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September 2019 Issue

Have You Mastered the 90-Day Game?

Having one year, three year and even 10-year goals are wonderful visions for you to create from, but where the real game is played and won is in 90-day (12 week) increments.

I would encourage you to get rid of annualized thinking and start thinking in 90-day frames. The human brain is limited in its capacity to focus for extended periods of time. 90 days is the perfect time frame to keep your brain engaged, motivated and focused on your desired outcomes. Each segment builds upon the next to help you drive toward the one year target, which builds to the longer-term vision.

As you continue to chunk it down, break your activities into monthly, weekly, and daily segments. This allows you to apply the principles of small incremental actions (hitting singles) and the aggregation of marginal gains.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Chinese Proverb, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.” If you believe this to be true, then the wrong first step can begin a journey that could take you very far off course. So, it’s important to make sure you take the appropriate first step and start your journey headed in the right direction.

In the book The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan share what they call a focusing question to help you do just that, begin the journey headed in the right direction.

Here it is; “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

When planning, ask yourself this focusing question and build your actions around it. One integral tool to use to complete your “One Thing” is time blocking. Time blocking is the practice of setting aside specific scheduled time each week to work on your “One Thing”.

For most people that is at the beginning of the workday where your brain has the most mental energy and focus. Remember no email. No phone calls. No interruptions of any kind. Just focus on the task at hand.

Cal Newport’s put it this way in his book Deep Work. Deep work happens when you get to have a period of uninterrupted time to focus on a single task or activity. Successful intellectuals do their best work when they go into isolation and get into deep work mode.

Brian Tracy so eloquently put it in his book Eat that Frog! “Throughout my career, I have found a simple truth. The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life.”

Define your outcomes, reduce them to a 90-day frame, time block, and you will be all but guaranteed success.

Marc Beauchamp

Survive and Thrive

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