Simplify Your Actions

 In Best Practices, Leadership

Submitted by Rick Baker Spirited Leaders

If you are like most people, 20% of the things you do generate 80% of the results you desire.

Stated another way, 80% of the things you do are not essential, not successful, and possibly counterproductive.

  • they do not contribute toward your long-term personal goals &
  • they do not contribute toward your work goals.

You do many things. You do hundreds of different things…maybe even thousands.

You do things subconsciously and you do things out of habit.

Sometimes you think about what you should do. More often, you do not. Your actions are mostly habits, some good, some bad.

Sometimes you think about what you should do then you do something quite different. When this happens, chances are good you are performing a bad habit. You know the ‘right’ thing to do to take you toward one of your goals but instead of doing that thing you choose to do something else that provides short-term gratification. For example, you know you should eat healthy foods but you eat that bag of chips or chocolate bar or fast-food burger because it tastes good. This battle between short-term urges and long-term goals is part of the human condition.

Most of the time, you do not think deeply about the action you take.

Rather, you act.

Most of the time you do not focus your attention on actions: you are not specific about actions; you do not clarify actions in advance; you do not select proven-successful actions as often as you should. And, you do not take the time to identify, celebrate, and repeat proven-successful actions.

That’s perfectly normal…it is the way the vast majority of people go about their day-to-day activity.

The vast majority of people perform far too many questionable actions:

  • People perform far too many bad habits.
  • People underestimate the huge benefits that exist in proven-successful actions.

This isn’t criticism. This is good news.

It is good news because it confirms the huge upside we all face.

If we can increase the attention we pay to proven-successful actions and then repeat those actions a little more then we will dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving our desired long-term goals.

All of us can gain much by simplifying and organizing our actions.

Here are 5 suggestions on how that can be done…

Simplifying Your Actions

  1. Identify the 20% of actions that generate 80% of your success toward your long-term goals.
  2. Exercise some self-discipline and delay actions that satisfy near-term urges.
  3. When you perform proven-successful actions celebrate your successes…even tiny ones.
  4. Make a habit of repeating actions that are proven-successful in terms of your long-term goals.
  5. Make a habit of repeating actions that are proven-successful in building positive relationships with other people.

Related links:

http://www.rickbaker.ca/post/2013/07/04/Simplify-Your-Actions.aspx

http://www.rickbaker.ca/

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