The secret to personal and professional satisfaction? Focus on using your unique skills.

The secret to personal and professional satisfaction? Focus on using your unique skills.

Posted by in Book Extracts, Book News

To coincide with the release of Breakthrough, the inspirational new personal development book by David C.M. Carter, this month we are offering you an exclusive look at some of the tried and tested 'breakthrough' secrets featured in the book.

Widely regarded as one of the foremost mentors in the world, David C.M. Carter’s tried and tested techniques have helped some of the biggest names in entertainment, sport and business reach the top of their game, and now you too can benefit from them.

In this second post we will look at how the simple act of improving your time management can be open you up to major breakthroughs.

When I begin working with a new client, I take them away for two days to do a retreat. During those two days we unpack who they are and what they do as a leader. One of the exercises we undertake as part of this two-day onboarding retreat is to look at how they manage their time.

We print out the previous six and future six months from their diary and take four different-coloured highlighter pens.

The first highlighter pen I give them is a red one. I ask them to go through their diary in the last six months and highlight the things that absolutely should have been deleted, were a complete waste of their time, the company’s time, the company’s money, other people’s time and money, and just should simply not have happened. People, activities, whatever.

I then hand them an orange highlighter and ask them to go through again and highlight the things which someone else in their organization could or should have done, and they should have delegated.

Generally speaking, by the time they’ve finished this exercise, they’re feeling pretty sick in the stomach. Why? Because usually 50 per cent or more of their time has been spent on things that either should have been deleted from their diary or should have been delegated.

I then hand them a yellow highlighter pen and ask them to highlight the things where they were learning, growing, developing and preparing themselves for the next stage.

In practice, there are very rarely any yellow highlighted items.

And finally I hand them a green pen and I ask them to highlight the times when they were being the very best version of themselves, when they were flying high, playing to their strengths, absolutely in THE ZONE, and they were the only person in their organization who could have done what they were doing at that point in time.

And, thankfully, they all have a few areas like that which they highlight.

I ask, ‘If you could fill up your week with green things, when you’re only doing what only you can do, which is to be the great inventor, to be the great creative, to be the great sales person, to be the great visionary or motivator, and you can delete or delegate all the other things that are filling up your diary, how much of a BREAKTHROUGH would that achieve in your own life and how would that impact on the results of your organization?’

. . .

There’s a lesson here that applies to everyone, not only people running major international organizations. The lesson is that the more we are able to focus on doing those things that make the best use of our unique skills — I mean those things that make us feel that we are now being the very best version of ourselves — the more likely it is that our personal and professional lives will be replete with BREAKTHROUGHs.

Twitter followers and Facebook fans will also find daily doses of inspiration from the book on the Piatkus Twitter feed and Facebook Fanpage all month or by following @davidcmcarter on Twitter, liking Davidcmcarter on Facebook or joining the DCMC community over at http://www.davidcmcarter.com/.

Breakthrough is available in paperback and as an eBook from all good book retailers now. Click here for more information about the book.

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