[This is an article I wrote three years ago. In reviewing it seemed even more applicable today! I made a few tweaks and wanted to share it again here.]
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What Are You Tolerating….????
In life and in business we get caught up in the pace of the world and life seems to control us, not the other way around. There are issues that grow through the year that we tend to just put up with, or tolerate?
- We didn’t keep good accounting records throughout the year, but worked around it… now it is tax time…..
- My assistant started coming in 5-10 minutes late every day. Now it is growing to 20-30 minutes….
- My computer is 4 years old; I go make coffee while the computer logs on…..
- I have piles and piles of paper and information all over my office; I have got to get some type of filing system…..
At some point these minor inconveniences turn into significant distractions and sometimes affect our business or our personal productivity in significant ways. What are you tolerating? What 2-3 things are you putting up with that if you changed would have a significant positive impact on your life or business? It is the New Year; and it is always easier to start fresh with a new process, new system, and/or a new philosophy at the beginning of a new year! So quit tolerating the inefficiencies and distractions in your life. Here are some tips how:
- First if you are not a planner you need to become one. I hate to break the news to you but if you are in business for yourself or if you have a leadership position in your career you need to plan. I am not suggesting a 5 or 10 year plan is necessary, as so much changes each year. But what are your plans for the year? What needs to happen in the next week or two for these plans to come to fruition. f you don’t then how will you achieve your goals? For that matter, what goals? So change your paradigm and begin planning with this small scale start.
- Make a list of all of the things you are tolerating in business and life. Brainstorm….keep notes through the day…discuss with those close to you who may be more aware of your distractions. The idea is to list everything. Do not put any filters on at this point. Include things personal and at home too. Business is only part of our life.
- Review your comprehensive list and out to the side of each “toleration” write what you believe will be the positive impact if you could change it. Think in terms of money, time, efficiency, or even piece of mind.
- Choose 2-3 things you are tolerating to work on changing in 2010. Pick the things first that will have the biggest positive impact to you. (Pray about this. Let God be involved in the details of your business. .. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Develop a realistic plan to make the changes. If it is an area that you are not sure how to change, then the first step in your plan needs to be to research solutions. One of the keys to achieving goals and executing plans is the “realistic” part. Don’t do the New Year resolution thing that many people do and just deem that all will be 100% different beginning January 1, 2010. Ease into it. Break the change down into steps. Make sure your timeline is reasonable. You can always beat it, but it is very discouraging if we set unreasonable expectations and in week 1 we are already behind.
If you are already a planner, hopefully this is a good reminder. If you aren’t and you would like some help with this process, email me at [email protected]. I would love to help.