The Key to Taking Back Control

by Dave Jackson

I am totally amazed at my wife.

She’s turning into a new person and it’s simply because she has taken control of the area of fitness by dieting and using the best exercise for her body.  She is an inspiration and simply having her around you makes you want to become more like her. She is now thinking straight for her health and as a husband I am very proud of it.

Lately, I’ve been counseling someone who was off the scale when it came to stress.  Ever find yourself there?  Days seem so short and you are working your hardest just to put out fires.  You know how you got there and you are hoping one day you will wake up and stress will be gone and people will be sending you bushels of money in the mail like on the late-night TV commercials.

To manage stress you must take complete control over the activities in your daily life.  The big, bad word “planning” is involved.  You must plan, and set priorities to those plans.  And guess what else is so key here?

I bet you thought I was going to say time management – and you’re right – to an extent.  The biggest problem I find people have is just getting to the point of concentrating – focusing with laser-like focus – on the “one” thing – that most important thing and doing it – until it’s done.

Yesterday I talked about listening and how tough it was to stay concentrated even when someone is so boring you start thinking of the monarchs that migrate to Mexico each year and how beautiful that must be.  This is just as hard because of two things – 1. The way we are wired – I mean, it’s really hard as humans because there are so many inputs, senses, that tear us from one thing to another.  Again yesterday I was happily sitting in my home office typing away when the smell of cookies started wafting in through the hallway.  Guess where my concentration went then?

OK, 2. We’re living in a world of information overload.  I’ve addressed this before.  You only need to walk into a traditional supermarket and look in the canned food section to see what your mind is going through with the Internet and TV and radio and mail.  Oops – I forgot phones.  Everything is screaming for your attention.  Notice the colors of those cans at the supermarket.  Each designed to be different from and better than the competition.  I am so glad we don’t come with fuses.  Or maybe that’d be a good thing.

So, I don’t blame you a bit on this one – if you take a while to learn how to concentrate on one single thing until you get it done.  It’s hard!!!

But help is here.  I learned something with Tony Robbins that is very cool.  It’s called “chunking.”  You have a few hard challenges here.  One, you gotta concentrate.  Two, tasks generally take large portions of time, no?  So we need to organize our days in such a way that we allocate these chunks of time so that we can do the jobs upon which our success depends.

Did you get that?

That is the whole key to de-stressing and taking back control.  Should I write it again?  People pay big money to learn this over three-day weekends.  Maybe I should be charging for this… ha!  But seriously –

Say after me:  I need to plan and organize my day in such a way that I allocate chunks of time so I can do the jobs upon which my success depends.

Thank you… I’m going home now…  Good night!

All right – but really, that’s it in a nutshell.  And here’s something that will make it even greater and more powerful and fun:  When you set priorities and concentrate single-mindedly – when you do these two things – I promise you – you will begin to feel a tremendous sense of control and well-being.  And, when you start working toward accomplishing your most important tasks – guess what!!?  You will start to feel a flow of energy and enthusiasm.  When you finish something that you know is key, you will feel a burst of energy!  More self-esteem!  You feel you are making a big difference.

My wife tells me that is the single, most important motivator she felt when she started her fitness plan; that she felt she was moving toward her goal and she was making a big difference in her health.

Oh, and to give you a reality check, think about those small tasks you do every day – low priority items that you busy yourself with.  They make you more and more stressful.  Even if you finished a hundred of these little jobs, you get no enjoyment or accomplishment.

So think about what one thing, if you did it quickly and well, would have the greatest impact on your work?  That’s what you need to tackle.  But make sure you chunk it and plan it!

And when you go off chasing butterflies to Mexico, tell yourself out loud – Get on track, Get on track, Get on track!  – Focus until you’ve got it done.

I’m cheering you on!

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