Focusing on high-value targets in your life is critical to your success this year. The reality is most of us don’t. Instead, we choose to focus on low-value targets – tactics, activities, projects, experiences, etc. that produce little to no results towards our most important objectives.
A high-value target on the other hand is a tactic, an exercise, an activity, and engagement that you can complete that will produce and yield the highest return.
This is exactly what we want – high returns on the way we spend our time, attention, focus, energy, and resources on.
I’ve said it before but the most successful men on the planet know how to use the 24 hours each of us have in any given day to its maximum potential. And, that is what I want to address today.
Now, obviously, the term, high-value target is a term used in the military to describe a person or asset that is critical for the completion of a mission.
I’m using it in much the same way. A high-value target, when it comes to you spending your time most effectively, is a tactic you can use to achieve your ultimate objective.
So, I want to talk with you about identifying these high-value targets, engaging them, eliminating distractions, and accomplishing big things in your life.
The first step in identifying high-value targets is know what it is you actually want.
Most people take such a sporadic approach to any type of goals they have. Most people have no idea what they actually want. And, if they have any idea in the first place, their goals are broad, vague, and over-generalize.
I want to be happy. I want to make more money. I want to be a better dad. I want to have a better relationship.
Great, welcome to the club! What does any of that even mean?
If you can’t get crystal clear with your objectives, you have no chance in achieving big things this year.
What does happiness look like? How do you define it? How much money do you want to make? Doing what? How do you measure being a better day? How would your kids describe it? How exactly do you want a better relationship? More conversations? More dates? More sex?
This is what I’m talking about – crystal clear!
Next, you’ve got to start thinking about the ‘how.’ Step 1: Identify Objectives – is the what. Step 2: Prioritize Tactics, is about the ‘how.’
How are you going to improve your relationship? How are you going to make more money? How are you going to connect with your kids? How are you going to start that business?
Start writing down every single step, strategy, idea, and activity you could possibly engage in order to accomplish your objective.
Once you’ve done that, consider which tactics will yield the highest result? Will phone calls or emails get you better results with regards to your sales? Will flowers or words of affirmation get you better results with your wife (by the way, that’s a reference to The 5 Love Languages which you will want to read if you’re trying to improve your relationship)? Will a half-hour of undivided attention or a hand-written note help you connect with your kids more effectively?
Now, I know you might be thinking that you don’t know how to identify what is most important. Sometime we don’t know what we don’t know so I would suggest you do this:
- Ask someone who is already experiencing the results you want to experience what you should do (this is where coaching might come into play).
- Look at your track record. Is what you’re already doing working? If it is, keep doing it. If it’s not, time to mix it up.
- Ask the people who have a vested interest in your objective – kids, wife, co-workers, employees, etc. – what they would like to see or suggest.
- Research up on successful people and mimic what they’re already doing.
The point here is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t know what you’re doing. Just do what the others have paved the way have done – simple.
So, you know what you want. You know what you need to do to get there. Now, it’s a matter of taking action but also eliminating distractions.
It is so easy to get consumed with things that don’t matter – the tabloids, gossip, social media disagreements and trolls, magazines, TV shows, what celebrity is doing what, what athlete has a scandal right now, even politics to a large degree.
I’d be willing to bet that If you actually went through your day and inventoried how you spent every minute of each day for a week, you would be shocked at how you’re spending your time.
Most of us think we more productive than we actually are. Most of us think we’re more efficient or that we’re more successful than we actually are.
And, until you actually get a bearing on where things really stand, you’re going to continue to fool yourself into thinking your getting the job done when, in all reality, you’re not.
Guys, at this point, you have to remove the temptation. The temptation to cheat, to shortcut, to skip steps. You have to remove the temptation to engage in the destructive habits you hold dear. You have to remove the desire to engage in arguments, disagreements, and negativity that is moving you further from your goal, not closer to it.
Doing this allows you to put a name with the face of your distractions and, the first step in overcoming the enemy, is recognizing there is one. Steven Pressfield calls this “The Resistence” in his book, The War of Art.
And the last step is to evaluate your results. It’s easy to plan. It’s easy to think about how you might go about accomplishing your objectives.
But, the question is, did any of your planning even work? You may have failed. You may have been really “busy” but did you actually get anything done?
I think I’ve talked about this at length so I’m not going to get too much into it at this point but I will tell you this:
After every engagement, exercise, project, conversation, and day you should be asking yourself 5 simple questions so ensure that you are more effective and engaging the highest-value targets moving forward:
- What did I accomplish?
- What didn’t I accomplish?
- What did I do well?
- What didn’t I do well?
- How will I improve moving forward?
I know it might sound trivial but this formula and the five questions I just gave you are critical in identifying and executing on the highest-value targets towards your objectives. And, they’re critical in helping you maximize the limited amount of time and energy we have in any given day.
If you’re going to exert any energy, time, money, or resources, shouldn’t you be doing it in a way that will yield maximum results?