Generally speaking, most adults don't know how easy it is to improve their skill level. The most successful people in the world have realized that being great isn't all about what can be done in any given day, but rather what will be accomplished daily. In my book Organize Your Team Today, I discuss the importance of consistency. Learn to control consistency in your own life with a few simple tricks.
Channel capacity is the mental bandwidth each of us has hardwired into our head. Understanding what this means for you is the first step to controlling consistency. There's a limit to what any person or team can effectively manage without becoming distracted and less effective. When you reach that saturation point, you become far less consistent than if you just concentrated on one or two simple basics.
When does more become less?
To better respect channel capacity, think about three categories where channel capacity is often not respected:
1. Information. The more information you pour in, the more information that must pour out. The real problem is that the information going out is randomly selected. On a daily basis, how much information are you taking in? If you are like most people, you are reading multiple blogs and articles, listening to a podcast or two, and reading up on current events and social media updates. You can't control what you forget. That's bad, really bad. This is exactly why you must choose wisely what you let in.
Choose no more than 1 information source daily. Don't feel like you need to spend an hour reading or learning daily to grow. Think about your brain as a sponge. Instead of submerging the entire sponge, try dipping a corner into the information water. Spending even five minutes per day learning reliable information is an extremely effective method of educating yourself if done consistently.
2. Action. Highly successful people never get everything done in any given day, but they always get the most important activities done each and every day. Top producers have learned to identify and attack their three most important daily activities. The key is to know in advance what your three most important activities are before the day even begins.
If you don't know your three most important daily activities, take a moment right now to figure them out. These may change occasionally, but for most people, the three most important daily activities remain the same. The consistency of doing what is most important causes greatness. Write your three most important daily tasks down on paper and post them on your wall, then carve time out in your calendar for daily completion.
3. Improvement. Improving is definitely important; however, be very careful not to try to improve by too much too soon. Most people don't realize that they are only one improved skill away from breaking through to the next level. It is very common to become motivated or inspired for change, only to bite off more than what is chewable. Change can certainly occur with this all too common approach, but it's generally short lived.
Choose one small thing to focus on improving each day. If you are like most people, you probably have a laundry list of things you would like to improve about your life, but you will have much more success at making improvements if you focus on just one small thing per day.
Most people see the feats of high achievers and assume that the extremely successful were simply born with something that they themselves were not. There is no denying that certain examples exist of people with seemingly superhuman strengths, but for most successful people, they have simply learned to be consistent with only those most important things that really matter.