John Lennon said it best, “life happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
Often times, inspiration is lost in the art of brainstorming. We can have an idea and think about the ins and outs of that idea and never execute it.
Sadly, when this occurs, we either lose interest or the time needed to carry out our idea.
Planning is an essential part of the creating process. In fact, it’s always wiser to consider all of the pros and cons of a matter before putting it into action. However, there is a time constraint as to how much thinking and planning you do.
The danger in simply planning.
The life cycle of an idea typically begins like this: we are hit with inspiration. We fantasize about the success of this idea. We write down tons of to-do lists and references that will guide our actions.
Then, unfortunately, life responsibilities set in and we’ve done everything but carry out what we said we were going to do. Alternatively, our fear prevents us from actually taking the necessary steps. Our brilliant idea gets lost and put on the back burner with the other ideas we previously had.
This game of procrastination limits our creativity. It decreases our self-esteem and directly impacts our future. In order to fully carry through on an idea, an action is imperative!
Taking action involves physically carrying out what you intended to go through a series of steps. Sure, it’s awesome to outline your goals in full detail, but simply having a plan doesn’t equate success. You have to do something about it.
Mike Michalowicz of American Express warns individuals against falling prey to “analysis paralysis” which is defined as too much planning and not enough doing. He quotes, “Successful people don’t proceed blindly, but they know that, once they have the critical details, they can make a decision and act accordingly.”
Think about it- you already have the idea, the planning, and the possible outcomes. So, what good is it to simply have all of that precious information and nothing to show for it? You lose that glory because your goals remain hidden.
One fantastic approach to carrying out your goals is to take it slow. Often times, we may become so overwhelmed with the possibilities, we sink into complacency.
Many people fail because they try to “eat the entire pie” all at once,” so to speak. By analyzing your goal and making small strides daily towards completion of it, you will, in turn, remain motivated. These careful steps of action will keep you organized and balanced on your journey.
Routine and stability are the benchmarks of dedication. Do you remember being in school and your teacher gave you a syllabus prior to starting the class? That syllabus not only contained carefully outlined projects and assignments, it had a clearly defined due date. Often times, when you missed that due date, there were consequences.
Many students no doubt excelled by being aware of when things were due and what was expected. Similarly, you can create a “due-date” with regards to your goals. Create a specific time when an action needs to be completed. If your goal is to learn a new skill in order to obtain a job, create a date when you need to have that skill started.
If for whatever reason you do not meet that deadline, create a consequence for yourself. On the flip side, positive reinforcement is a great way to increase productivity. Let’s say you meet your deadline, treat yourself! This will encourage you to keep taking those steps to achieving your goal.
It’s no secret that action produces results. Without putting in a balanced amount of effort in order to achieve your dreams, you will remain in the same position you are currently in. Increase your productivity, remain motivated, and remember that action is a vital part of success.