There’s a pretty funny commercial for a sports club, I’m sure you’ve seen it. A big strong muscular guy is being given a tour of a gym. He’s showing off his muscles and drinking out of a gallon jug. His response to everything he’s shown or asked is “I lift things up and put them down.”
I crack up every time I see this commercial, but there does come a time when “lifting things up and putting them down” isn’t so funny.
I’ve had many clients and prospects tell me that they have tried to tackle their clutter whether– it’s email or paper related–but they get stuck because the system that they read about or that worked for their friend isn’t working for them. Following general recommendations or one-size fits all solutions can get you in trouble.
For some, the reason they get stuck is because they are trying to follow what “they” recommend. You know they–the ones that say things like “Only touch an item once”. Anyone who follows this recommendation is bound to get stuck for a simple reason–the assumption is that when you touch the item, you’re going to do something with it until you no longer need it. How realistic is that?
Most people leave emails or paper sitting around because they are still working on them. If you only touch it once, then you can’t touch it until you can work on it and finish the project.
But what if you’re waiting on information from someone else? Or what if you have to do the project in stages? Following the “only touch an item once” philosophy will leave you stuck in a rut of procrastination, always feeling like you’re not able to start or touch the item.
What’s a better concept? Touch with Vision, Purpose and Action™:
Each project or task has a vision or end result in mind. Whenever you “touch” a project, do something to move it forward towards that vision and closer to completion-one step at a time. Better yet, work in stages. Always think of your next action and what you can do to accomplish something that will make a difference. Be purposeful in your work.
So the next time you’re tempted to just lift things up and put them down, think of an action you can take to move your project forward. It could be phone call, research, 15 minutes of focused work…anything that will help get you one step closer to your goal.
Latest posts by Nicole Chamblin (see all)
- Avoid Distractions–Get Funnel Vision - March 23, 2016
- Have a Plan for Handling External Interruptions and Distraction - March 21, 2016
- You’re Not Alone in Battling Perfectionism - March 15, 2016