“Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
For most of us, these two are never in a perfect balance. Someone might be a great visionary but fails to act while another one is full of energy but has no long-term perspective whatsoever. Can you tell which of the two types you are more like?
Well, it doesn’t quite matter because in the last couple of articles both cases are up for discussion. We already talked about what is being most relevant for having the strategic vision. Today we will dig deeper into the topic of what specific action skills you need so that you employ a winning method. These will allow you to pursue your goals with confidence and on a constant rate building upon your success every single week.
A quick review
The abilities that most affect your vision are – to imagine and visualize the goal, to know well the answer to the question “Why”, to hear clearly what the heart says you really want, to cut your losses when mistaken, and to act quickly and decisively.
But there was one central factor we concluded beyond any doubt.
The one thing you must have
Perseverance turns out to be the “Mother of all skills”.
You must be asking yourself whether it really is something that can even be learned or it is simply some inherent talent of sorts. While visualization and meditation are things you can easily train and excel in being steadfast is much harder to be improved on, but it is possible.
There is a good reason we rather say “inconsistent behavior” and not “inconsistent person”
If you are someone who is not very organized and even kind of messy, then don’t forget that is just a self-reflection given by limiting beliefs. Don’t fall for it and instead channel your energy in increasing your capacity to show character in anything you do.
Here we are about to show you how.
Make sure it is related to something concrete and of value to you
That’s the time and place to fully utilize the action goals. The best way to improve and grow your perseverance is to do so while regularly working on your objectives.
Maybe you already see what we are aiming at – the goals for building a habit are the ones we are most passionate about. They have proven themselves over and over to be the best way forward. Plus, they require your consistent effort on a regular basis. Isn’t that “two for the price of one”! But let’s look at an example now.
Something new every single day
We are fully convinced that if you spend only an hour every day to learn something new in your business filed, then it is for sure that you would have earned your first million bucks in just five years.
Well, as we said it before – librarians are hardly millionaires. You must apply the newly acquired knowledge. Otherwise, we can’t promise you anything, especially getting rich! J
Nothing compares to this one hour a day that you invest in your personal development. Results will inevitably follow. It may take a while but you shouldn’t give up.
If you are to stay the course you will reap the fruits of your hard work. And a clear cut answer to the question “why” will only help you continue with much confidence.
The role of time
Any great and meaningful success, personal or professional, is significantly enhanced and even multiplied with the progression of time. However, this happens only when you have the long-term perspective and the understanding of where and why you are going. Knowing these two makes it possible for you to quickly get back on track if find yourself off course.
When you’ve been on the road of success for a long time you will become really good. It is the accumulative effect of the small but regular steps that can make all the difference.
All the skills and abilities we’ve been discussing so far are exactly such – they have to be practiced every single day.
The strategies for staying on track with your vision
The price to pay for going after things that are not truly yours might be quite steep. It is measured in lost time and missed opportunities.
The danger is quite real in our everyday life as well. As we have already seen, any of your strong sides are of no use at all if not applied with persistence and purpose. So, it only makes sense to be prepared and has a procedure for staying firmly on our chosen path.
These are our top 6 suggestions.
# 1 Forget about multitasking
Often times we may try juggling several things at the same time. We advise against it, though. Instead, start one thing only and try to do it the best way possible.
It sounds very logical that if you take simultaneously on two tasks you would evenly split your time. Well, in reality, it never goes like that.
“Serving two masters…”
Here is an illustration of how that’s not a very good idea. A week ago Niki wanted to watch a motivational video on Youtube. And he did so except that he also tried that while tiding up his desk.
Well, he quickly realized that this wouldn’t work out.
What happened first was that at some point he had simply stopped paying attention to the clip. He had to be careful what was going in the trash bin, right? Then, at a later point, he was so taken by some interesting point the speaker was making that he ended up standing there in the middle of his office holding and looking at a piece of paper without any clue what was written on it.
Well, the wake-up call came in the form of his own words, “What am I doing, for Christ’s sake!”. So, he finished watching the 5 min clip and then he took care of the mess on his desk in about the same time.
# 2 Focus
Anyone could easily be distracted by a phone call, tweet or an app alert. Just imagine that you are about to start writing a due report but then your Viber beeps – some silly picture of cute puppy… Or you feel compelled to reply to a funny Twitter post and your mind is anywhere else but the task at hand. That all could be quite detrimental to your efficiency.
