Start, Stop & Change: high return activities

Are you focused on high return activities?

In the past few days I’ve witnessed a failure to act on that old adage:  Everything that demands your attention doesn’t deserve your attention.

When I say “witness”, I’ve observed this with clients, friends, and—yes, myself.

  • Why is it so easy to spend an hour creating the “perfect” electronic business card when following up on sales leads would be a higher payback activity?
  • Why is it easier to balance your checkbook than tackle the daunting paperwork required to adjust errors you’ve found on your credit report?
  • How do we find ourselves spending time reading about how good exercise is for us instead of going outside and taking a walk?

High return activities versus distractions

Sometimes I actively go looking for distractions while other times I stumble on them without quite realizing how it happened.

One minute I’m diligently working on a blog post and the next I have a Q-tip in hand and am cleaning out food particles from my keyboard. (Note to self: There is no universe in which cleaning out food particles is the highest payback activity.)

Sometimes these distractions are almost amusing, but other times they create significant obstacles.

  • Entrepreneurial clients admit these distractions stand in the way of getting the next client or focusing on other revenue-generating activities.
  • Friends tell me these distractions are barriers to living the high quality life they desire.

When I give in to something “demanding” my attention, it’s almost always at the sacrifice of something I want more…which leaves me feeling less connected to my Big Goals.

I suppose we all need to be distracted sometimes, but I’m ready to hold myself to a higher standard.

What about you? Are you ready to stay focused on what truly deserves your attention?