Focus on What you Plan to Do (Not What You Want to Get Done)

Activity over Results

Yesterday, during a coaching call with Allen, one of our Black Belt candidates, I had an interesting conversation.  Allen asked how to best plan out the next 5 business days and if I had any recommendations on what he should get done.  As I’ve discussed before, planning out the next steps for the upcoming week is a big part of our coaching philosophy.

After he asked me this question I paused for a few seconds and then replied, rather organically, “No, I don’t care what you get done… instead I’m only interested in what you plan to do.”  Now, this may sound like it’s the same thing… but it’s not.  Allow me to explain.

Deliberate Planning

You see, I believe it’s more important to deliberately plan out the activity you plan to do.  So, in Allen’s case (since he’s finishing the academic side of the program) it may look something like this: “Spend 30 minutes each day, from 9:00 to 9:30 am, watching videos, reading overviews, and taking quizzes in section 5 of the Gemba Academy Black Belt program.”

Allen would then also make a prediction on what he thinks will happen.  This may look something like this: “I will be successful with this task, and hope to make it through section 4, but Wednesday may be difficult due to an offsite meeting.”

What you’ll notice is Allen doesn’t mention anything about how many videos he’ll watch or how many quizzes he’ll take in his next steps because this will vary based on the subject, length of videos in that section, etc.  He does touch on the “result” in his prediction, which is fine, but the next steps are activity focused, not results focused.

Activity over Results

So, this is what I mean when I say to focus on what you plan to do and not what you want to get done. If we fixate on the results we want, instead of the activity we plan to take, we often find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed out.  But, if we focus on specific next steps (activity) for each and every day while also making predictions about what we think will happen, we’ll find ourselves feeling more energy and vigor.

And the best part of this way of thinking?  When you focus your energy and attention on deliberately planned next steps and activity you’ll quickly find yourself achieving the results you desire.

Using a baseball analogy… focus on improving your swing instead of trying to hit home runs because, in the end, the only thing you actually control when you’re at bat is the way you see the ball and swing the bat (the activity).  How well you do this determines your batting average and number of home runs (the result).

1 Comment

  1. Eileen

    October 2, 2020 - 10:21 am
    Reply

    This makes perfect sense. Focus on what you can control. Scheduling time to focus without interruption is the best way to get through the material.

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