Tag Archives: habits

Intense belief in a goal is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Joan of Arc a twelve-year old shepherd girl when she developed the belief that she would lead the army of France against England. The intensity of her belief was overwhelming.  At age seventeen she appeared before and explained her belief to Prince Charles, who was so impressed he gave her a suit of armor and an army to lead. Joan of Arc then led a successful siege against the supposedly unconquerable bastion of Orleans.
To repeat myself, intense belief in a cause or goal is one of the most powerful forces on earth. No matter what the odds may be, or how insurmountable the barriers appear, belief dictates that there is a way. The armor for your belief and goals may take the form of a stethoscope, a typewriter, or a microphone. Your sword may be patience, unselfishness, or a never-say-die attitude
I believe success is achieved by ordinary people with extraordinary determination. Notice that I didn't say it would b easy. Worthwhile accomplishments seldom are.
Today, as you begin your day, ponder on those points above. Also complete item number 2 below.

  1. Today, I will intensify the most powerful force on earth - my belief - by closely examining what I believe to be important in the physical, mental, and spiritual areas of my life. 
  2. Today I will ____________________________.

I have been guilty of procrastination myself, but I don't want to continue doing it forever. I need to step up and outgrow that defeating trait. So this one right here is for myself and those of you who also, most of the time, procrastinate! Let's enjoy learning and outgrowing procrastination.
We've seen how perfectionism can cause procrastination and discourage us from taking on a job until we're sure we can do it with an unreasonably high level of quality.
Boredom can also be a culprit. Sometimes we think we just can't bear the tedium of certain jobs. Most creative types don't like the monotony of keeping things organized. And let's face it - most of the organizing process is not a hoot. 
But staying organized often opens the door to more creativity. Many wonderful, creative project has been derailed because creative genius gets lost in a muddle of messiness.
So why do we put it off?

  1. Learned helplessness. Maybe you've tried your best to get organized, either in your office or elsewhere. It hasn't worked, and you don't know why. Now you've given up trying. Oh, maybe not entirely. But your can-do attitude has taken a big hit, and you find it hard to rally your forces to try again. You've accepted failure, or at least inaction, as a reasonable option. It's not. 
  2. Blame game. We may procrastinate in order to wait for a roadblock to disappear. Sometimes that's a legitimate delay, such as when we have to wait for a decision from someone else before moving forward. In other cases, we probably could have or should have anticipated the problem and headed it off in the first place. If you're procrastinating, focus on what's detaining you and concentrate on removing that roadblock. 
  3. Zapped mental energy. When we hate to do a job, we wait until some kind of deadline is upon us and ride the adrenaline wave of panic to get it done. But research shows that work done under this kind of pressure is usually inferior to work that is well planned. It is time to set a date and start getting your office into shape. You'll be amazed at the energy that will come from that!
  4. Rebellion. Anger at the person who requires you to do a job can cause you to procrastinate. I'll show her - I just won't do it, you may be subconsciously be telling yourself. That makes procrastination a perfect form of passive resistance. Sometimes we even refuse to do something in our best interest because of an experience in the past we're still trying to resolve. Maybe you were bugged about keeping things neat as a kid, so now you're rebelling. Time to get over that and allow yourself the luxury of a well-organized life.
  5. Busyness. If you have too much on your plate, some things are bound to fall off. Too many tasks means some will never get done, or they'll get done later than they should. In today's world, being too busy and careening between an overabundance of activities that force themselves on us keep us from giving to what's important. In short, we procrastinate and fail to do the good stuff, because we simply run out of time.
  6. Fear of failure. How many books remain unwritten because the would-be writer is afraid to try? For some, it's better to have a wonderful book "in my head" than to put it on paper and find that it's not nearly as good in plain old black-and-white. Besides, then others can see it and might even criticize it - a good reason to put off the job forever. Right? Wrong.
  7. The job's too hard. Sometimes, a job simply seems insurmountable. We give up before we even start. Not much potential for progress with that plan.
How many good business have died in embryo form because the creator was afraid to move ahead? If you set up your office, will others expect more of you than you think you can deliver? Don't let that stop you! You can do it! Identify the issues holding you back. It's the first step in challenging their hold on your thinking.
Get Moving!
You know you need to get organized (I know that includes me), so let's get over this! Let's yank the rug out from under our habit of procrastinating.
  1. Write down the task you need to do. Clarifying it in words demystifies it.
  2. Promise yourself a reward for doing something that has stymied you.
  3. Vow to yourself and another person that you'll take a specific step toward accomplishing a task, suggests psychologist Albert Ellis. Commit to a consequence if it's not done by the deadline you set. For example, "If I don't get this bill in the mail by noon, I will leave a P1000 tip for the server at lunch."
  4. Get started on an easy part of the project rather than tackling it head-on.
  5. Ask for help. Then set a time to work with a partner on the project.
  6. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and do a little at a time.
  7. Use the "Swiss cheese" method of author Alan Laiken. "Poke holes" in the project a little at a time by taking small steps. Buy file folders. Look up a piece of furniture on the internet. Sometimes one step that takes five minutes can be a breakthrough you need.
Now, post a picture or a written description of your goal. Break the project into baby steps. Toddle forward. Baby steps. Baby steps.
If you follow the steps described in this article one by one, you'll see change. And quickly.
(From Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims "Smart Office Organizing")
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My share of "baby steps" on getting organized.

Character is something you either have or are. Some people try to make something for themselves. Others try to make something for themselves. Tyron Edwards said, "Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny." The Bible asserts in Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
Character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success. A good question to ask yourself is, "What kind of world would this be if everybody were just like me?" You are simply a book telling the world about its author. John Morely remarked, "No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character."
Never be ashamed of doing right. Marcus Aurelius exhorted, "Never esteem as of advantage to thee that which shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect." W. J. Dawson counseled, "You need not choose evil; but only to fail to choose good, and you drift fast enough towards evil. You do not need to say, 'I will be bad.' You only have to say, 'I will not choose God's choice.' and the choice of evil is already settled. There is no such thing as necessary evil. Phillip Brooks said, "A man who lives right and is right has more power in his silence than another has by his words."
Many a man's reputation would not recognize his character if they met in the dark. To change your character, you must begin at the control center - the heart. Spiritual bankruptcy is inevitable when a man is no longer able to keep the interest paid on his moral obligations.
Henry Ward Beecher said, "No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has." Live so that your friends can defend you, but never have to do so. Consider what Woodrow Wilson said: "If you think about what you ought to do for people, your character will take care of itself." Excellence in character is shown by doing unwitnessed what we would be doing with the whole world watching.
Let me pose this question for you: Would the boy you were proud of the man you are? You're called to grow like a tree, not like a mushroom. It's hard to climb high when your character is low. The world's shortest sermon is preached by the traffic sign: Keep Right.

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(From John L. Mason's "An Enemy Called Average" I encourage you to buy his book.)