Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just Do It

My Best days, whether at home or at work, are the days when I am ready and focused. The days when I have a clear vision of what needs to get done and that vision is written down on paper and scheduled into manageable steps. Not everyday is like that, and nor should it be. Trust me, I have my days (many of them) that I completely leave to chance. I have days that I completely waste infront of the television or, you guessed it, Facebook. But after a day or two the pile of to-do's in my little head becomes a seemingly surmountable fortress. I'm guessing, however, that I am not the only one. So, if you are like me and need to get stuff done here are some reminders on how to Just Do It! 

1. Break Your Work Into Little Chunks Subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, and then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!. For example, let’s say you want to write a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Writing a book is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as – (1) Research (2) Deciding the topic (3) Creating the outline (4) Drafting the content (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10, (6) Revision (7) etc. suddenly it seems very manageable. 

2. Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops. If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. For example if you spend a lot of time online (ahem…Facebook) Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email. Get rid of the distractions around you. I know some people will out of the way and delete their Facebook accounts. I think it’s a little extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions, but, if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

3. Hang out with people who inspire you to take action.  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Bill Gates, or Oprah, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Identify the people/friends/colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will adopt their drive and spirit too.

4. Get a buddy. Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, however, if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other. I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

5. Tell others about your goals.  Tell your  supportive friends, colleagues, about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

6. Seek out someone who has already achieved the outcome. What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

7. Re-clarify your goals. If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that. Take a step back and ask yourself, What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does what you are currently doing align with that? If not, what can you do about it? Write it down.

8. Stop over-complicating things. Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? Think maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything. Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination

9. Get a grip and just do it. Overall, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Often times people keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day. Reality check: I have never heard anyone procrastinate his or her way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and just Do It!! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Balance Your Way to Success

What does success mean to you? 

I know that every single person dreams of some sort of success. Is it success in business? Is it success in family? Is it success in health? Or is it success in being a good person and making a difference in this world?
All of these definitions are right but I think it is even more important to live a balanced life of success. Successful Living is more than just having a certain amount in your bank account or reaching a certain career height. Successful living in the broadest sense is
~ A life that is full of opportunities that you are not afraid to try, 
~ a life full of fun and meaningful work
~ a life where you can spend plenty of time with the people you care about
~ a life you live without regrets

Doesn’t this life sound wonderful? There are no secrets to living a successful life, but there are a few keys that we sometimes overlook.
1. slow down.
The reason why we sometimes overlook success in life is because we are always in a hurry. We are in a hurry to get somewhere (without thinking whether we really need to be there or not.) We are in a hurry to reach a goal without thinking whether that goal is what we want or not.
Allow yourself to slow down, relax, breathe and ponder on what success truly is for you. Let yourself break free from the expectations of others and the norms that our society dictates to us. Set your own rules that are meaningful and important to you.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get ~Dale Carnegie
2. De-clutter your way to success
After you have mastered step #1 it is time to move on and declutter your lifestyle. Success does not mean being a superman or a superwoman. You do not have to run a marathon in order to be in good shape – just 30 minutes of running or brisk walking daily is enough.
You do not have to drive a very expensive car in order to show your status.

Eliminate goals that are not meaningful to you, declutter your house, stop communicating with people who drain you emotionally, and give up “empty” activities (TV and too much internet surfing are definitely the first ones to go.)
By getting rid of things that you do not need you make room for success in your life.
3. Learning to fail
Failures are inevitable on any path, especially path to success. There are no doubts that sooner or later you will make a mistake or your attempts will fail. However, letting this failure stop your journey towards success is the biggest mistake that you can make.
Failure is just a stop sign on the road. Just because it is on your way it does not mean that you have to finish your journey. Stop, wait, go.

I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
~John D. Rockefeller
4. Keep the flow and stay the course
If you are not afraid to fail anymore you have to learn to persevere no matter what you are doing. Thomas Edison had tried thousands of times to make the electric light bulb. He said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve identified 10,000 ways that it doesn’t work.” Of course through his perseverance we enjoy light in our houses today.
Giving up on something in life is always the easiest route, but it is not the route that will take you to success. We all have projects that seem too big, too difficult or too impossible. If we can persevere, all those projects will be a success.
5. Keep the faith
There are powers in this world that are much greater than us. The power that you choose to believe in can be Nature, Universe, God … The only power in this world that is limited is the power of a self-centered human.
When you believe in nothing greater than yourself you give room to selfishness and pride which eventually lead to envy, jealousy, and inner emptiness. True successful living does not stop on materialistic achievements; it takes you on the journey towards natural spirituality and infinite growth.
6. Love is all you need
What is life if there is no room in it for love? What is the point of that existence?What is the point of working hard if this work does not bring any results besides money in your bank account?What is the point of living in a big house if that house stays cold and empty all the time?Love is truly the greatest power in this world. It will inspire you, it will motivate you, and it will give you strength when you need it.
7. Pay it forward
Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. ~Albert Einstein  
If your life is more than a tribute to … well … you then your life will be a success. If your efforts are not based on selfishness but rather on generosity and kindness of your heart then no matter what you do in life you will be successful. When you stop thinking only about yourself you discover a completely new meaning of successful living.

What does success mean to you now?