Thursday, March 14, 2013

Want to Get More Done? Stop Doing These 2 Things

Today's guest blog post is from Dr. Glenn Pickering.

If you want to get more done in business, you need to subtract two things from your life.

What are they?

Procrastination and busyness.

At first glance, these two behaviors may seem like opposites, since one involves inaction and the other involves too much action.

Yet, both have much in common -- both are thoughtless, vision-less, and fear-driven.

Whether I avoid taking bold action by doing nothing or by busily occupying myself with mundane daily tasks, the result is the same -- more of the same, the status quo.

Success requires purposeful activity, which stems from a clear sense of direction, which takes time to develop. In my first book, Blinding Insights and Blind Alleys, I wrote, “In order for me to have a clear sense of direction, I need time for inactivity and reflection. Direction comes not from fevered activity but from a clear sense of self.”

So, how do you subtract procrastination and busyness from your life?

Let’s start with procrastination. Here’s the key. The way to get something done is to start. Not to finish -- to start.

Often, if I find myself procrastinating, it is because I am honestly confused as to how to proceed, because I can’t see the whole picture. At times like that, I have found it helpful to simply start somewhere. Almost always, once I have taken the first step, the next step becomes clearer and the finish line gradually begins to come into focus.

How about busyness? To stop frittering away your days in pointless activity, make an honest assessment of the tasks you are avoiding. In general, you will find that these tasks fall into two groups: things you’re uncomfortable doing and things you don’t do well.

To deal with “uncomfortable” tasks, you may need to put one of those at the top of your to-do list tomorrow, enlist the aid of an accountability partner, pray/relax/meditate to make yourself less anxious, or recall previous successes, as a way to remind yourself that you can indeed tackle this.

To deal with things you’re not good at, you may need to improve your delegating skills, ask for help, acknowledge your struggles to others, or ask for suggestions. We need to admit that there are certain things that we will never be good at and then allow others to do them, help us with them, or guide us though them.

By subtracting procrastination and busyness from your life, you make room for more productivity -- and more happiness.

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