What is First and Every Day for You?

Everywhere I look I see so many good people failing. Failing to tap their potential. Failing to get the results they want. Failing to manage themselves and their time to focus on what matters most.

It is tragic, but also understandable. We live in the most over-communicated society in history. The average human attention span is now less than eight seconds. Our jobs and lives are full of seemingly urgent and loud demands on our time and focus that just finding time to think can seem out of reach. And too many just give in to the clamour and go with the flow because they see most others doing that – and they get the same mediocre results in most areas of their lives and jobs and businesses as most others do too.

We all see the high achievers among us. Many ascribe their success to luck, or rich parents, or the right contacts. True as these things sometimes are, they are mainly excuses to avoid the truth that under achievement is largely not knowing what to do, or not doing what is necessary.

Our world works on cause and effect. Everything we see, every outcome (building, product, victory record set and so on) is an effect that had some cause or causes. As Einstein said “Nothing happens until something moves.” So the question to ask when we see an achievement is “What did they do to cause that effect?”

When we really look it is inevitably what the achievers deemed necessary to getting the outcome they wanted. It was on purpose. It was a major focus for them, and they invested the time and effort in its achievement.

So if we want something and don’t know how to get it, that is job one. We need to find information about how to do it, and perhaps ask someone who has done it for advice. When we know what to do, we must decide to take the action necessary to do it. So many fail here, and focus on doing what is comfortable in the self-delusion that will be enough. Better to decide what will be necessary for our outcome and commit to doing it no matter how uncomfortable that might be.

I have a simple system I call First and Every Day. It is a simple drill I run as early as possible in my day that reviews the few things I must do that day to progress my major goals. I look at my mindset (passion and belief), whether my approach will do the job, how I will put that into action (time blocked in my diary, resources and information available), and whether what I’ve planned will really be enough to complete what I set out to do. Early in the day because so much happens later to derail things. Every day because that is how we get really important goals – not sporadically or “when we find time”, because the urgent will always shove the important aside.