The biggest fight my husband and I ever had--- to date--- happened in the second week of our marriage.
There were many words exchanged…most of which I can’t and probably shouldn’t remember. In short, I am ashamed to say that we almost considered ending our marriage because of an argument over whether the toilet paper roll should be placed on the toilet paper roll holder, in an under or over position. Yes. In that crazy moment in our two week old marriage, we questioned our compatibility because I wanted the toilet paper in the over position and my husband thought he should let the toilet paper roll fall where it may (he didn’t care if it was under or over and didn’t want to even think about it when it was time to replaced the roll). We will be married ten years this year, so let’s just say we got over it.
Two valuable principles were implemented, in our marriage, from that moment on.
1. In our house, the toilet paper must be in the OVER position---after all the husband didn’t care anyway.
2. Focus on what matters.
It makes no sense to allow the thing s that serve no real purpose---the things that don’t really matter--- in your life, get you out of focus and off balance. Those things, whatever they may be, only serve the as distractions. I am certain that the things that are distracting you right now are much more significant than how to hang the toilet paper roll. Whatever your distractions may be, just ask yourself:
Does this really matter? Will this make or break my life? Is this worth my time and attention? Is this wasting my time?
If you have been out of focus and off balance, and you know it’s because of things that don’t really matter, here is your approach:
Review your intentions. Whether you are on a mission to fulfill a specific goal, in the middle of an important decision(like how to hang the toilet paper), or contemplating the importance of a relationship, review your intentions or your reasons why you are doing what you are doing and ask yourself is this serving its purpose. Reviewing your intentions will keep you aligned with your purpose and focused on what matters.
Develop hand written or typed and printed action steps. It’s not enough to just say what you want to do. You must have a plan, in the form of step-by-step and decisive actions that you will take each day. Hand writing it or typing and printing it will serve as accountability. As you complete a step you can cross it off. This simple strategy will keep you so focused on what matters, you won’t have time to be distracted.
Ask the necessary questions. Before you act ask the question does this matter. Before a serious discussion, a difficult decision, an action toward a goal, an answered email, or an answered phone call, ask your self:
Does this really matter?
If your answer is yes, this will help me fulfill my goal, make better decisions, improve my relationship, or add value to my life; do it. If your answer is no, this will get me out of focus, off balance, or waste my time; don’t do it.
I gave you the example of a crazy argument between me and my husband, which is now a running joke among my family, to illustrate how focusing on the things that serve no real purpose in your life can get you out of focus. But building a marriage, a life of peace and balance, or a business is no joke. It takes strategic planning, decisive action, and a clear focus. You can start by doing what matters!