Aug 192014 5 Responses

Do the Work

For most people, reading a book on time management is a waste of time. It’s a distraction from what they should actually be doing.

A majority of people who buy a product on publishing a book are creatively dodging actually writing a book.

Nearly every meeting held in a work environment has little to no impact on moving a company or employees ahead.

Why?

Why do we dream more than we do? Why do we talk at length in planning to get work done, but actually accomplish very little work?

The answer is simple…people like to talk about work far more than actually doing work.

The difference between success and failure for the average person is the difference between talking about work and doing work.

Successful people get work done. Everyone else simply talks about doing work. (See: Three Things Every Employee Should Do)

While some are blatantly lazy and will admit it, most of us are unknowingly lazy. We find ways to make ourselves and others believe we are doing important things when in actuality, we are avoiding what needs to be done.

Consider the process: we feel as though we are working hard but we aren’t accomplishing anything.

It’s the same scenario which many people go through regarding decision-making. They have a decision to make, but instead of taking steps to gather information in order to make an intelligent decision, they worry. Worrying feels like they are dealing with the issue, but it doesn’t get them any closer to making up their mind. They feel they are working but with no progress.

So it is with how most of us work. We fill our days with tasks which look like work, but they are not actual steps to accomplishing what really matters.

We end up worn out, but having done nothing. (See: You Always Have an Excuse)

The difference between those who do the work and those who talk about doing the work is found in how distractions are handled.

No matter how well you have planned your work and set aside time to accomplish what needs to be done, you will face distractions. Those that do the work ignore the distractions; those that talk about doing work fall for the distractions.

Imagine a husband and wife on a date. As they are beginning the meal, a beautiful woman approaches the table and with a voice of seduction, looks at the man and says, “Can I borrow you for a moment?”

A wise man says, “No, I’m on a date with my wife.” (See: One Thing You Must Show Your Spouse)

But a foolish man looks at his wife and says, “She just needs me for a moment. I’ll be right back.”

So it is with our work. At every moment we are tempted to leave the work we are committed to and interact with whatever opportunity presents itself in the moment.

A fool gives in at every moment.

A wise man holds fast to his commitments.

This is true with both work and women.

The difference between a productive day and an unproductive day is often found in our ability to ignore the distractions.

Assuming you have determined the most important tasks of your day, here is the best way to ignore all other temptations:

1. Commit to the most important work. It sounds simple, but making up your mind to do a project at a specific time can go a long way to pushing off all distractions. Write it down, say it out loud, or tell a co-worker what you are going to do. Then when distractions come, it will be easier to remember you have already committed to a certain task. Think about how easy it is to tell a co-worker, “I have a meeting” when they are asking you to do something. They are often quick to understand. If you commit to a certain task and put it in your calendar, you can tell every other distraction, “I’m sorry. I have a commitment.”

2. Schedule pockets in your day for unforeseen work. If you have a specific time set aside for tasks which have you have not planned for, it will be easier to push those requests into that time rather than taking care of them in the moment. Get used to saying, “We can talk about this at _____” and “I’ve scheduled _____ for that task.” By having a specific place to put requests, we can avoid the temptation of dropping our important work for whatever is pressing in the moment.” (See: Stop Squandering Your Time)

3. Be helpful with people, but do not do their work for them. If we are skilled at getting work done, people will often turn to us with the hopes we will do their work for them. While it is often tempting to do so, we must avoid the temptation. Offer people advice of how to accomplish a task, but do not get in the habit of accepting assignments from those who are not in authority over you. Doing the work of others will quickly lead to more people trying to hand their work off to you.

In the end, the task is simple. Do the work. Ignore everything else and do what needs to be done.

 

5 Responses to Do the Work
  1. […] What if your excuse was actually your advantage? (See: Do the Work) […]... kevinathompson.com/excuse-actually-advantage
  2. […] But most of the time we all need to be like Pac-man. We need to eat every problem that comes our way... kevinathompson.com/boss-wants-pac-man
  3. […] Charge in like someone who has something to accomplish. (See: Do the Work) […]... kevinathompson.com/the-best-way-to-start-monday
  4. […] One of the most difficult aspects of growing up is trying to figure out who we are. When I was in c... kevinathompson.com/do-what-you-do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.