It’s something I once heard from a wise man and it is the goddamn truth. We spend so much time in business thinking and chewing over topics without actually taking action. There is nothing wrong with thinking, brain activity is what gives you great ideas BUT if these thoughts don’t translate into action, then they are simply just that: thoughts. So why do we spend so much time thinking and not doing?
The majority of people are worried about getting something wrong; they’re worried about how failure looks and feels. People are concerned with looking foolish in front of other people. Human beings often invest so much hope and emotion in an idea or a project that we badly want it to work. There’s nothing wrong with that. Having hopes and dreams is what makes us human but it can’t however mean that we put the brakes on progress because we’re worried about it not working. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world make mistake after mistake but they succeed because failure does not worry them. They don’t see failure as a negative, they see it as a chance to learn and grow. Instead of thinking about something we could do to progress our business and worrying it could go wrong, we should be thinking about what could go right.
Busy being busy
The problem in business is that many directors are engaged in the day-to-day running of our companies meaning they are too busy to progress. You’re thinking but if you’re working you are progressing right? Not always. If you are immersed in the day-to-day tasks of your company, you are not invested in the most important aspect of the business; sales and marketing. It might be a small start-up and you don’t have the money to hire staff so you end up doing everything yourself. That can feel very frustrating and ultimately does not serve you. Some people are so controlling over their business that they are afraid to hand the reins over. If you don’t however, you will stay in exactly the same place practising your craft and never growing. If you don’t allow yourself time to critically think, problem solve and allow ideas to move around your headspace then there is no room for growth. Take a look at your day and reflect on what you do and how much of your time is spent being busy working in your business rather than progressing it.
Do you really need to constantly check your emails or phone?
If procrastination is the thief of time then distraction is the stealer of progress. Emails, phone calls, WhatsApp, social media content you name it. Before you know it, massive chunks of time have disappeared and none of it has moved your business forward. Before you even switch on your laptop or check emails, write down five things you want to achieve on that day and then number the top three. The reality is you do not need to check your computer to know what you have to do that day. Some things are non negotiable and have nothing to do with your inbox. We could all do with being more disciplined so turn off the notifications, minimise your emails and put your phone face down so that you can’t see the screen. It’s tough but tell yourself just for one hour you will not be distracted. Call it focused time, a power hour or anything that helps you stick to that religiously so that you have a period each day where you are not being reactive.