Are You Trying To Make the EASY Way Look Hard?

What if I told you that YOU are you’re own worst enemy?  Would you be offended or would you smile and agree, because you know it’s true.  It’s true for ALL of us. You can tell a lot about a business person by the way they spend their time. We all spend our time in various ways. Many business owners and senior executives tell me that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Personally, I have a belief that there is always enough time in the day to do all of the things that are WORTH doing. The key is to identify what is worth your while. Sometimes activity can be a kind of anesthesia for the pain of not achieving the results you want and deserve. Action is always better than procrastination. However, more activity is not always better than less. What about ‘make busy‘ activities? If you‘ve ever spent your day stuck in back-to-back meetings, answering routine questions from your team, responding to emails, troubleshooting, emptying the in-tray or tidying the office, you know exactly what I mean by ‘make busy‘. It is easy to spend large amounts of time on ‘make busy’ activities. In fact it is possible to spend ALL your time on these activities, creating the magnificent illusion that you are hard at work, simply because you feel flat out. You are working hard but you have very little (in financial results) to show for it.  Your day is full of tasks and you get home exhausted – so you must have put in a hard day’s work, right? Unfortunately, these habitual and ‘make busy’ activities can keep you trapped where you already are – just simply maintaining, not growing. By filling your days with these tasks, you are in effect avoiding the very activities that you know will really move your business or career forward and produce tangible results – what we might call ‘productive activities’.  These activities rarely happen automatically.  They require focused attention. And, all too often, they get relegated to ‘tomorrow’ or ‘sometime soon’. A great many business owners and senior executives, while they like to think of themselves as entrepreneurial, would rather do anything other than face the thought of ‘productive activities’. They probably have these things on their ‘to do’ lists, but after another day of busyness, they just say to themselves – again “It’s OK, I was really busy. The business planning review will have to wait for tomorrow.” The problem is this – and believe me, I have seen it played out many, many times: if you are waiting for the right or best time to do these critical ‘productive activities’, that time will simply never come. Tomorrow there will be more ‘busy work’ to do, and your unproductive habits will fill the rest of the day, and the cycle will start all over again. Today is a new day – the past is over and has no relevance to today or your future.  Successful people are not without problems or challenges.  Successful people simply refuse to carry the SAME dilemmas or hurdles for months (or years) on end.  They seek solutions, face impediments, overcome obstacles and move on. They make time to focus on ‘productive activities’.  They rise above the ‘noise’ of busyness, create ways to focus their mind on the things that really matter right now, and get on with the job. They set specific goals and they monitor and take action based on the financial trends in their business.  They don’t try to do ‘everything’, they focus only on the very things that will give them the most leveraged and positive result. They rarely blame external circumstances when things go wrong and they take responsibility every day for what they choose to spend their time on. Success is achieved with less not more – and it’s actually easier than you think.  Working like a dog to avoid dealing with problems and keeping yourself immersed in ‘busy work’ – now THAT IS HARD WORK!  Why would you choose to do THAT when you could simply take a step back and choose to do the 1-2 things that you know would move your business forward right now? Isn’t it time to start taking it easy?  It worked for The Eagles in the ‘70s and it can work for you in your business (or career) right now!

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