When to start? TODAY!

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.  Let us begin.”

Mother Teresa

How often do we spend our lives living in the past by lamenting what didn’t happen or trying to hold on to our previous accomplishments? Conversely, how much time do we spend living and thinking about the future and what we want or desire? I will admit that I am very guilty of the latter scenario, spending a lot of time and energy on what I think or want to happen. It is a constant battle to bring focus to what I need to do RIGHT NOW and put that same energy to use today.

Our supply of energy and time is finite. How we choose to invest it TODAY will create the future we want but only if we invest wisely. You have to start now. What is the very simple, finite, and clear thing you can start today that would impact the lives of others or yourself? Got it? Do it…

Tyranny of the urgent and unimportant…

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Stephen R. Covey

What gets in the way of doing the important things in your life, your work? Having a goal, a set of goals, just isn’t enough. You have to intentionally set aside the time to ensure that you aren’t being distracted by all the stuff that comes up that is urgent and demands to be done “right now.” Those urgent things will bog you down and take over your life if you aren’t really really careful and intentional about how you spend your time and energy.

One of those urgent things for me that gets in the way of what is truly important is answering and managing email. There can be just so much of it coming at me in a given day and sometimes it is hard to keep up. About four months ago I found an app that allows me to “pause” my inbox and only receive email a few times a day unless it means a certain set of criteria (from certain people or with certain keywords). This has been a game changer for me because it allows me to control my time and schedule when I am going to read and respond to email. It prevents the urgent (whether real or perceived) from taking time from what is truly important.

What can you do to find the balance between the tyranny of the urgent and the truly most important things? Any successes you can share?

Perfect isn’t possible…

“Progressive improvement beats delayed perfection.”

Mark Twain

Perfect isn’t possible.  Once you come to terms with this then there is no need to wait hoping that you can get there.  How many great ideas, projects, initiatives, etc. never see the light of day because the “timing isn’t perfect,” or the idea, project, initiatve “isn’t perfect yet?”  

This doesn’t mean that there is an excuse for shoddy work or poor execution.  You can still be striving for great, but waiting for perfection means that you will be waiting forever.  Make change happen.  Make mistakes, learn, grow, get better.  Do something! Just get better.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Just don’t wait to create change because you are hoping for perfect because it will never happen.  

 

 

Complacency = Death

“A higher rate of urgency does not imply ever-present panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent.”

John P. Kotter

It always amazes me how many points can be scored in a football game during the last two minutes.  When the pressure is on, and time is of the essence, great teams step up and score points.  The 2-minute drill highlights what a team is capable of when acting with urgency and removing any and all complacency from their behaviors.  

I have long believed that a sense of complacency is the most dangerous thing that a person or a team can ever develop.  The dictionary definition of complacency is, “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.”

Complacency scares me to death…

Operating with a sense of urgency is a natural guard against complacency.  Living with a sense of urgency shows up in the little things in life.  Watch people and you can tell those that bring a sense of urgency to all aspects of their lives.  You can see it in how they walk, how they respond to questions, what decisions they make, etc.

Urgency isn’t fear.   Urgency is moving and acting with intense purpose and drive because that’s how you choose to live.  

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