Time is limited. And if we do not use it correctly, we may lose the fight with the growing list of responsibilities and opportunities we face daily. Unfortunately, while being on the run to win the race for productivity and efficiency, many people fail by sabotaging their success. With many distractors and stoppers, we tend to get the most straightforward tasks done and fail to focus on the ones that make a real impact. But only what we have achieved counts. Everything else is just a time waster or, even worse – a growth stopper – for us.
In a world full of stoppers, we must be creative about achieving what is expected. So many authors talk about flexibility, prioritizing, time distribution, etc. And they are all right. But many of them miss the small step at the beginning that opens the door for change for us. With so many things on our heads, there is no doubt that we may feel lost and with no path to follow. But there is a simple thing everyone can do to change that.
In a world where we are pushed to become more effective daily, efficiency cannot come just because someone asks us. Remember the last time when someone asked you to put also their priority on your busy schedule? From courtesy or not, you agreed to find later that it may be impossible for you to deliver what you promised. And that made you maybe sad, exhausted, and perhaps somehow angry. And the next person who came to you to ask for something was thrown in the trash. You just said you could do nothing because there is a lot on your head. Sounds familiar? I behaved the same way several years ago. And according to the HBR article, so did sixty-four percent of the respondents in a time managing for success survey taken back in 2020.
Succeeding in something, no matter the topic changes different elements of your day. But it all has to start with stopping what you have done up to now and rearranging your actions to achieve tremendous success.
Step 1: Look back at your history
Getting to success often means we have to re-evaluate what has happened before if we want to start all over again. Retro-looking is a way to collect information and facts from the past. Not even one successful change can happen if we do not have the correct data to help us make the best decisions. The more important the information we can collect, the better the decision may be.
Step2: Sort information based on relevance
Sounds easy – right? According to the Technical University of Vienna/Austria, seventy-six percent of people fail in this step. Many of us are told that we must use the whole set of information we have collected. And following this pattern, we often are tempted to include everything we know in decisions, plans, and actions. The critical thinking that many cultural psychologists are talking about is somewhere left behind. While overloaded with information, we must learn how to read and understand the data according to the context in which we will use this information. With that simple at-first-sight skill, “read and understand,” the sorting part of the process will be prominent, and the results will be much better than expected.
Step three: Ge out of the “impossible” situation
People want to live in their comfort zones. So we are tempted to accept what does not harm our comfort as the best way to act. And often, this way of thinking leads us to procrastination and discourages us from starting new things in life and work. But a smaller percentage of people leave their comfort zones and succeed. And we often call them leaders, heroes, and winners. Look at the names – Steve Jobs, who started his own company, fighting giants at the time and didn’t give up; Satya Nadela – who managed to remove Microsoft from its lethargy and make an exciting company again, and many more. These two examples show how getting out of your comfort zone and stretching toward real goals and challenges can lead to success.
Step four: Create your supporting club
Our ideas and actions are often left behind because we do not find people who can support us initially and stand alone in front of everyone who denies change and success. No matter how people talk, few are ready to act and leave their comfort zone. To ensure that our ideas will be heard and our efforts, distressing the comfort zones, will be accepted, we need to find key people who support them and can influence others to believe in what we plan to achieve. With that small club, we are more vital toward the challenges and get what we plan to do more straightforwardly and with less effort.
Starting something new is always a good idea. However, we always meet many challenges after creating new things and bringing success to another level. But building the environment around us to support our growth and succession plans can lead us to win, add more value to the organization, and turn more people from followers and doers to leaders and visioners in their or other areas.