Being able to concentrate is key. Even the simplest task demands from you to work without any distractions. Otherwise, it may take too long or even fail.
Here’s how to safeguard against this.
Be the nightmare of Mark Zuckerberg…
… and do like Nikki, who is getting on Facebook only with an act of his will power. Just make sure that no social network can become a black hole to your time and attention. Try these three:
1) Turn off phone notifications. If you can’t hear these, then you won’t be enticed to check them out.
2) Also, have them off when connecting to a particular WiFi network (work or at a coffee shop). Leave only those that would remind you of a scheduled call or a meeting.
3) If you really must to totally isolate yourself, then power off the phone or set it to night mode for a certain number of hours. Nobody will be able to get to you unless they call three times in a roll.
All of these precautionary measures will allow you to protect your productivity. Don’t let people or other circumstances set your agenda for the day. Only when you have the time for such low priority activities you can browse and post on social networks.
# 3 Managing your time
The above two skills have this one thing in common – they allow you to schedule your efforts in such a way that you would be able to reach your goals . Spinning your wheels is as bad as sitting idle. The following two approaches are almost flawless when done correctly.
Make a good use of the calendar
One has to plan in advance and when you do that make sure that every task is assigned to a specific day and time. A simple list won’t do until it is placed in your calendar with the explicit requirements and steps to complete.
Leave some extra time in-between so that you have the possibility to react in case of unexpected developments.
It will take some effort on your part to gain control over the process of managing time. And it won’t come to you overnight either. But once you master the skill you will find out that you have more time for everything, i.e. family, hobbies, gym, even more of the self-time.
Reserve time for your goals
Dedicate the needed time to your priorities. You can spend an hour or two every morning on the weekly steps of your 90-day action goals.
These may not look to be the most pressing objectives on a given day but they are still the important things in life. And you get them by summoning all of your will power to make the necessary small steps forward throughout the week.
But succeeding in this is not enough. Moving forward has a one-to-one correlation with the following.
# 4 Organizing tasks well and with foresight
Prioritizing could be quite challenging, particularly when you are overly ambitious and try covering everything. The better you get though, your confidence will be more of a temptation to do more than it is prudent.
But let’s not forget why we decided on this topic for the last two articles. All is in the name of success. You have to be able to fully apply yourself and effectively work on those objectives that you’ve chosen so carefully. That’s why the need for written goals and weekly steps which must be checked every day.
Keep the list short
The daily schedule should be made of the three actions on the goals for the week plus couple more that you deem important.
You will become better over time and thus go quickly over the list and decide what has to be dropped or delegated to someone else.
This next one is quite helpful to those who have trouble being appreciative of their own achievements.
# 5 Being grateful for your progress so far
The central idea here is being able not only to look forward over the long way ahead of you but also to review what you have already succeeded in. Your confidence is based on it and not forgetting how far you got will give you more energy as well as the peace of mind to assess what’s next for you.
You will have to make the effort to review your progress on a weekly (or even daily) basis. Don’t obsess over what you haven’t done yet! Be thankful for what you have already gained. Satisfaction and gratefulness are important ingredients of happiness and you can’t ignore them especially when you have all the reasons for them.
# 6 Channeling your emotions in the right direction
Both positive, as well as the negative feelings, could have their role during your journey.
For example, when you are dissatisfied you should use it to identify potential problems and critically assess past mistakes.
And when you are in a good mood then you review the issues that you already identified and start thinking about how to best deal with them. Some may be real, some may not, and there will be those that can be taken on with much better chances when you have the cool of mind.
You must be able to use the full spectrum of your emotions first to get a better understanding of the obstacles and then a strategy on how to overcome them.
Don’t give in to any of the limiting beliefs that you might be disorganized and incapable of focused and productive work. All you need is the capacity to learn because achieving our goals is a question of this one habit. Of course, it will take time and perseverance but with the help of the tactics we discussed today, we are convinced you will do fine. Just give it a try and then let us know how it went!
You should tell us, really!
We are looking forward to your stories. Tell us about your own experience with our system. And don’t spare us any of the details, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem to you.
Every single story is a valuable case that can contribute to our mission to help as many of you as possible to reach their dreams. Be one of those people, be one of us!