Don’t lean too heavily on your own understanding
Let’s stop worrying and get on with it
Having no plan for your future will not solve your problems and frustrations. If you feel like you are just drifting aimlessly through life, then you will struggle to take any action. Not planning your future and just living in the moment, leaves you bouncing all over the place, achieving very little.
The plans that you think you have are in their head and contain no detail about how you are going to be put them into action. Your plans are really just high-level goals and while your brain will react to these goals it is usually in a dysfunctional unrelated way.
Never envisioning or thinking about tomorrow – This is very common and it is one of the main reasons most people have a problem with time management as they jump from one thing to another. Those who achieve extraordinary results see things further into the future rather than just seeing things as they are now.
They are able to see what needs to get done and what is needed to accomplish the desired outcome. When you envision or think about the coming days, you will feel more motivated because you are envisioning yourself creating the future you want and moving one step closer toward your dreams.
Firefighting – You find yourself surrounded by more problems than you can reasonably handle. This can come about by in action, putting things off until tomorrow.
My experience is that when you have a plan that includes your high-level goals and what you are going to do to achieve those goals, you are more likely to handle problems and frustrations as they arise. Many small problems are easier to handle than one big overwhelming one.
Complexity – When a situation is something intricate or complex, we tend to freeze-up. Managing any type of organisation today is fundamentally different than it was just a few years ago. The most profound difference, is the level of complexity people have to cope with.
Complex systems have always existed and business has always been unpredictable. But complexity has gone from something found mainly in large cities, businesses, and systems, to something that affects almost everything. Most of this increase has resulted from globalisation and the information technology revolution. Systems that used to be separate are now interconnected and interdependent, which means that they are more complex.
Boredom – Or do you feel like you are having too much time and are feeling bored because you don’t accomplish much in life? Boredom can drive you to the brink of a mental breakdown, or it can give you incredibly creative ideas. It all depends on how you experience it.
Boredom can be a destructive feeling, a real action inhibitor. It can lead you to withdraw in meetings and social functions and in some cases, even lead to alcohol or drugs. But in certain circumstances, boredom can also be a force for good, becoming the spark that starts a creative process leading to greater self-reflection and direction.
Focusing on ‘stuff’ – Many people have difficulty in managing their time because they focus on doing trivial, unimportant things. It might make you feel busy, which might be stress relieving but not goal achieving. If you want to be productive, you must make sure you are working on things that really matter and things that will move you toward your future aspirations.
When your future is well planned you know both why and how you are going to bring those plans into reality, your capacity to be motivated increases. Your future is not about postponing important actions with ‘stuff’. It’s about doing the things that will enhance your future.
“If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there”? Steve Maraboli
Starting your day late – Life is not a dress rehearsal. If you study successful people, almost all of them started their days early. They share one thing in common. They all wake up early, motivated to do their most important tasks.
When I start my day late, I always feel rushed throughout the whole day, I just don’t seem to be on top of my work. Why not plan to start your day one or two days earlier it is certainly not the end of the world. Like all good habits if you practice it for 30 days it will usually become the norm.
Poor diet and exercise – Conventional wisdom suggests you cannot out-exercise a bad diet to achieve good health. Sure, you could eat whatever you wanted when you were a teenager, but not anymore. Even if you work out round the clock, you can’t transform your health if you constantly give in to cravings, junk foods, and sugar treats.
Many people now believe that if they keep their body in good shape (not Olympic shape), their time management is automatically enhanced with only a few simple tools. Unhealthy food choices usually make you feel lethargic and less driven to exercise.
No To-Do List – The to-do list helps you understand what you need to do, it directs your tasks and actions for the day. When you know what you need to do, you will be well-prepared and motivated to become action orientated.
Sometimes you may become so busy you lose sight of the important things that need to be done. This is where your to-do list comes into play, it brings you back on track. The key to making your to-do list work is to keep it simple. Don’t fill it up with ‘stuff’ that is unimportant in moving you and your organisation forward.
Poor delegation or outsourcing – Business today has become more complex and there is no way any one person can do everything that needs to be done. Globalisation and technology may be making it harder, but it also providing us with opportunities to make things easier. This, however, will usually require more skills than your organisation has.
Delegation is a skill and outsourcing is the key to running a modern successful organisation. By outsourcing the day to day tasks, or tasks you are not god at, or like doing, you have more time to focus on important tasks that will really enhance your organisation.
Poor sleeping habits – Not sleeping enough and not sleeping well generally damages your health and well-being. At the very least, lack of sleep will decrease your motivation and ability to take timely actions. Chronic sleep deprivation, for whatever reason, significantly affects your performance and the performance of the people around you.
You need to find the balance between life and work. Some people can work till late at night and still feel motivated to do more, while others need to quit early. When you feel motivated and want to get more done, do so., but when you feel tired, get some rest. Success is a journey and not a destination and you need your rest in order to get more done on your journey.
Perfectionism is a pipe dream – Always remember that no one is perfect in this world. We learn the most from our mistakes and failures not from doing things perfectly. Therefore, just go ahead and do it. You don’t have to understand every detail to start. You can start and figure the rest of the details which you don’t know as you move forward.
As long as you are always in motion and moving, you will have an edge over people who are always thinking but are not doing anything. Sure you need to have quality output but it doesn’t have to be perfect in every way. You need to be action orientated and act as soon as possible, learning as you move forward.
As long as you keep a focus on your future and keep your goals top of mind, it will help to minimise your distractions.
[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]
One of the most common action inhibitors is that you get distracted on your journey. We get distracted when some other things seem more interesting, or more important to us. Having too many distractions is a success killer.
Here is a story of a farmer who told his wife…
“I’m going to plough the back paddock tomorrow.”
The next morning he went out to give the tractor a grease and oil change, but he needed oil, so he went to the workshop to get it.
On the way, he noticed that the pigs hadn’t been fed. He then started for the feed shed to get the feed, but he saw some sacks there which reminded him the potatoes needed sprouting.
He walked over towards the potatoes, enroot he spotted the wood pile and remembered that he promised to carry some wood to the house, but he had to chop it first and he had left his axe behind in the chicken shed.
As he went for his axe he met his wife feeding the chickens. With surprise, she asked, have you finished ploughing already?
“Finished“, the farmer bellowed, “I haven’t even started.”