4 Tips For Making Important Things Happen

September 30th, 2013 | Posted in General | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Making Important Things Happen

How often do you give yourself the time to make something really special happen?

If you’re like me, you pride yourself on being a go-getter – someone who gets things done!  And if you’re like me, you may find that you’re too busy to focus on what’s really important.  Perhaps you’re over-scheduling, constantly checking your e-mails, attending too many meetings, getting to work early, staying too late.

With so much to fill up your days, how often do you take the time for what’s really important?  And what would happen if you did?  Just think of the possibilities . . .

In his book The Inner Game of Work, Timothy Gallwey reminds us that our minds become like very expensive cars with poor brakes.  When we are running on adrenaline generated by one crisis after another, it’s very hard to find – and use – the brakes.  But the faster the car, the more important it is to know how to slow it down.

The ability to stop can be as important as the ability to go.  It’s very valuable to have a mental engine that can do both.

So how do you disengage so that you can see things differently, be more creative and make the really important things happen?  You have to give yourself permission to STOP!

Step back.  Put distance between yourself and whatever you’re involved with at the moment.  Step back from the momentum of action, emotion, and thinking.  Unplug.  Find a place where you can think clearly, creatively, and independently.

Think.  Once your mind is clear and calm you can start to engage in a different level of thinking.  Here are some questions that you might ask yourself to help you switch gears and consider new perspectives:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • What purpose is being served?
  • What agenda is being forwarded – and where did it come from?
  • What is the priority here?
  • How does this look like from the point of view of other key people?
  • What additional resources could I access that I am not yet using?

You may find it helpful to keep these questions visible.

Organize Your Thoughts.  The thought process does not usually begin in an organized way – especially if you are involved in creative thinking, problem-solving, or strategic planning.  So take some time to pull your thinking together, bring coherence to your plan, consider priorities, and provide a sequence for action.

Proceed.  You don’t STOP forever if you want to take action.  Now that your brain has been refreshed and clarified, you are ready to return from your thinking space.  When your purpose and next steps are clear, and you feel a strong connection with yourself and your motivations, then you are ready to access all the resources you need to move forward.

At this point you might be saying to yourself: “I don’t have enough time to do this.  How can I STOP and still make things happen?”

Once you have used the STOP approach, you’ll realize that it takes minutes and saves hours.  And when you see the results and how it can help you do what’s really important, you might just want to do it more often.

The only way to really know when to STOP is by starting now.  Try it and tell us your story.

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