To recap, here's the basis of our discussion on FOCUS:
O = Optimization
C = Collaboration
U = Understanding
S = Stability
Today, our subject is The 3 P's of Understanding:
- Maintain PERSPECTIVE
- Respect the PROCESS
- Expect PITFALLS
Perspective is crucial when you're working toward any goal. When you can implement this as a cornerstone of your FOCUS, you'll be way ahead of the game.
You know the saying, "man overestimates what can be accomplished in a year, and underestimates what can be done in 5 years." Unfortunately, most of us want 5 year results in 90 days or less.
Perspective is defined as: particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
When you find yourself grinding away - day after day - on the same project - and you feel like you're getting absolutely NOWHERE, it's time to evaluate PERSPECTIVE.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Where your expectations of the scope of the project accurate?
- Do you have long term and short term expectations?
- Would a Collaborator help give you focus?
- When you have completed the project, will you KNOW that the time you've spent has made it better?
- Are you expecting too much in too short a time?
- Are you really working or just thinking about working? (YIKES)
Are you really working or just thinking about working on your project? #focus #understanding
Everyone has a different PROCESS for fleshing out the details of a project.
Some like to use a wall board with sticky notes. Some use Evernote. Some use paper notebooks. Others use a mind-mapping software. Whatever your process - it needs to be where you can see the progress you're making.
Personally, I use a little bit of all of these, depending on the project.
For my courses, I like to create a wallboard with sticky notes all over it. It may appear to be chaos to some - but I can stand in front of the project and see the holes and think about what comes next.
For writing books, I use products like Scrivener, and I keep titles for books in my Notes program on my phone. They are emailed to me so I can keep track of them.
When I'm doing research for a project, I grab articles from the internet using Evernote.
And, when I'm working on a speech or presentation, I like to scribble notes longhand and then write it all up in my fav office program, Word.
I keep calendars in notebooks and slide in upcoming projects in the pages.
Whatever your process, DO IT! It doesn't have to be like everyone else's. You are unique. The way you work through information, attack a challenge, move through the conflicts, are just the way you are. My process is a hybrid. Yours probably is as well.
SURPRISE! A pitfall is simply any concealed danger or trap.
It's important for you to get this...pitfalls are there all the time, they are just hidden from view.
You WILL encounter traps, hidden dangers, unexpected derailments and disappointing beta drafts and launches of almost everything you do. IF you prepare in advance for the possibility (a free "P") then you can create a little buffer time for your project.
Say, your computer gets a nice cup of coffee one day. What's your BACKUP Plan? (Hint, hint.) Do you HAVE a backup of all your work?
How about you break your wrist? (Okay, I know, I'm talking about me, again.) I was right in the middle of a HUGE project. My left hand is out of commission, I'm on heavy pain medication, and wandering back and forth to the doctor every week. I could barely take care of my daily needs (thank you Honey for keeping me fed, clothed, and my hair washed!), much less work on a project.
As soon as I had any clarity of thought, I began to work through the details of my project one by one. I used the time to make sure I was really on track for my target market, my launch date (a big NO), and the technology I needed to make it happen.
I used the PITFALL as an opportunity to hone in my message and audience. I also used the time to re-evaluate my website and branding. As soon as my little fingers could tap-tap-tap I began to bring all of those thoughts into life.
I have some notes from that time. Yikes! I'm left handed so just imagine your most important information written by a 4-year old, and that's what my notes look like.
Pitfalls are there. You have to plan for them. Otherwise, you'll just get stuck in the pit! #focus #understanding
Most importantly, you can't let the pitfalls completely derail you. Use the experience to make your work BETTER. If you're working with a team, own up to the hidden trap you fell in to. It's okay. We're all human. You might just make it easier for them to own up to their own challenges.
And, if you are a solopreneur, you just have to keep slugging away. As Dolvett Quince says, "Do the work, and the work gets done."
Your assignment? Check on the P's - Perspective, Process and Pitfalls of your project. Are you over-estimating or under-working? How is your process working for you? Do you need to streamline or upgrade? Have you considered the possibility of potential pitfalls? (ooo---ahhh) Are there some ways you can disarm some of them?
Next time, Stability.
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