Priority Quadrants

January 20, 2021

It’s Inauguration Day. No matter what your political leaning, this is a day to think about the long line of presidents who have taken that oath.

Each has brought a unique set of skills and talents to the job and every one of them has had an ambitious set of goals to be achieved.

So how did they do it?

The same way all of us do…by setting priorities, using time wisely and managing their tasks.

Politics aside, at least one past president’s system has been followed and adopted long since he left office:  Dwight D. Eisenhower!

His system of prioritizing time and tasks has become known as the Eisenhower Matrix and it’s used by countless numbers of highly successful people in all walks of life.

The system was popularized by Stephen Covey in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, that has practically become required reading for anyone wanting to succeed in business.

Here’s how the matrix works.

Tasks are divided into four quadrants based on their urgency (how quickly they must be done) and their importance (how critical they are to the success of the effort). The amount of time spent on specific task quadrants and the order in which the quadrants are addressed ensures that the greatest effort is spent where the result will be highest.

Getting clear on which task goes into which quadrant helps to avoid time-wasters and distractions that can delay or derail meeting your goals.

It’s pretty obvious that top left quadrant is what needs to get done first and the bottom right is what falls off the list entirely…at least for now.

Learning to sort out what goes into the “schedule” box versus the “delegate” box is a key quality for good leadership…and a place where “perfectionist paralysis” can keep you stuck.

Some leaders use the matrix to set their daily task allocation, some do it weekly. Still others use it first for their annual goals and then break it down into quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily lists.

Think of it this way. The biggest, broadest categories are placed into the matrix as your annual goals. Quarterly objectives or success measures are the next level of detail. Monthly and weekly milestones come next and daily tasks are the fine details that guide your time each day.

Used effectively, the matrix can be a tremendous tool, but it’s important not to let the tool become a tyrant. Spending too much time completing the matrix, rather than actually doing the work can be a waste of time.

Once you become accustomed to thinking in terms of the matrix, it will feel more natural and things will fall into place more easily.  The broad outlines don’t need to be revisited too often and the daily ones can be kept small.

On this day of presidents, think back to one whose term likely began before you were born, but whose wisdom can guide you to great success.  Eisenhower got it right…and you can, too.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris

8 per cent Success Factor

January 6, 2021

Now that the holiday decorations are all put away and the last of the holiday treats have been eaten, it’s time to look ahead to 2021.

What will make this year successful for you? Have you already made a resolution, set a goal, chosen a theme word or focus?

Whatever you’re aiming for, we’ll bet it has something to do with making your business easier, simpler, or more profitable…or maybe all three!

Did you know that 92% of people who set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them? According to research by the University of Scranton, just 8% of people achieve the success that they set their sights on in January.

If you want to be in that 8%, make sure that you approach your goals for the year with these three essential elements:

  • Clarity – make sure your goal is clear and specific. Have a firm picture in mind of how you will measure success and what will tell you if you are getting off-track. Make certain that everyone on the team has the same understanding of where you are aiming and of their role in getting there. With clarity and team effort, your business becomes easier.
  • Commitment – The most successful business owners we know are the ones who have the strongest commitment to their end goal. Being willing to stick with the effort despite the distractions and difficulties is a hallmark of success. People often abandon their goals if they are fuzzy, unclear or over-complicated. That’s where simpler comes in!
  • Consistency – Being consistent is an important element in building trust in your business and your brand. It requires sustained, consistent effort to push toward any goal. If you are not consistent in following the practices and processes that lead to your goal, you may lose momentum or lose ground. Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author said: “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying fundamentals.”

 

There’s a process that leads to an easier, simpler, more profitable business every time…if you follow it faithfully. A process built on a plan that takes just a few hours to create. And just a few minutes each week to make sure you’re on target.

Sounds good, right? That’s what you’ll learn in our webinar series that starts on January 11.  Registration is open now, but only until midnight this Sunday, January 10th.  

Link to Reserve Seat

An easier, simpler, more profitable business can be yours this year. Join the 8%.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris

You Are the Boat

December 23, 2020

As I sat down to write my last wisdom for this most challenging 2020, I asked myself what important, small piece of wisdom can I share with you.  Something deeply personal.  Something to warm your heart, lift your spirit and leave you with an “ah….”

And I returned to one of the most meaningful parables I’ve found that moves my heart.  I seem to share it year after year, and it’s beauty never grows old.

So here it is again, found in The Book of Awakening. 

Once there was a troubled man who, exhausted from his efforts and travails, asked a sage for help.

The sage looked deeply into the troubled man and with compassion offered him a choice.

“You may have either a map or a boat.”

The troubled man looked around him and saw many people, all of whom seemed equally confused.  The troubled man said, “I’ll take the boat.”

The sage leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead and said, “Go, then.  You are the boat.  Life is the sea.”

As we have all discovered many times, we have everything we need within us.  You have the ability to reach whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.  Even in this most challenging year, you’ve chosen to pivot to a new course to reach your destination.

Cultivate the talent to listen to the place inside you, seek the Masters who can show you your path and develop your skills.

After all…you are the boat.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha and Chris