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Is it just me or is the economy truly making an upturn as we enter May, 2018? Sitting in my kitchen this past week watching the rain I was reminded of the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Boy-oh-boy, haven’t we all had our share of April showers over the last couple of years? I for one am more than ready for a few May flowers in my life.

So I asked myself, “Self” I said, “What do I need to do to see a return on the professional investments I’ve made over the last several years?” “Stick to your goals” my self said. Hmmm, funny how each day brings opportunities to be sidetracked away from your goals isn’t it. I’m not sure exactly what I need to stop doing at this point to get this May’s flowers to bloom but I am sure of what has worked for me in the past. It’s been a combination of working when I did not feel like it and when others were playing.

Many day-to-day interruptions appear to be urgent or important, but may in fact simply be time wasters. Let’s call these interruptions May showers. Remember May should bring flowers (dividends) not more showers (contributions). To everything there is a season. This means there is a clear time for rain (work and preparation) and a clear time for a yield from that rain (flowers). It is critical that we identify which activities are necessary each day and which need to simply be eliminated. If you find yourself in your own professional garden today wondering why you’re not seeing any budding May flowers yet, you might consider implementing the following:

  • When a distraction occurs, immediately evaluate its relevance to your established goals. If it does not contribute to the achievement of your goals it may simply be a hindrance.
  • Create a strategy to minimize distractions that take your focus from your goals.
  • Develop a strategy for dealing with distractions that make their way to you. For example, don’t accept distractions from people who can get their needs taken care of elsewhere, do not allow distractions during your established “personal work time”, and schedule appointments or specific times to achieve menial tasks.
  • Think about how you can give priority to the activities necessary to complete your goals while minimizing time spent on activities that do not contribute to their completion.