I have a tendency to waste all sorts of time thinking (or worrying) about things endlessly and accomplishing nothing. Do you do that too?
This week, I refocus on the idea of just doing things instead.
A good example is the tire on my car. My car has just over 3000 miles on it, so a few weeks ago, when the “check tire pressure” light came on, I assumed it was just because it had turned cold suddenly, not that something was wrong. I stopped by the tire place on the way to work and they checked the pressure, refilled a couple, and sent me on my way.
The following week, that little light came on again. Ok, so now that’s a little worrisome. I spent a couple of days in denial, worrying all the way to wherever I was going that I’d need a new tire, it would take all day, would be expensive, etc. I finally went by and had them checked, but didn’t look into the problem. Denial.
It happened again the following week, and at that point they suggested I might need to have the tire checked for a slow leak. More denial and thinking. And worry.
I finally decided to bite the bullet and go have it taken care of – it took less than 15 minutes and cost $30 to repair the hole from the nail they found in it. No more check tire pressure light. No more worry.
Now why didn’t I just do that to begin with? I spent way more time and mental effort in denial, instead of just going in to take care of the problem right away.
Lesson learned. Going forward, I’m going to tackle things head on and make life easier on myself. Or at least less worrisome. Here’s what I intend to do:
- Accept – that there’s a problem or issue, whether it’s good or bad, and move forward on it. No more denial, just acceptance that I have something that needs resolution and move on to the next step.
- Plan – put together a plan as soon as the problem or issue (or project for that matter) becomes known. The plan can include a time-frame that the first step that doesn’t start until x date, but there needs to be a plan upfront.
- Schedule – schedule a time for the first step of the plan and get that on the calendar. I am more likely to do something when there’s an appointment on the calendar than if it is just a bullet point on my to do list.
- Execute – once there’s a plan and a schedule, I just need to it done. If it’s a lengthy process, I need to take care of the first step and schedule the next step. No excuses.
- Celebrate – I do not revel in my accomplishments enough, so I need to celebrate that the problem is fixed, the project is done or the issue is resolved. Even just a momentary “woohoo” can make me realize that I did something good and that I need to repeat those actions.
No more thinking a problem to death – I’m getting busy! And I can’t wait to see what kind of mental energy I free up for other things!
Do you have examples of how you avoid dealing with problems or issues instead of facing them head on?