The biggest enemy to an organized, productive and accomplished life are the “Yes, but…” EXCUSES. You intuitively know that achievement and an orderly life style is the result of small daily efforts. You also know that it is the discipline of constancy that births an auto-piloted routine. The challenge however, is that to break into that magical place, you have to get off of your “Yes, but…” and just START it! Easy? No, at least not in the beginning.
GETTING OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
Inside all of us, hides the SABOTEUR of a successful, focused, well-managed life. His name? Excuse-itis! His only rival (and remedy) is the “Start it now” gene. All human beings have been engineered with one. The problem is it has escaped activation because you have to get off your “Yes, but…” to rev the engine. Yes, I know you are not LAZY. In fact you are probably a hard worker, a great parent, a loving and attentive spouse, and a superb employee or manager. You work long hours at your career, run your kids to soccer practice or take your aging parents to a doctor’s appointment. You run errands, do laundry, food shopping, gas the car, clean, garden, etc. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t need some organizing in your space or timeline, right? Is it a system you need -- or is it the old, “I don’t know where to start” syndrome?
YES, BUT...I WANT TO FINISH IT THE DAY I START IT
“The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.”
— Sydney Smith
I never met Mr. Sydney Smith, but I like the way he thought. He understood that no achievement, no conquest, no transformation, and certainly no organizing project could take place without starting SMALL. Whether it’s picking up a single paper to file, sorting and organizing one drawer, cleaning out one shelf in one cupboard, or cleaning off just a section of your desk, starting the project with tiny steps is a power principle. In fact, it’s the antidote! Why? Because one step leads to ANOTHER, and then another.
YES, BUT...I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START
“Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”
— Richard L. Evans
It doesn’t matter WHERE you start! Write out a list of “to do’s” that you’ve been procrastinating about, and then write them on 3 x 5 inch cards or scrap pieces of paper. Put them in a box or paper lunch bag and pick one. Start there and work 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week until you’ve FINISHED it.
YES, BUT...I'D RATHER WAIT UNTIL I CAN DO THE JOB RIGHT
“Remember that any start is better than no start.”
— Frank J. Bruno, Ph.D.
But in Frank Bruno’s little but powerful book "Stop Procrastinating", he advises that your start does not have to be SMART (i.e. part of a well thought out strategy), nor does it have to be a QUALITY effort, but rather any type of beginning is the key!
YES, BUT THIS ISN'T A GOOD TIME TO START
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where your stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at you command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”
— Napoleon Hill
Sometimes it feels like we have too much on our plates already. But work EXPANDS to fit your schedule. It can only become supple by squeezing a new item in while deleting a time waster (like watching television, staring out in space or doodling.) Also, getting up 15 minutes earlier or going to bed 15 minutes later is not going bring on sleep deprivation. In fact, there are a hundred and one ways to find an extra 15 minutes in a day, especially when you realize that organizing is an INVESTMENT that reaps extra minutes, if not hours eventually.
YES, BUT I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO GET MOTIVATED
“The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true —- action precedes motivation. You have to ‘prime the pump’ and get the juices flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step…is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day.”
— Robert J. McKain
In other words, to FEEL like doing it, you have START.
© 2005 Pamela Occhino. All rights reserved. Pamela Occhino specializes in communication strategies for the 21st Century. Her newsletter, 21st Century Communications, is on the launch pad for spring 2006. For FREE tips, tactics and techniques to connect with our media savvy, generationally mixed and diverse culture, send an email with “subscribe” in the subject line to .
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