“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” – Robert Kennedy
Change does have enemies and Robert Kennedy knew that truth and paid for it with his blood. Change can be dangerous. That is why our natural instinct is to stay the course; stay put; avoid trying something new; leaving well enough alone; being safe; and I could mention another twenty or so excuses.
If you are the type that wants to stay in your comfort zone, you will never experience the immense joy that comes from living. In order to succeed we must take risks and that means we have to change. Robert Kennedy said this in the context of politics. He referred to making progress as a nation. The only way to make progress as a nation is to change our point of view, to change the way we govern ourselves, to change certain laws that are unfair, and change the way we deal with the bad guys.
But his words can apply to any aspect of life, not just politics. In my career as a trainer I can say that change is the one thing that is needed the most and done the least. I have seen people go way out of their way just to avoid change. I trained adults in job readiness skills. Let me tell you that there were times I couldn’t even get an adult to change their seat after 20 minutes of being seated in class. That is how ridiculous we can get about change. We all need to train ourselves to be more open. But it goes further than that.
Change is an action word and that means we need to act if we are going to progress. Change is not a theoretical practice of the mind, it implies real physical movement. For example, we may say that we have changed our attitude towards someone, but unless that is followed up by an action towards that certain person, they are only shallow words. Change means to repent. I instantly scare people away as soon as I say that because of the religious overtones. Well you can apply this to religion if you like. All I am saying is when someone says to you to repent, it simply means to change what you are doing. Change requires 3 things. The first is to recognize the need to change. The second is you actually do the action that is required. The third is you maintain the new course of action. Those happen to be the same three things involved in repentance. They say that recognizing that you need to change is half the battle and that is so true in my experience. The changing part is actually a lot less difficult to do than the first part which again is recognizing that you need to change. The final part is easy. It just requires that you keep on doing the new action over and over again. The second part in the middle means you must turn around and do something different to prove that what you recognized as needed to be done will be done. Change is empowering no matter how small it is as long as it is positive. Today, why not give change a chance and perform an action that you know needs to be done in your life. You will be gratified and empowered when you do it!
The most successful people all have certain habits in their daily routines.
They help contribute to their success and can be considered good habits to form. It could be something simple like, setting a goal to, “Do good each day,” like Benjamin Franklin did.
It could also be something more elaborate such as spending most of your morning in bed like Winston Churchill. Churchill would wake up at 7:30am daily, eat breakfast, read his mail and newspaper until 11am.
1. PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
Every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. Sit down with a piece of paper and write down everything that you need to do the coming day. If for any reason you don’t do this, it should be the first thing you do every morning. When you write down a list you have a track to run on.
Writing down a list clarifies your thinking and goals…
Writing down a list forces you to think at a higher level…
If you start working from a list you increase you output 25% each day.
One of the habits of millionaires is that they start their day working from a list.
2. SET PRIORITIES ON YOUR LIST BEFORE YOU START THE DAY
Work from the 80/20 rule. If you have 10 items on your list of things to do, two will be the more important than all of the other items put together.
Go down your list and answer the question, “If I were to be called out of town for a month, what are the most important tasks that I must accomplish?”
Last fall I was out of the country traveling across 15 countries in 36 days. When I looked at my list of things to do before I left, I had to get my most important tasks done.
Once you identify these most important tasks, it brings us to the final step in starting your day.
3. COMPLETE THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK FIRST
Begin immediately on your most important task and focus on it and only it until completion.
All success in life comes from project completion and living a life of good habits will help you complete more projects.
A project with multiple tasks is called a “multi-task job”. This means that there are several smaller jobs to complete within the larger job. Organize your jobs by sequence in a checklist and start on you most important project. Complete the smaller jobs in you project, until the entire project is complete. This process is called “single handling” and it’s one of the most powerful things that you can use in managing your time. You can increase your productivity by 50% by planning, starting and completing your most important tasks every single day.
If you can develop these habits of successful people and do those three things, plan your day the night before, organize your tasks in order of importance, and complete your most important task first thing during your day. You will increase your productivity overnight.