This article is about the power of now and not putting things off. Many times I am asked, ” how do you remain so organized in the face of utter chaos?” The simple answer is that I don’t allow things to pile up. In previous articles I have explained the art of time management and planning ‘Murphy-Time’ into your daily schedule. While I will be the first to admit that lately my scheduled Murphy-Time has not been enough to keep up with all the events, without it, I would be sunk. Prioritizing has to come into play when you become overwhelmed but I don’t want to confuse prioritizing with procrastination.
The power of now is what I call not procrastinating, not putting something off, but jumping right on the issue without delay. I can’t tell you how many times I see managers have an issue come up, or a question they put off and say “I will find out”, or “I will check into that”. If somebody approaches me with a problem I solve it right then. I pick up the phone, shoot an email, make a decision, or address the problem right then. I don’t have the luxury to put it off or wait until I get to it. If someone was able to approach me with the question, then I obviously had the time to deal with the issue. If I were to say “Let me look into that”, I know that an hour from now I will have 20 other issues vying for my time.
All too often I have team members come into my office and say “when you have a minute”… They are always shocked when I say what’s on your mind? And ask them to come in and sit down. That is the power of now. Not only does it keep things from piling up on me, but it lets my teammates know that they are important to me, and I care about what they care about.
I will have a customer ask me a technical question that might require research. I will ask them if they have a minute, and will pull out my iPad and start searching the internet, or make some phone calls with them standing right there until I can get them the answer they needed. Again, that is the power of now.
Many times I will have a team member come in my office and say “I need …”. I will stop what I am doing and take whatever actions are required by me to get them what they need. That is the power of now.
Finally, when I have a thought “it might be a good idea if…” I immediately analyze the pros & cons, make a decision, and if I decide it’s a good idea, I take the actions required to implement the idea right then.
The true power of now comes down to the fact that in most cases you really do have the time to address issues when they are presented. Why would you put them off? Surely you are not going to have more time later. I can almost guarantee that there will be another issue requiring your attention later on, so why let things pile up? Resolve the issues or questions now!
If you are contemplating a career move, going back to school for a better education, or simply just considering a new marketing strategy. The time to act is now. Weigh the options, lay out the pros vs. cons and if it makes sense, then do it. If you have weighed out all the positives and negatives yet still can’t decide, flip a coin, and move on. There is no excuse for procrastinating, and it only leads to becoming overwhelmed down the road.
The power of now translates into everything you do both at work and at home. I hear people say I have this goal, or I plan to… However, if you ask them details about how, what, where and when, you quickly find out that they don’t have a plan or a goal, they only have a dream. A plan or a goal requires specific steps and processes to acquire the goal or successfully complete the plan. Be a doer not a dreamer. Don’t talk about how nice it would be if, or wouldn’t it be great if. Put together your plan and as Nike would say “just do it”. And when should you do it? NOW!