Are you a high flyer?
The online Cambridge dictionary defines a high-flyer as: Someone who has a lot of ability and a strong wish to be successful and is therefore expected to achieve a lot: High-flyers in the industry typically earn 25 percent more than their colleagues.
Does this mean they work harder? Possibly, but the real key to high-flying success is in working smarter and keeping the bigger picture in sight.
This is never easy when your to-do list fills quicker than you can tick them off. So what is the secret of high flyers? Prioritising with perspective and staying focused on what matters rather than becoming overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of things to do-always.
Use the ‘Perspective Priorities’ sheet, a big drawing space and some sticky notes and follow this quick and simple process.
- First of all, take a deep, grounding breath then look at your complete to-do list? Notice what it feels like to have that list hanging over your head – but don’t dwell there!
- Draw a large representation of a hot air balloon and basket towards the top of your drawing area, then write one ‘to-do’ on one sticky note.
- Stick this ‘to-do’ sticky note just under the hot air balloon’s basket as if it were a ballast sandbag weight.
- Repeat with all of the items on your to-do list until they are all separate ‘sandbags’ weighing your hot air balloon down.
- It is normal for one task on your to do list, such as a large project, to be made up of several other tasks. It’s up do you do decide for yourself if these remain as one ‘sandbag’ or individual ones.
- Once all your sandbags are in place, take a step back and notice what emerges for you as you see the amount of weight on your balloon. As you do this, you suddenly notice the sound of escaping air and realise that your balloon has begun to slowly descend. What’s more, you are heading towards a mountain and need to gain altitude or you won’t make it over the summit!
You need to act quickly, but rationally, so take a moment and a breath to ground yourself, then consider:
- Which of your ‘to-do’ sandbags do you cut loose first? (Pop this sticky on your desk or somewhere face up.)
- Once that has sandbag has dropped, you notice you are still descending too quickly!
- Which of your ‘to-do’ sandbags do you cut loose next? (Pop this sticky face up on top of the first)
- Work quickly to repeat with all the other ‘to-do’ sandbags until only one is remaining. (You will end up with a little stack of stickies in order of prioritisation).
- Look at the last sandbag ‘to-do’. This is number one priority and, even though the balloon is still going down (more gently now), you have to keep this one attached to your basket.
- Look up!
- What condition is your burner in?
- Is it well maintained and firing at capacity or in need of attention?
- What fuel keeps the air in your balloon hottest?
- How full is your fuel tank?
- Where, when and how are you going to refuel before you add any other ‘to-to’ sandbags to your basket?
- You’ve given yourself some breathing space and seemed to have levelled out for now…
- Before you work on your first priority, take in the view from your hot air balloon; Notice your chosen destination, notice any obstacles and what they represent to you (including that huge mountain gaining on you fast!). As you notice your reaction to these parts of the landscape, look to see where the resources, fuel stations and supporters are located and anything else you can see from up there that will help you to get where you need to go.
- Now that you have more altitude and awareness, you are in a much better position to begin tackling this last remaining ‘to-do’ sandbag and first priority. Perhaps how you view this sandbag has even changed in the light of your new, altitude perspective!
So there you have it – a mental refuelling stop to successfully shift from potential ‘nose to the grindstone’ overwhelm to a higher-flying perspective, a clearer view of where you are headed and a priority organised ‘to-do’ list.
All that’s left is to wish you very happy flying this summer!