When you have tons of things to do, you have three choices on how you execute:
– Get cracking and attack one at a time and see where you end up
– Throw the towel
– Execute effectively.
The last option is the best one. How do you execute effectively?
Plan execution in order of priority and delegate effectively where appropriate. Procrastinate or eliminate inconsequential items!
Having taken this approach you are working with fewer items on your plate which have the highest impact. Also, you have been able to use your team effectively by delegating and empowering them. Finally, you have eliminated or procrastinated things that have minimum consequences. This approach to execution is efficient and effective!
If you do not have time to do things right, when will you have time to do it again. Lack of planning usually leads to not doing things right.
Planning is time-consuming. However, not planning can be a disaster or usually ends up with duplication of effort and more time-consuming.
Execution is good but without planning, you can end up executing the wrong things or things that are least important or rank lesser in your priorities. Thus a few minutes of planning can lead to a few hours saved.
Planning and execution go hand in hand. They are like two wings of the bird!
When J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter novel, 12 different publishers rejected the book. Even Bloomsbury, the publishing house that finally purchased Rowling’s manuscript, advised Rowling to get a day job.
Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for building Disney World.
Harrison Ford moonlighted as a carpenter to support his young family before getting his first big break in movies.
It is not surprising then that Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Here perspiration implies both hard work and perseverance.
Perseverance is often the deciding factor between having a dream and living it. So how do we grow this quality and make it a part of our being? The answer lies in the acronym “PERSEVERE”.
P- Purpose – Purpose lies at the core of perseverance. Every story of perseverance derives its strength from the purpose around which it revolves. If the purpose is ambiguous or weak, it will not sustain you on your path for the long haul. It is therefore important to define your purpose, find out what really makes you tick, and set out a plan of action.
E – Enthusiasm – Enthusiasm is the positive energy you bring to every task. It forms the key ingredient that spurs you when times get difficult or the wait seems endless. The easiest way to boost enthusiasm is to do what you love or love what you do.
R – Resilience – Resilience is the ability to bounce back whenever you fall down. Resilient people don’t allow setbacks to slow them down but use them as stepping-stones to their success.
S – Support – We are all interconnected and interdependent. It is a good idea to involve people in our dreams and help them achieve theirs. Invite, welcome and acknowledge support from family, friends or mentors, as well as strangers.
E – Efficiency – Make sure your daily actions and processes are imbued with efficiency. Efficiency happens when you identify and consistently practice a set of best practices in your field.
V – Values – During any change or crisis your values and principles will keep you from feeling lost or unbalanced. They will serve as beacons helping you make the right choices, rather than acting from fear or confusion.
E – Eliminate – Eliminate all that is unnecessary, irrelevant and takes you away from your purpose. Clutter distracts your mind and weakens your drive.
R – Review – Make it a habit to regularly review your tasks and identify patterns or actions which have led to maximum results. Simultaneously, rethink, change or eliminate all that is no longer serving your purpose.
E – Elasticity – this refers to flexibility. Remember that life is a spontaneous and dynamic process. While it is important to keep your eye on your purpose, many times you might be called upon to take unfamiliar detours in your journey. But while you do this never lose sight of your larger goals.
Finding your life’s purpose will be one of the most important decisions you will make. Once you have found your sweet spot, your holy grail, the next step is to build your life around it because there is a gap between imagining something and making it a reality. What we do to bridge this gap ultimately decides the quality of our reality.
Here are a few tips to make the journey easier:
➢ Articulate your life’s purpose in great detail – We can create all that we can conceive. Writing down your dream helps to crystallize your goals and concentrate your attention. For example, if you want to become a singer, then articulate it in complete details right down to the kind of music you want to associate with, artists you want to work with, the kind of styles you want to experiment with, your lifestyle etc.
➢ Inculcate self-discipline – There will be times when the road ahead will seem difficult and you will be plagued by self-doubt. In times like these, it is easy to give up on your dream. Moreover, when you are working on your dream, the locus of control shifts from the outside world to your inner being, often leading you to slow down on tasks. Disciplining yourself to keep up a daily schedule and consistently following through on all activities will help you remain on track.
➢ Don’t expect immediate results – The starting phase requires your undivided attention. This is the time when you get to work at your craft and hone it to precision. Learn to treat every challenge as a learning opportunity. Do not undervalue this experience as these obstacles carry within them the potential for great self-growth and transformation.
➢ Be resilient if things do not go as expected – Planning for every eventuality is a good beginning, but not a guarantee against perceived failure. Remember, you have the inherent strength to rise up after every fall and learn from each one.
➢ Work hard – The axiom ‘Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’ does not mean that you will not have to work hard. It means that work might not seem like work at all since you would be enjoying what you do. However, the fact is that every job will contain certain aspects, which you might not enjoy, but which will need to be done.
➢ Keep a backup plan ready – Besides your own role, there are other aspects, which affect the success of your endeavors. Most ideas require a certain running time before they take off. So it’s essential to plan for the long haul, especially if you are supporting a family and need to pay bills. You will need the support of your loved ones.
➢ Break it down – At times the scale of our dream might seem daunting. Often, in the beginning, you might not know how to start. The way forward here is to break up every big plan into smaller tasks based on relevance and immediacy.
I read a story about someone missing a meeting with the President at White House to watch his son’s final basketball game.
It so happened that his son made the last two point shot when their team were one point down to win the final. He later said that the experience of watching his son make the last two point winning shot was worth far more than meeting the President at the White House.
After reading this story, I was inspired to watch my son’s game even though I could only watch for the first five minutes as I had to pick up my wife Farzana from work. As I reached the soccer ground the game was about to start so I shouted to my son: I am here! He gave me a thumbs up. Then I said that I can only watch the game for five minutes as I have to pick up Mom and he gave me a thumbs up again. Then I could not resist and said to him if he is planning to score a goal then he better do so in the first five minutes. He gave me another thumbs up!
Lo and behold he scored in the first five minutes. It was a screamer – he found the net from about 25 yards slipping the ball between two players and the bottom right corner. Wow!
How did that happen? He set a goal to score in the first five minutes and scored a goal in the first five minutes!
The moral of this story is: Set a goal to achieve a goal!
Are you inspired to take one area of your life from being at a good level to being at your best level?
The moment you make this commitment, your whole outlook towards this area will shift to a much higher level. Also, you will start to behave in a similar manner in other areas of your life. It almost starts a new habit to life.
You will begin to feel great about yourself because you are now working at your brilliant best instead of just good enough.
Begin by making a decision to up your game from being good to being at your brilliant best in one area of your life and watch the miraculous shift to other areas of your life.
Did you start your New Year with a bang or a hangover?
Most party on New Year’s Eve then wake up late with a hangover. If you partied last night till early morning you are like most people and you are excused. But do not let the day pass without some serious revisit of your goals for 2019.
Even if you have articulated your goals for 2019 earlier, you need to revisit these goals daily to imprint in your mind, heart, body, and soul!
People say I know all this stuff. However, it is not what you know that counts; it is what you do! Doing requires reminders, focus, and accountability!
Make 2019 a year of execution, not excuses! Happy New Year!
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