I was perusing YouTube the other day when…
I found a Marie Forleo video to be inspired by on underperforming.
Ahh, how many stories start like that. YouTube can be a black hole but it can also be a great place to grab business inspiration when you are feeling low.
This Video Why Smart People Underperform caught my attention. The interview was with Dr. Ed Hallowell who specializes in entrepreneurial ADD and focus.
Dr. Hallowell offered some great tips and insight so I thought I would just share the video with you and expand on some of the topics he talked about with practical tips so we can pull ourselves together when needed.
Underperforming Even When You’re Smart
1. Prioritize with Clear And Specific Goals
It is so hard to focus when we feel like our attention is going so many directions and we have so much to do. So many things we want to do.
So how do you focus?
The video suggests:
- 3 daily goals
- 3 monthly goals
- 3 yearly goals
- 3 lifetime goals
These 3 goals can and will change but it helps you focus on what you really want and what will actually move you forward. So often we are busy but not productive because we are not working on what is actually important. Having short, medium, long-term, and lifetime goals can keep us moving forward and inspired.
As Dr. Ed says, it forces you to prioritize.
I find it helpful to get a white piece of paper and have a brainstorming session to get everything, by hand, written down. Then choose my priorities from there and circle them. Then you do not have to worry about forgetting something and it clears your mind.
If you have written other things down that are less important but still important, you can come back to them when you have completed your top priorities.
2. Don’t Follow The Rabbit
AKA “Screen Sucking”
Getting sucked into emails and social media can feel like you have fallen down the Rabbit Hole in Alice and Wonderland. Minutes, maybe even hours go by and you have no idea why you are watching a cat video.
Television is one thing but now the screens are interactive. And when the screen becomes interactive, the same dopamine circuitry that drives addictions captures your attention. You don’t give it away, it’s seduced away from you.DOCTOR EDWARD HALLOWELL
So beware of screen sucking if you don’t want to spend your day underperforming.
We need to create boundaries around our screen time. You can use a resource like Apple’s Screen Time to see what you are really spending your time on or even more powerful, manually track for a few days -writing down how much time you are spending in email and social media.
You can also turn off all unneeded notifications from your smart devices or put them in airplay mode for periods of focus.
When you need to be online and stay focused, you can use a resource like Idenati to create a digital command center for yourself.
3. Evaluate The “Yes”
Do you just say “yes” to everyone and everything?
It can be a hard habit to break, but when we say yes without evaluating our priorities, we can end feeling resentful and not serving from a good place.
So Dr. Ed says to set your default response to “Let me get back to you on that.” If you decide it is not right for you, you can let the person know that you don’t have time to do their project justice.
It is a hard pattern to break but we can be kind while also staying focused for ourselves, our families, and for others to be at our best.
4. Connect and Have Somewhere to Turn
“Don’t worry alone.”
While technology has brought many wonderful things, it has also caused a lot of disconnect. Especially if you are working a lot from home. You can check out our Work From Home guide to connection Interview here.
You can mentally, or write down a tribe of people that can be in your corner in different areas of your life. I know not everyone has someone for all the areas needed but we can work to build a network by reaching out and being there for others.
Dr. Ed’s advice for worry control:
- Never worry alone
- Get the facts
- Make a plan
Problem solve together.
5. Decide Worth It or Not
Dr. Ed calls these cultivating lilies or getting rid of leeches. With lilies being the people and projects that are worth your time, money, and energy investment. They encourage you and pull you towards your goals. Leeches are not worth your time, energy, and money investment. They only discourage you and crush your dreams while wasting your precious time with no return.
Now, this does not mean those people or projects do not have value. I want to be careful here, especially talking about people. Everyone has value. We just want to put the biggest part of our time and resources on the things that are important to us and help us grow and be in the purpose God has for us.
You can have too many lilies. Which brings us back to prioritizing and making wise choices about where to focus.
We can learn to create healthy boundaries and stop underperforming to be our best with even small tweaks.
Let me know in the comments, what tip you want to work on and how you’re going to make the change.