Posts Tagged With: Work

Don’t Postpone Work

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

To postpone is to cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled. It is the nature of the mind to postpone work to tomorrow. The mind has the habit of flitting from one thing to another, from one thought to another. We have to still the unstable mind, stop it from wandering and focus it on one idea. This needs to be done repeatedly. Unfortunately though, most of us are unable to control the mind. So, we keep postponing the task at hand to tomorrow, which obviously never comes. Poet-saint Kabir put it so succinctly: ‘Kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab / Pal mein pralaya hoyegi, phir karoge kab’ — Do tomorrow’s work today and today’s work now / If this moment is lost, how will the work be done? Kabir advises us not to get into the realm of procrastination. No one knows how ‘tomorrow’ will turn out to be, whether we will be around or not. Time and tide wait for no one. At the end of life’s journey, all unfinished tasks will come to haunt us and we will be full of remorse and regret; this dissatisfaction becomes the cause of transmigration.

If there is something you have to accomplish, don’t postpone it. If it is possible, do it as soon as you can. Even if it is uncomfortable, time wasting or something else. When postponing becomes a habit, you learn to avoid uncomfortable situations. You search excuses not to tackle them. As soon as difficulties come flying in, you run away. That is definitely not the path to be effective or successful.

As long as you continue to avoid the task, nothing will happen and precious time would have flown by before you realize it. No sooner you address the issue, it might take some time to resolve it, but you can move on and focus your energies elsewhere.

Here it’s important to divide tasks into the matrix of Urgent – Non-Urgent v/s Important – Non-important. Highly effective people live in the 2nd quarter – Non-Urgent, Important. Because it’s the most effective way to live and manage your time. They don’t spend time in the 3rd or 4th quarter as these are always unimportant. And to live in the 1st quarter means to deal with constant fire-fighting. It is extremely stressful as you are constantly dealing with urgent AND important issues. Because they are important, you cannot reject them. Because they are urgent you cannot postpone them.

In the 2nd quarter, you deal with things that are important BUT not urgent yet. You have time to solve them without fear of deadlines. This gives you inner peace.

The habit of procrastinating work also keeps us away from spiritual pursuits. The mind tells us ‘enjoy the present moment. There is a lifetime ahead to finish our work’. It seeks to find newer excuses to not do the work at hand. Thus, an entire life might be wasted and there is nothing to show for it. As the deadline to finish a task gets closer, we get stressed and wonder what to do now. The habit of postponing work increases our stress levels.

Live in the 2nd quarter. Complete your work in the moment.

“The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop, At late or early hour.
The present is the only time you own, So, live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in ‘tomorrow’, For the clock may be still.”
~ Robert H. Smith

The Clock Of Life 021017

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Categories: Life Learnings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Be An Eagle

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks?

The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift itself higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

Be An Eagle

If achieving goals were easy, everyone would do it quickly and without difficulty. Even if your vision is clear and you can articulate a detailed roadmap, there are always obstacles in the path. ​

What stops you from achieving success is often yourself. With a little unwanted help from those around you. This lack of support from those closest to you – family, friends – plays a critical role in halting a challenge before it has even begun. ‘There’s no way you can do that’ is the classic response from these people, when presented with a potential challenge. Overcoming this barrier should be the first step on your path. 

An important key to delivering success is to dissect the challenge into a number of smaller steps. Each small step can be viewed as a short-term goal. Combining a number of short-term goals leads to the delivery of a medium-term goal, and combining medium-term goals leads to the completion of your journey, the delivery of your challenge and success! Goal-setting, by itself, is relatively simple. A goal should be challenging but achievable – it is important that you establish your goals at the beginning and make sure they are outside your comfort zone; don’t set your sights low. Having committed to the challenge, you must construct a plan to optimize each of the areas required to deliver success. Beware of the common risk that comes from friends who do not share your enthusiasm and continually offer you de-motivating lollipops. Do not leave anything to chance; success is not a chance event. Monitor your progress regularly. Celebrate each small successful step. 

Generally, we challenge ourselves in physically measurable terms – losing weight, running a marathon, developing a beach body – but the brain is central to the delivery of success whatever the challenge. It is our loss of belief, commitment and motivation that leads to failure. This psychological trio conspires together to lead you astray. Believing you ‘can achieve your goal‘ provides the foundations to overcoming your challenge. With belief comes the commitment to invest – the time, effort and resources to make sure you continue to deliver your short-term goals. And success in achieving these goals increases your motivation.

