Happy 2020. We have reached J in our alphabet themed blog series and the truth is that I wrote this for September, to follow on from innovate and change. I never published it with everything going on around launching the book All the Mistakes.
The thought process began when I heard the lyric of the Kaiser Chiefs song ‘Don’t just stand there do something’.
It would be useful if you knew
That everything you say and do
Potentially could change tomorrow
And if you’re all still sleeping there
Without the power, without a care
Don’t mention me when your alarm goes, yeah
Don’t just stand, don’t just stand there
Don’t just stand there, do something
Don’t just stand, don’t just stand there
Don’t just stand there, do something Do something
It’s January and J is for January. Every year we promise ourselves a lot and really have the best of intentions but….
So this year this is my Exhortation: Just do Something different or differently.
A few thoughts if you are at a loss:
My grandmother always said that if you want to start something start by sweeping the floor. It’s very simple and to do it physically helps you to think more clearly because it takes little or no concentration but it is, nevertheless a focused task. Sweeping the floor in your mind happens while you sweep the actual floor. That’s why it’s a great way to start. In our business world it means yes, sweep the floor but also clear your desk, file all the paper tidy up the e mail write the inevitable list of things that need doing.
Now you do something different with that list.
- Put first a number, in order of importance beside each task you want to get completed and re order the list
- Next look at the list critically. If you are truthful with yourself, Some of those things will never get done. So stop wasting energy. DELETE THEM and move on. Next put a name, which is not yours, beside two thirds of the numbers leaving you with only one third of the tasks. I know, I hear you saying “but no one does it like me” or “I’m a one man show” Sub contract, hire someone on an ad hoc basis – We all know someone who will do a few hours here and there; Ask one of your kids or your nephews or nieces – they’ll be glad of a few euros after Christmas. Consider having an intern. (I can perhaps help you with that.) Get these people to do the things you do badly, or slowly or just the things you hate doing. You could get them to do the things you have been putting off and making excuses about (don’t tell me that doesn’t happen). Already you are more efficient, less pressured and stuff is getting done. You feel better.
- Put a deadline on everything to get it done and manage the process like a professional project – manage pro-actively
- Now for the one third – the stuff you will actually do.
- Create a deliberate time slot in each day where you can shut the door, turn off the phone, ban interruptions and deliver on what you need to do. I suggest 2 hours.
- When things that don’t fit your weekly work plan (interruptions, opportunities), come along.
- Stick to the task in hand
- Put the decision on what to do into tomorrows dedicated time slot. – Don’t make a snap decision
- Weigh them up carefully be willing to say both yes and indeed no. Then get the relevant action on the list
- Test and measure the value you are getting for the time you spend on everything. If it’s bad vale then STOP doing it.
- If there is something you’ve been putting off DO IT or delegate it or don’t do it and clear the decks.
Just doing stuff frees up your mind to be more creative, innovative and productive. Just doing it gets the monkey off your back, releases a pile of endorphins and makes you feel better and that energises you and speeds up the cycle even more.
J is for January. JFDI is the phrase: Just flippin do it. Stop thinking of reasons to not do it, stop putting it off. Just take action. That moves you out of a stagnant place. It doesn’t matter what it is; small action breeds into bigger action and that generates growth both as a person and in your business.
There is a lot more on this topic. I am happy to share. All you have to do is take action and contact me.
I started with a quote so I will finish with another. This is from the great used car salesman Joe Girard:
Do first what’s necessary, then what is desirable. Suddenly you find you are doing what most people consider the impossible.