After reading this article you’ll be five minutes closer to your death. So, you might ask yourself if it is really worth to invest your time.
Time stands at the center of our life. It feels like we never have enough of it. We want to make the right decisions, choose the right action for our future and we’re worried about wasting it. We want to find the right direction before time runs out.
Our days are filled with distractions. Duties and demands pile up steadily. Our to-do list is overflowing. So how can we bring our vision and practicality closer together? So, the main question is: what shall I do today?
To answer that, you need clarity!
The 3 main clarity killers
- Confusion: this manifests as not setting clear priorities because the path ahead doesn’t look clear and decisive.
- Distraction: this manifests as a hundred small things that pull your attention this way and that.
- Disorganization: this manifests as a lack of orderly thinking that leads to productive results.
The 6 major benefits of having clarity
- You work smarter and better by being able to organize your activities
- You can easily distinguish between important and unimportant activities and set clear priorities in your projects and daily activities
- Your stress factor is low and you simply get more things done in a shorter amount of time
- It helps you to recognize faster that fighting to get something done, might not be the right way
- Clarity helps you to reduce the amount of (unnecessary) work
- It provides you a daily routine to get rid of the chaotic and re-active way of working
Clarity is solving:
- confusion by getting your priorities straight
- distraction by getting better at focusing your attention
- disorganization by throwing out non-essentials and tending to the important things first.
4 ways to get more clarity in your job and your business
1. Have a Vision / Goal
A vision functions as the “north star”, it really inspires. It challenges you out into the unknown, to your next adventure, far beyond your comfort zone.
A vision gives you hope and puts all your latent power at work. It puts everything you do into a bigger, wider context because it shows why you do what you do.
Without a vision, you are permanently into a re-action mode. You are not setting the rules of game, instead you have to play the rules of the game.
Without a vision, you let yourself controlled by your subconscious beliefs and behaviours. You are like a boat on a sea driven by the wind without a clear destination.
A good vision:
- unleashes a huge power within yourself
- gives you a reason for all what you do
- motivates you to do whatever it takes to achieve the success you want
- helps you in a fast and effective way to decide what to do and with whom you want to spend your time
- makes you feel great and excited
2. Organize methodical
Being methodical organized and using a proven scalable and predictable system in your job or business, helps you to maintain clarity in what you do and how you do it.
Using a proven and predictable system helps you to eliminate frustrations by working many hours under high stress.
There are highly effective and proven systems which are used by the most successful companies nowadays and which you can use yourself as well.
Few of the principles behind these methodical systems are:
- Deliver value frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- The highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of value.
- Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.
Being methodical organized helps you do the right things in the right order and at the right time. Predictability leads to peace of mind which gives you the required clarity.
What does this practically mean for you?
- Visualize everything you do, regardless if you work alone or as part of a team.
- Do a regular prioritization of your work. Ask yourself what are the 3 most critical activities of this week? What are the most important activities for today? Use the Pareto rule, the Eisenhower matrix or the MoSCoW technique.
- As soon your day is planned, work in a focussed way by using for example the Pomodoro technique. Take care to limit the amount of work in progress and to avoid as much as possible multitasking.
- Review your day and what you have achieved at the end of it. Look at the results you got at the end of a week as well.
- Reflect about. Do a retrospective and ask yourself two powerful questions: what went well last week? What can I improve or what can I do differently?
3. Create space
Imagine a thick forest where it is very dark and it is almost impossible to walk inside because of the density of the trees. Have you ever seen this kind of forest?
If yes, then you probably observed that there is nothing growing on the ground. Why? Because the light does not reach the ground and there is no space for other plants to grow.
A similar situation we all have seen on the highways. During the holidays or on the weekends, the highways are really full of cars and it is almost impossible to move forward. There is simply speaking a traffic jam because every single meter of the highway is used.
The same happens with your thoughts. If you are continuously thinking and are fully occupied because of the huge amount of work, there is no space in your mind for clarity. From time to time you have to give your mind a break by focussing your attention on your body or parts of it.
Space is required before something new can really emerge.
And only if there is space between your thoughts, you can have access to your intuition which guides you and allows you to make the best decisions.
4. Drop in silence
Have you ever asked yourself why all the stores and boutiques have such a loud music inside? It is not because they want to attract more people. It is because in a noisy environment we lose our clarity and the likelihood to buy more than we initially wanted is very high.
Therefore, in order to get clarity, you need silence. You can get this silence either by walking in the nature or by meditating. It is up to you which one you prefer.
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