A few years ago I read The Trust Edge by David Horsager. Side note: Excellent read and full of practical applications. Inside he shares a technique he calls “Difference-Making Actions,” or DMAs. It is a strategy that helps you intentionally focus on the most important things each day to reach your goal.
Allow me to recap here:
- When you wake up in the morning take 1 sticky note. (Why first thing in morning – because you are least bombarded and distracted)
- At the top write the most important current goal you have.
- Below the goal, write the numbers 1-5 down the note.
- Next to the number 1, write the most important thing you could do today to reach that goal. Then write the next most important things in the remaining numbers.
- Congratulations! You now have a list of the 5 most important things you can do today that would make the greatest contribution toward accomplishing your goal.
- Now, build your day around these items. Make them your priority. Get them out of the way before lunch so you have the rest of the day to tackle the chaos of the DR world.
Helpful reminders to make your DMAs effective:
- Focused/specific to today. If it can’t be listed simply in 5 tasks narrow your goal, or break it down into several goals.
- Clear/quantifiable actions! These are the exact steps you will do.
- Realistic expectations. Be sure you can actually do them in 1 day.
Here’s a practical example that works for increasing your business from Insurance Agents:
Goal: Get 5 Direct Insurance Agent Referrals this month
- Send 1 thank you note to a past Agent who has referred
- Call 2 Agents on new jobs and ask what message we can give to their client on their behalf
- Call 2 Agents of current jobs at halfway-point to update them on progress and customer information
- For 1 just-completed job go see the Agent and thank them for working with us
- Go to 1 new job and meet the customer and deliver the message from their Agent in person
- Are the above focused and specific? Yes!
- Are the above clear and quantifiable? Yes!
- Are the above realistic and accomplishable in 1 day? Yes!