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How to Break Free From the Addiction of Distraction

Distraction

Priority Dilution is the new procrastination.

Priority Dilution is fascinating because it affects the chronic overachievers, the do-gooders, the check-listers, the task-masters, the movers and shakers, and all the people you wouldn’t normally think to be procrastinators.

It’s unlike regular procrastination in that it has nothing to do with being lazy or apathetic or disengaged.

But it is the same net result as a classic procrastination in that we leave the office at the end of the day with our most significant priorities left incomplete because we’ve allowed our attention to shift to less important but perhaps more seemingly urgent tasks.

This person’s life is characterized as a constant state of interruption.

Why do we do that?

Why do we allow ourselves to get distracted?

Why do we allow ourselves to get interrupted?

Why do we put off the things that are significant and that will matter in the long term for things that are more short term?

Is it because we’re somehow inept or not smart enough or not motivated enough?

Perhaps.

But there may be more to it than that…

As we’ve learned more about the neuroscience of the brain we now know that the brain sends signals telling our body how to operate through the release of predominately only a handful of chemicals.

One of those chemicals, the pleasure releasing drug, is called dopamine.

Under brain scan we suspect that dopamine is released whenever a task is completed, an email is deleted, or something is crossed off our to-do list.

Which means that we get a little “hit” of dopamine making us “feel” good.

We “feel” successful.

We “feel” productive.

Which explains why you may have at some point completed a task that wasn’t on your to-do list, but you then added it to your to-do list just so you could cross it off!

(In some ways not too dissimilar from the illogical behavior exhibited by anyone who becomes addicted to a foreign substance that gives them a dopamine release.)

But in this way, the neuroscience of our brain is working against us.

Because it’s leading us to be focused on completing the largest volume of tasks – each time we do making us “feel” good or productive.

But ultra-performers know that success is no longer related to the volume of the tasks you complete; but rather to the significance of them.

In other words, it doesn’t matter that we got ten things done if they are all trivial compared to the one most significant thing that we needed to get done.

The world’s most productive people would intentionally choose to get the one significant things done instead of the ten small things.

How do you measure significance?

That is the subject of our book Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Time (free 1 hr training here). The essence of which is spending time on things today that produce more time or results tomorrow.

But your brain – in a weird way – is working against you because, left to its own devices, it’s going to pull you in the direction of completing the most number of tasks rather than completing the few significant ones.

In essence making you susceptible to perpetual Priority Dilution.

So how do we change that?

Through a simple 3 step process:

1. Consciousness – Being made aware of the dynamic goes a long way in helping you to move in the right direction.

2. Discipline – You decide you’re going to operate a different way and you intentionally start to make different choices than you made yesterday.

3. Accountability – You create structures around yourself that help reinforce this new way of thinking. This is why Southwestern Consulting predominantly focuses on coaching; we believe working with someone 1-on-1 over an extended period of time is the best way to actually create sustainable behavioral change. Exploring the idea of getting your own coach is a great way to do that (request a free call).

 

At the end of the day you have to realize that your brain isn’t programmed for success; your brain is programmed for survival.

You are naturally designed in a way for survival first.

Survival means to conserve energy.

Survival means to do what is easiest.

Survival tends to push us to do what feels good in the short term.

But you were also designed in a way to have the power of choice.

And the power of choice gives you the chance to opt for success instead of survival.

You can overwrite the original program.

You can program yourself for success.

Success means expending energy to learn and execute a better way.

Success means to take the path less traveled by.

Success means to make disciplined choices now knowing that they create greater benefits later on.

So in that way you aren’t just programmed for survival.

You can program yourself for success instead.

You can program yourself for greatness.

You can decide to have a different life.

Creating an Income Producing Schedule Lifestory with Jamie Hourahan and Jeff Keen – Episode 190 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

income

Jeff Keen is a registered loan agent for Ideal Home Loans, LLC in Denver, Colorado. He has been in the mortgage industry for 17 years. Jeff is in coaching with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches, Jamie Hourahan. Jamies’ experience is vast, but what sets him apart is his innate drive to achieve, excel, and exceed expectations. He’s an expert in helping people realize their potential and boldly deliver it to the world. He has a love for systems and operations and is constantly working to make strong existing systems better and more effective. Jamie is a relentless pioneer when it comes to finding sharper and more efficient ways of conducting business. He understands what it takes to start a new business, and has the energy and enthusiasm needed to be a top producer himself while leading teams to success.

