

3. What are my highest value activities? Of all the things I do, which activities contribute the greatest value to my company and to myself? You have core competencies that enable you to make a valuable contribution. What are they?

4. What can I—and only I—do, that if done well, will make a real difference? There is only one answer to this question at any given time. This is something that you and only you can do. If you don’t do it, no one”

“Perform at Your Best"

When something goes wrong, the natural tendency of most people is to become angry and look around for someone to blame. But this is a waste of energy. It solves nothing. Instead, you must discipline yourself to remain calm, objective, and unemotional. When you face an unexpected problem or crisis, discipline yourself to stay calm, to focus on the solution rather than the problem. Think in terms of what can be done now, rather than thinking about how it occurred and who is to blame. Like an accident where someone is hurt, you focus on caring for the injured person, stopping the bleeding, and minimizing the damage before you start analyzing what and how it happened. Practice self-discipline when” “dealing with a problem or crisis by immediately saying, “I am responsible,” even if, at that moment, you are responsible only for controlling your responses.”

“Keep Your Mind Clear"

Top people have developed the ability to respond effectively to a crisis, to remain calm, relaxed, and clear-eyed. They discipline themselves to stay cool and unemotional. This enables them to think more clearly, to analyze the situation objectively, and to make better decisions. But the moment you become angry and upset, your neocortex—or your “thinking brain”—shuts down. All you have left then is your paleocortex, your emotional brain, which thinks in terms of “fight or flight.” When your emotional brain is in charge, you think in terms of black and white, yes or no, or doing something or doing nothing. You lose the ability to think in shades of gray and to look at all the different possible ways to deal with this particular situation.” “Top people realize that every problem is an opportunity to grow in self-control and personal confidence. In fact, you will rise in life to the height of the problems that you are capable of solving.”

Source: No Excuses! by Tracy, Brian

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