Twelve steps to success

  • 2001-11-01
  • Paul E. Adams
Step 2: Urgency - getting things done

"Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time" - Chinese proverb.

If you're thinking about starting a business, do you know how to get things done? People who meet goals, accomplish objectives, and perform as promised, usually succeed in life. They know how to get what they want. They understand what is important and what will distract them.

They're aware of the importance of establishing priorities. They avoid wasting their time. They sense the unimportant details that gobble up precious hours and lay a foundation for failure - a moment at a time.

On the other hand, do you know anyone who talks a wonderful story of promise, but little ever comes of it? Unfortunately, their dreams remain dreams, not deeds.

Per chance, if you are someone who can't get things done or meet your goals, think twice before you try to open a business. You will soon find out that owning a business is working for an unforgiving and demanding master. Your mistakes will cost you money, and excuses will not replace it.

1. Take responsibility for your action or inaction:

Accept the fact that success is not dreaming about what you are planning to do, but action, constructive planned action that will take you step by step to success. Don't dwell on it. Do it! There is a critical point when planning stops and action takes over.

2. Have a sense of urgency:

A new business must be managed with a sense of urgency as most initially lose money. You will discover that to succeed, there will be urgent demand to get your new venture profitable. To do so requires an action style of management - getting things done. If you like to discuss your plans to a point of exhaustion, change your management style - or look for a new job.

3. Getting things done:

Do you have trouble getting things done, or difficulty in meeting deadlines and schedules? Perhaps it's because you are unable to make a decision, fear to act, over-cautious, afraid to make a mistake, or unable to set priorities.

Are you able to delegate? Or do you feel you have to do everything yourself, not trusting anyone to do as good a job as you can do? If the latter is the case, you will accomplish little as you will be too busy to do the important tasks.

Another problem you may have is underestimating the time required to accomplish tasks. Or perhaps you can't say no, obligating yourself to waste time on unimportant issues.

4. Managing with success:

Take time and take action - putting things off can put you out of business. To start with, determine the most important task you have to do today, the most important to the welfare of your company. And do it! Don't get sidetracked with unimportant activities. Put other demands on hold. Move on to those less important items later.

Start managing your time. Realize that it is limited. Ask yourself, what do I have to do today? As well as what must I do today?

I suggest you use "to do" lists or post notes as reminders to keep you on track.

It helps to start each day with a few quiet moments. Prepare a list of your most important tasks and take action. At the end of day, use a few more quiet moments to check your progress.

I suggest you keep a personal rule: if the task does not benefit my bottom line, I will postpone it to a less demanding time.