Show Highlights:

Discipline creates freedom.  – Jeff Keen

I had to create new habits that make for a more productive day. – Jeff Keen

If you start your day in reaction mode, it takes over your entire day. @CoachHourahan

Jeff surrendered immediately and completely to the process. @CoachHourahan

Now I run the day instead of the day running me. – Jeff Keen

@rory_vaden shares 4 buckets to create an income producing schedule.

Routine. Reactionary. Revenue. Recurring. @rory_vaden

 

Click here to request a free call with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Finding Your Life Purpose with Steve Reiner and Tom Merritt – Episode 187 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Tom Merritt is a branch manager at Summit Funding, Inc. As a privately owned residential mortgage company operating across the country, their customers enjoy the benefits of working with a mortgage banker that is powerful enough to be a direct endorsed seller/servicer with GNMA & FNMA. This means they process, underwrite, fund, and service your loans – all in house. This enables Summit to speed up the lending process in a more make sense process so our customers close on-time!

Steve Reiner is an expert at helping people remove the emotional hurdles that prevent them from excelling in business and in life. Having personally delivered over 2,500 1:1 sales and leadership consulting calls, he understands how to get the most out of his clients, helping them to break personal belief barriers and achieve their maximum potential. Steve begins this life-changing journey with his clients by helping them to identify their purpose, crystallize their vision and reinforce their desired behavior change with the right self-talk. As an author of the upcoming book Fearless Selling, Steve will equip you to pursue your goals with greater joy, resolve, and effectiveness.

Show Highlights:

  • When you understand the why, you figure out the how. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is your mission for how you invest your life. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is bigger than the obstacle. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is the person you want to be and the impact you want to have. – Steve Reiner
  • The more you focus on results, the fewer results you get. – Steve Reiner
  • When you focus on purpose, results are the byproduct.
  • The biggest reason we have anxiety is due to trying to control things we can’t. – Steve Reiner
  • Your purpose must be grounded in service. – Steve Reiner
  • In the clarity of your purpose is the absence of your fear. @rory_vaden
  • 5 characteristics of a great purpose. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is useful. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is universal. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is Aspirational. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is formidable. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is controllable. @rory_vaden

Click here to request a free call with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Improving Your Life Trajectory

Life Trajectory

Why is it that some people’s lives improve along a steady or linear growth curve while others improve exponentially?

It’s because the future success of your life is determined by the trajectory your choices set today.

Similar to the power of compounding interest with money, time also compounds our choices.

When we make good choices at a young age, consistently over a long period of time, it doesn’t create a linear improvement over someone who doesn’t but rather an exponential improvement.

Similarly when we make poor choices at a young age, consistently over a long period of time, it creates the possibility of an exponential decrease of future opportunities and an increase of challenges.

It doesn’t mean that we are ultimately doomed to our history and our past, but it does mean that our best chance for shaping the steepest inclined trajectory for a positive future is to start immediately.

Good choices begets good opportunities.

And making good choices again when presented with good opportunities yields even more drastically positive opportunities.

But it needs to happen now!

You need to start today.

Because the sooner you invest into your own personal development…

The sooner you increase your work ethic…

The sooner you improve your attitude…

The steeper and more positive the trajectory you set for your life.

But you are in control.

You are the one who makes the decisions.

You are the one who makes the choices.

And your best chance for big opportunities later is always exponentially increased by making good choices right now.

So make good choices today and multiply.

How to Let Go of Feeling “Busy”

busy

“I’m SO busy.”

You hear it all the time.

In fact we hear it so much, we should all just assume that everyone is that way and we can all stop saying it.

Because there is a maximum level of busy.

There are only 168 hours in a week, and if every single hour is planned and occupied, then you’ve reached the maximum level of busy.

