Over last week I was fortunate to be in Thailand with 250 of the coolest, brightest ‘movers and shakers’ from over 40 countries. Over the next few months I will be sharing many of the learning’s and reflections from the event. Firstly, let me start with a 4 step process to help you get breakthrough.
Step 1: Do ALOT of research
When you have a challenge, what’s the first thing you’d do? You would go in and find out everything about it – all the reading material, audios, learning from others who have been in a similar situation…learn all you can to get an advantage.
Our mind is like a super computer. A lot of information is processed even if we are passively consuming it. While we are consuming that information, we start to connect the dots, and find solutions to our problems.
Step 2: Let it process.
I’ve never immediately acted on something just because somebody told me that it worked for them. However, success leaves clues. I would either choose to find data to back it up, or allow it to sink in, and give myself time and space to access whether it’s right for me and what I want to achieve. This is key because a lot of times we get excited about great ideas, but forget to take a step back and look at the situation / idea rationally. Don’t make hasty decisions.
Another reason to allow processing time to happen is when you sit on an idea, and you are consuming more material about that topic, your idea keeps evolving. Now this doesn’t mean that you never act on it. It simply means that you give yourself at least 3 alternative solutions before you pick one.
Step 3: Eliminate.
Become a super ninja at filtering what’s beneficial to you, and what’s not. There’s always a lot of mental clutter that happens when you take in a lot of information. That’s why backing up your ideas with data, or allowing yourself time to think holistically about the idea (and the effect it’ll have) will help with the elimination process. Eliminate everything that doesn’t make sense.
Step 4: Prioritise.
You may now have a lot of ideas and want to explore and execute all of them, but that actually decreases your productivity, as your attention will be spread too thinly. So the last step is prioritisation. This is probably the most important step, as we have a limit of what we can do at a time, before life gets out of balance.
To do this I suggest using Steven Covey’s time matrix:
Once you rank your ideas against these points, you’ll see that only a few of your ideas will make the Urgent and Important grade. Focus on the Urgent and Important ones first.
So in summary, if you ever face a challenge (big or small) and need to find a breakthrough, this 4-step process can be used in any area of your life.