There are probably times in your busy personal or professional life when things just seem to pile or stack up on you all at once, and when you become overwhelmed, frustrated and distracted.
Every moment you become inundated in this manner and distracted from your primary mission and objectives in life, you can pay a hefty price in the area of your health or wellbeing. And, if you are a leader or manager of a large corporation, you can possibly cost your local, national or international corporation thousands, millions or billions of dollars.
When you don’t have a focused and organized mind and clear set of prioritized daily actions, you can spend enormous amounts of time, energy and thought on low-priority distractions. This is the time when you may need to master the art of saying “no” to additional expectations from yourself or others and you may just require a simple tool that can help you sort through it all and bring some sanity, order and organization back into your personal and professional life. The Demartini Distraction Resolution Process is one such mind-freeing tool. By following the instructions below, you could save yourself a bit of sanity, time, energy and money.
First of all, click here to download the three forms you will need to complete the process.
In the first column of the Distraction Resolution Form, list every distracting idea, item, thing, project or objective that is presently in or on your mind. Be sure to include anything in your personal or professional life occupying your mental space and time. Be exhaustive. No idea is too trivial to write down. It may help you to chunk down more complex, longer-term projects or objectives that are distracting you into more manageable and smaller daily components and then list them. You may require more than one Distraction Resolution Form or page to contain all of the distractions presently in or on your mind.
In the second column, labeled “Dump,” make a check mark next to any idea, item, thing, project or objective that you truly can’t do anything about or that isn’t worth any further thought. Sometimes we carry around in our heads ideas that are of such low priority that we simply need to dump them from our thoughts. I find that there are sometimes a few items to simply dump, possibly only one out of fifty items listed, but that is one less item to have to fill your mind with once you do.
Write in the third column, labeled “Delegate,” the initials or full name of the individual who you feel you could best delegate the distraction written in column one to. This could be one of your subordinate employees or anyone who could take this distraction off your shoulders, even friends, family members or colleagues. Select thoughtfully and wisely. It is wise to delegate to those more perfectly designed to fulfill the task. Think in terms of time and cost effectiveness when selecting these individuals. If you discover that there are few, if any, items listed to be delegated, then that may be a sign that you are filling your day with way too many lower-priority items and not freeing yourself up to do what is truly most important, profitable or meaningful. It does not cost anything to delegate such items if you select the right person who would be inspired to do what you are wise to let go of, are more masterful than you in doing it and have the appropriate values. If you live with the illusion that no one else can do what you can do, then you will trap yourself and limit your accomplishments and overall fulfillment. A tree must shed some underlying branches if it wants to grow and reach the light.
“A short pencil is much greater than a long memory. Focused and prioritized minds are extremely powerful at accomplishing magnificent achievements.”
In the fourth column, labeled “Do,” write your initials in the box if you are the one best suited to take action on this particular item of distraction. Make sure it is truly a high-priority item to do. Make a distinction between time-filling busy actions and truly important, productive and priority ones. Some of the items you are to do may require a chunking down process whereby the items may need to be broken down further into smaller, more manageable bites. You may procrastinate at doing such items if you do not chunk them down small enough to become daily actions. By the inch, they are a cinch. By the mile they are a pile.
Write in the fifth column, labeled “Date,” the date when you intend to begin acting on this distraction, either through delegation or through your own prioritized action. Be realistic. If you set too many items to be done by you or by those you are delegating to in too short of a time period, you will probably add to your sense of being overwhelmed and frustrated. Set realistic times for yourself and others to do these items and both you and they will achieve more. You will probably discover that once you do this step, that you have fewer items to do that day and fewer each day thereafter than you initially would have imagined. A short pencil is much greater than a long memory. By writing all of what is on your mind down onto paper, you free your mind of items that are in the distant future and that can be delegated and allow yourself the freedom of focusing on the truly highest prioritized actions at hand that day. Focused and prioritized minds are extremely powerful at accomplishing magnificent achievements.
Upon completing the above five columns, then completely transfer all of the resultant “delegations” and “dos” off the distraction resolution form to the appropriate selected “Daily Delegation Forms” or “Daily To Do Forms.” Be clear and concise on exactly what needs to be done and when, both for you and those you are delegating to. Miscommunication occurs when there is no paper trail and when intentions are unclear and untimed.