Archive for September, 2010

Here’s a simple strategy for getting things done.

Posted in Organize, Planning, Self-management, Time management, Time management/Self-management on September 18, 2010 by Chuc Barnes

After speaking for an audience this past week, two different people asked me how I ever got two books written and published. I told them I appreciated their praise and I asked both people why they wanted an answer from me.

Both individuals said separately that they had been working on books of their own, yet they didn’t think they’d ever get their books finished.

One of the two people, a woman, told me she kept delaying her book because she kept wanting to make it better. She said she had been writing the book for seven years. The second person, a man, told me he kept finding things in his manuscript that he wanted to change and therefore kept editing his manuscript to make his wording better.

Here’s what I told both people (and this is a lesson that took me a long time to learn — and I still have to kick myself to implement sometimes): Done is better than perfect!

You see, when coaching people at their desks, I began to realize that it doesn’t take any skill to worry and procrastinate about decisions. Anyone can do that. Making decisions and moving forward requires skill and risk.

I also noticed that successful people make decisions quickly and they keep moving forward towards their goals. If they find they made an incorrect decision, they make a new decision quickly and move forward again.

Please think with me. When software is introduced is it perfect? Of course not, software manufacturers introduce their products and they keep changing them again and again.

Here’s the secret for you: Set deadlines!

Please know, by the way, that when I use the word “deadline,” I don’t want you to feel as if you might get shot if you miss your goal. (I’m mentioning this because I’m told that years ago prisons set up a line where the warden told prisoners that if they stepped across that line they’d be shot dead. Thus, the line became known as a “deadline.” and some people seem to feel as if they’ll get shot.)

I don’t want you to get shot. No way. What I mean is “set a due date.”

Set a realistic due date, and that will help you work towards the moment when you will have completed what you want done. And, when you set the due date, make it be as soon as possible. That will help you focus now so your brain starts giving you ideas and suggestions.

And one more thing: You’re human.

if miss your deadline, forgive yourself and get back on track immediately by setting a new due date that you can fulfill as soon as possible. It’s a free country and the best laid plans often go astray.

What counts here, whether you’re writing a book and working on an important project, is for you to forget procrastination, worry, and refining, and to stay focused instead on the word: “done.”

Did I miss anything here? Feel free to comment.