A bizarre tool to stick yourself on the chosen path would be to make a contract. With yourself.  To deliver success. This simple commitment can become a pillar to lean on when you are struggling with belief or commitment or motivation. Your contract re-iterates the importance of your goal. It is a measurable deliverable and It indirectly induces the motivation needed to invest the appropriate amount of work until you have completed the tasks at hand.

Use your own priceless resource. Your brain. Thinking about your problems is the only way to really beat them. There’s no better place to apply expansive thinking than on issues holding you back. Quit banging your head against the same brick wall over and over. Take time to think things through and find creative solutions that bring fun and progress to the grind of obstacle removal. Discipline yourself emotionally, commit time and effort to your benefit regardless of external factors. Make the obstacle the No. 1 priority and focus on it every day until it’s gone. It’s the joy and journey of clearing those obstacles that makes life rich, and helps people feel truly accomplished when they finally reach the pinnacles of success.

Understand that obstacles come in different colours. There could be obstacles outside your control such as the economy, natural disasters, physical limitations, etc. Then, obstacles could be one-time issues but you have direct control over them, such as resources, cash flow, time availability, needed skills or talent. And finally, there are habitual obstacles. These obstacles reflect how people get in their own way. They can only be removed with behavioral change.

If you don’t see the obstacle or believe it’s a hindrance, you’ll never reach your goals, blaming everything and everyone but the real cause. So, pause and reflect from time to time. Evaluate, monitor your progress. Search for probable impediments that could disrupt your progress. Be patient. Learn to bide your time. To ride the storm, the most effective time would be to rise above when the storm actually hits. Hence, timing is crucial. The tougher the obstacle, the more time it might take to overcome. Observe the small progressions. They should encourage you to put in more effort. With time comes momentum. And momentum is the best way to knock off the obstacles.

When the storms of life come upon us, like the eagle, we can rise above them. What is your greatest challenge now? Write it down. Then let it lift you higher.

Categories: Worldly Whorls | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Break From Work

The simple “break” from work – the kind that lasts an hour, or the kind that lasts a week or longer – is part and parcel of daily working life. It is something that has been built into the whole working process, a part of the schedule. The “break” is there for the sake of work. It is supposed to provide “new strength” for “new work,” as the word “refreshment” indicates: one is refreshed for work through being refreshed from work.” ~ Justin Pieper

Each day as you head to work, ask yourself, “Am I having fun or learning today at work?” This simple question can help you stay motivated – as an employee, as a leader, while surrounding yourself with a comfortable aura – which off course you bring to work. When schedules are demanding, deadlines are looming, a sense of humor can help get the job done. But you could use a few tricks for keeping your focus.

Break From Work
Find time for creativity outside of the office. It could be a cultivating a hobby, pursuing an interest, planting in your garden, painting, reading for enjoyment (not work!), or just trying anything new. Taking breaks is the key. Sure, a vacation will recharge your batteries, but such luxuries may not by easily had or may be few and far between. The idea therefore is to accept that it will be fine to sometimes just take your mind off work and do nothing. When there’s something you truly enjoy, don’t feel guilty—just do it!

It’s important to realize that you cannot be on top of things all the time. There are going to be bad hair days too! At these times, try to ease off on yourself. Listen to others instead. Walk the halls, and talk to team members about mundane things – What they’re working on, How things are outside work, What the children have been up to. These loose thoughts may not throw up any new ideas but they will surely energize the mind. Listening is important, because we all run out of answers. Even after years of experience – an old dog can learn new tricks. Also, try complimenting someone. Praise gets returned in unknown and mysterious ways. When you take time to thank people for a good job or a great idea, it will immediately motivate you.

Lastly, and most importantly, motivation flags because you have lost sight of the goal. It is easy to fill our lives with trivial things while letting the end goal escape us. You may never find that perfect balance, but you should sort all of the major life issues into the correct pigeon holes. This will help you understand them better and therefore prepare suitable plans for action. You can call it a ‘life map’. Visually draw the paths you will take to reach your final goal. Understanding yourself is the best way to motivate.

Categories: Life Learnings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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