However, there is no maximum capacity to your mental toughness.

There is no maximum capacity to your peace of mind.

There is no maximum capacity for your ability to handle stress.

Which means that the mental capacity of what you can handle should far exceed the physical and finite time constraints of what you have available in your calendar.

Multipliers seem to have figured out that carrying stress isn’t a necessary prerequisite of having success.

Anxiety isn’t an automatic byproduct of achievement.

And busy isn’t a mandatory requirement of building greatness.

You don’t have to be stressed.

You don’t have to feel anxiety.

You don’t have to feel busy.

Those are all choices that you allow yourself to make.

Those are all emotions that you allow yourself to feel.

But you are bigger than your problems.

You are tougher than your challenges.

And you are stronger than your challenges.

So you can let those feelings die because they aren’t serving you.

You can stop telling yourself that “you’re so busy” because it’s not new information to you that your calendar is full.

And you can stop telling everyone how busy you are so that maybe we all can stop this invisible competition about who has the most going on.

Instead, all of us can move on to getting things done powerfully, productively, and peacefully.

All the while knowing that if we’re working as hard as we can, doing the best we know how to do with what we’ve been given, then no one – including ourselves – can ask us to do anything more.

Finding Your Wingmen with Waldo Waldman – Episode 176 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

wingmen

Lt. Col. (ret.) Rob ‘Waldo’ WaldmanThe Wingman is a professional leadership speaker, executive coach, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo.  He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman.

He is a highly experienced combat veteran with over 2,650 flight hours and sixty-five real world combat missions, having flown both in Iraq enforcing the “No-Fly Zone” and in Yugoslavia during Operation Allied Force in 1999. Some of his military honors include five Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals, four Air Force Commendation Medals, and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Waldo is a graduate of the U.S Air Force Academy and also holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior. He is an inductee into the Professional Speaker Hall of Fame, a prestigious award that honors speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence, and has been bestowed on less than 190 speakers worldwide. He is also a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and his clients include Hewlett Packard, Verizon Wireless, New York Life, Siemens, The Denver Broncos, and Johnson & Johnson.

In addition to his speaking business, Waldo is also founder and President of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans and their families in need.

He’s been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, The Harvard Business Review, Success Magazine, INC. Magazine, and Business Week.

Show Highlights:

  • Your passion has to be stronger than your fear.  @waldowaldman
  • If what you’re doing doesn’t get you out of bed, abort immediately. @waldowaldman
  • When you know people need you, you find meaning in your mission and don’t give up. @waldowaldman
  • I won’t allow my fear to keep me from doing what I need to do and helping people. @waldowaldman
  • A wingman is someone you feel comfortable going to for help and are confident in their ability to help you. @waldowaldman
  • Usually help from a wingman is a proverbial slap across the face. @waldowaldman
  • A wingman will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. @waldowaldman
  • You need people who will truly speak the truth to us. @waldowaldman
  • A good wingman will point out potential threats to you and you have to take action. @waldowaldman
  • You have to trust what your wingman is telling you because they can see the potential threats you cannot. @waldowaldman
  • Your work ethic is your most important asset. @waldowaldman
  • I would much rather fly with someone who is prepared than someone who I like hanging out with. @waldowaldman
  • Plan for the worst, expect the best. @waldowaldman
  • We have to overcome the things in life that are dragging us down. @waldowaldman
  • Who are your wingmen? @rory_vaden
  • A wingman is someone you have to trust. @rory_vaden
  • A wingman is someone who compliments your strengths. @rory_vaden
  • There will always be a chance to bail; find someone who is loyal. @rory_vaden
  • You know you’ve found a wingman when they’re really looking out for you. @rory_vaden

For more info about Waldo’s programs or his bestseller Never Fly Solo, visit www.yourwingman.com, e-mail info@yourwingman.com, or call 770-333-9867.

A special gift for The Action Catalyst Podcast listeners: Visit www.yourwingman.com/nfs  and use password: Wingman for a free copy of Waldo’s audiobook Never Fly Solo! 

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!