Organize Yourself in 2015–Develop a Sense of Urgency

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a way, this theme, the subject of the 20th chapter of Brian Tracy’s book on avoiding procrastination called Eat That Frog!, is creating a countercurrent to that procrastination.    With procrastination, you try to push away from the present moment a momentous task.   With a sense of urgency, you create a feeling that you need to push your momentous tasks into the present moment.

Brian Tracy talks about the pleasure you will get once you enter the flow state, which means that you get so involved in what you are doing that essentially time loses its meaning, and the moment becomes “eternal” in the sense of being “outside of time.”    For procrastinators, however, the future is “everlasting”, meaning that it stretches out in an infinite line from the present, and therefore there is no urgency in doing an important task now, because you have the rest of time to complete it.

However, death is the ultimate deadline for all of our activities, and many people who contemplate their own impending mortality create “bucket lists”, that is, things they would love to do before they kick the proverbial bucket.   But then to some people comes the thought, “why not do one of those wonderful things NOW?”

Taking a much more narrow approach on one’s own schedule, you can also apply the same principle of contemplating one’s mortality by asking yourself, “if this were my the last month on earth, what would I want to leave as my legacy?”   All of a sudden, those things that you keep putting off because you think you will live forever take on a different cast and you may find yourself wanting to start on those projects NOW.

What Brian Tracy recommends is a mental habit of saying that “the time is now”, or to put it in a different phrase, “the moment of power is in the present.”   You can’t change what is in the past, because it’s already done with.   You can’t change the future IN the present moment, although you may affect what happens by what you decide to do in the moment.  In reality, the one point where you have the most power is RIGHT NOW, and Brian Tracy urges that you try to do that.

One way that I find increases my productivity is that, with both the large tasks and the small ones, I play little “mini-games”, like giving myself deadlines and trying to meet them.   Even when I go through my morning routine, I say “okay, I’m going to be in and out of the shower in 5 minutes”.   And then “I’m going to brush my teeth in the next 5 minutes.”   And if you keep yourself constantly challenged, the most boring, everyday routine can be energized by the self-competition you invoke by creating deadlines for yourself.

If you have a longer block of time such an hour when you are working on a project, split it up into chunks of 2 or 4 so that you tel yourself, say if you are reading a book, “I will finish 10 pages in the next 15 minutes.”, or “I will clear away half of my e-mails in the next 30 minutes.”   By creating a deadline, you will find yourself engaging in a game of competition which is always healthy because you are competing against yourself.

So if you find yourself paralyzed when faced with an enormous task, learn how to at least crawl.

If you can crawl, then learn to walk.

If you can walk, then learn to run.

If you can run, then learn to fly!

Just keep yourself constantly moving forward … at an ever faster pace!


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