I’ve overextended myself. Recently, I invested in 4 new programs! They are really great and I’d recommend them to anyone, at least I think they are. You see, I haven’t really worked on them. I meant to, but I got busy. Then, I forgot I had one in the wings, and another great offer came along and I jumped in! Next thing I knew, I had 4 programs, the full shebang: workbooks, videos and Facebook groups, all sitting there, beckoning me to get it done.
I started one and then when it got to the page that took some work and thinking, well, I set it aside and began the second one. You guessed it, that one is partially done too!
Now I know, and you know, that this little problem of mine is not singled out to just me. Is it, hmmmm? How many have you purchased? This is a huge problem in this world of easily obtainable stuff. It’s not limited to information alone. Think of how many books you have, unread. How many articles of clothing, unused. Food thrown away, uneaten and now, inedible. Emails unread, paper unfiled, and work left undone. This might be called the age of the ‘un!’
Since productivity is my specialty, I know that scattering my attention is not productive or satisfying.
I decided to take myself through the same process I use if my client were in this situation.
First, I analyze the situation:
Q: What is going on? Why are you buying so many new programs?
A: I am working on a few different things and these programs are lessons on how to do them. I have a few speeches coming up, I am working on an on-line course, and I want to improve my sales process. I purchased a speech writing course, a workshop course, a sales course, and then a second speech course.
Q: Do you really need help in these areas?
A: No, I’m working with my coach on them, but their offer seemed so good, I couldn’t refuse! (Kudos to the marketing copywriter!)
Q: Have they helped you to progress further with what you need to do? Are you accomplishing all you need to in order to be ready for your deadlines?
A: Umm, well, no. Actually, when I work on the courses, I’ve been unable to have enough time to get my work done.
UH OH! This is a problem. These programs are actually hindering my own work and not adding to it or advancing it. Can you relate?
I immediately took out my scheduler and blocked out time to work on the most pressing item first: my speech. I also blocked out a smaller amount of time to read through the speech writing course so I could grab the highlights to actually help my process of writing and not hinder it. This is now my only focus. It is the one that has the nearest deadline and the information can then be leveraged and expanded into writing my on-line course. Which is my second focal point. I also blocked out time for that process and scheduled some time to read through the program I purchased on that. The marketing was done the same way, but a little further into the year.
There are two key points here to be productive and use my time efficiently:
- FOCUS: I can only really focus on one major project at a time, but can leverage the information for additional use, thus saving time in the long run.
- SCHEDULE: When I have not written down specific time to work on a project, and then committed to it, it doesn’t get done!
I also typed up a few points to consider before I get carried away by someone’s offer:
- Why do I want to make this purchase?
- How will I use it?
- When will I use it?
- Can I obtain this same information at a later time, perhaps from another expert, if I don’t purchase it today?
Just a quick response to each of these questions will soften the reactive purchase muscle and ensure I spend my resources of time and money more wisely.
So, what is sitting on your shelf?