POC Principle: The 3 Words that will Change Your Life for the Better
Do you ever wonder why you try so hard but don’t accomplish your goals? A few small tweaks to your daily habits with the POC principle can help you finish everything that you start and continue to grow as a person, and as a leader over time.
Knowing your priorities isn’t enough.
What do you want the most in life? We all have priorities. Of course, this is slightly different for everyone, but some of the most universal ones include building your family, reaching a career milestone, or improving your health. Take a moment to think about what these top priorities are in your life. What are your big audacious goals or the simple pleasures that mean the most to you? Then hold that thought, so you can put the POC principle into action.
All too often, despite their importance, we struggle to manage our top priorities correctly. Somehow those things that are most important continue to take a back seat in our life. As a result, life starts to feel out of balance. Always busy, but somehow never achieving those top priorities.
There is a simple yet remarkably effective solution. It is a term coined by 10 Leading Tools author KG Butler call the “POC principle”, which stands for Priority, Order, and Consistency. Just knowing these 3 words and how to apply them can make the difference between wishing for your dreams and actually realizing them.
How to Add Order and Consistency to Your Life to Complete the POC
To help you visualize the difference Priority, Order, and Consistency can make, I like to use an analogy of the “Big Rocks” popularized by best-selling author Stephen R. Covey. In our example, let’s say that you have a jar and you need to fill it with sand, pebbles, and rocks.
The sand represents small things like texting a friend, playing a video game, or watching Netflix. While these things are fun, often necessary to our happiness, and are absolutely a part of everyone’s life, they aren’t life-changing or impactful in the long run.
The pebbles represent utilitarian things like getting groceries, cleaning your house, or even doing your homework. While necessary, they aren’t the biggest priorities and don’t make the most difference in life.
The big rocks represent family for many people, or maybe a certain goal: a degree, a book you want to write, a health/fitness milestone, or perhaps starting a new business. It’s something major that you’ve wanted to accomplish but haven’t yet accomplished.
Now, here’s the mistake people make. When you fill the jar with sand first, then pebbles, and lastly the big rocks, you likely won’t be able to fit everything in the jar, your day or your life.
Essentially, when we try to fit our priorities in last, then we never seem to have enough space for them, so our life will always be out of balance and we’ll struggle to accomplish our big priorities. Days, months, and even years may pass before we accomplish our top priorities. Don’t let this happen anymore!
Put the Big Rocks In First
The solution is simple: put in the big rocks first. Work on your business plan, your health, your family, or whatever those big priorities are, first. This can be carried out day-by-day: waking up in the morning and working on that top priority first thing before you spend your mental and physical energy on anything else.
For example, if the family is your priority, wake up in the morning and spend time with your kids before you pick up the phone or start your other daily routines. If learning a new skill is your priority, spend your morning commute with an audiobook or podcast. For this to work in your life, you need to be consistent with putting the top priorities first. Work on this habit until it becomes second nature!
Add In Some Pebbles
Secondly, after you’ve put effort into the big priorities, it’s time to put in the “pebbles,” or the rest of the tasks that you need to do. These are all the utilitarian tasks that need to get done. But none of them should be taking the #1 spot in your life when you have other, bigger priorities. Clean your house, pick up groceries, and get the oil changed in your car. And remember the consistency factor! Keeping up with these tasks will enable you to continue putting the primary focus on your big priorities.
And Finally, Pour in the Sand
Last but certainly not least includes fun, entertainment, and all the other little things that make life great. These things are important – don’t get me wrong! But you should be fitting these things in around your top priorities, instead of trying to cram your priorities in after the smaller things like these.
When you decide what your priorities are and give them their proper position in your day, in your week, and in your life, you can accomplish your goals so much more effectively. Remember POC and work to maintain the Priority, Order, and Consistency in your life. Start a new daily habit today: Think POC principle. Focus on the big rocks. Everything else is just pebbles and sand!
RECAP: The 3 Words You Need to Reach Your Goals: POC Principle
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