Take command and land those planes safely! : What are you waiting for? Do it now | Sunday Observer

Take command and land those planes safely! : What are you waiting for? Do it now

Friday, 2.15 pm. Jayanath suddenly realizes that his scholarship proposal document has to be handed over to the office by 4 pm today or he wouldn’t stand a chance. The proposal is still in draft mode. Can he finish it, polish it, and hand it over by 4 o’clock?

Tuesday 4 pm. Kanthi will chair the PTA subcommittee on recreation programs in an hour. She hasn’t looked at her notes since the last meeting, a month ago. As she gathers her material, she realizes she was to report the estimates for the cost of referees for the after-school basketball program. She has made no effort to get the necessary information. What can she do now?

We occasionally put off doing things, feel unmotivated, or avoid taking action. For most of us the tendency to postpone is normal, so that at its worst, results in a little inconvenience or unnecessary time pressure.

Some people, however, seem to have enormous difficulty getting started and seem incapable of initiating tasks. Consequently, these “expert dilly-dalliers” frequently find themselves in a wave of deadline stress, unfinished business, and loose ends.

Simple tips Check yourself

Is there something you want to do but has been pending for a long time? Have you ever realized what is it that is stopping you from starting? Or, is it something you have started but not been able to progress?

You might be struggling with some issues, like, can I really do it? Will I be able to do it on time? What will others think if I fail?

If your answer is “yes” to one or more questions, here are some simple tips to get you started.

Check whether it is a long-term goal. If so, break it down and decide exactly what you want to do today. Just start doing it without worrying about long-term outcomes.

Start in an environment suitable for you, where you will not get disturbed. If possible, switch off your mobile phone for an hour or two. Promise yourself a treat at the end of the day’s work. Have a small notebook to write your day’s achievements.

Repeat the same tomorrow. After a week, look at all you have accomplished and you will be surprised to see your progress.

Let me give you a few more tips to get around.

Don’t wait for motivation before taking action - make motivation by taking action!

Don’t say, “I don’t feel like doing it now. After all, there is enough time to finish it. So why bother?” But, one drop becomes two, then four, eight, sixteen, and fairly soon, significant headway will be made. The next time you feel the creeping paralysis of postponing a task, make a commitment to do a few minutes of the work you are avoiding. After the first few minutes, you will probably experience a momentum of motivation, and continue the task with an increasing interest and enthusiasm.

Go for stimulating thoughts

Another useful method for beating the dilly- dallying would be, recognizing that the way you think will either stimulate or inactivate with the process of getting started.

“I can cut the lawn next Saturday afternoon,” or “The report has to be given on Friday, so I’ll do it on Thursday” or “I’ll clean the room after I watch the teledrama.” These are examples of task inactivating thoughts. It really should be “If I cut the lawn today, I can relax in the rest of the weekend,” and “Better get started on that report in case something comes up between now and Friday,” and “Let me clean the room right now so I can enjoy the rest of the evening without any pending issues” are all examples of task stimulating thoughts.

Whenever you find yourself delaying or avoiding an assignment or job because of task inactivating thoughts, try to change them to task stimulating thoughts and see what a difference it makes.

Give yourself certain rewards after completing a task.

“If I finish this report on time, I will call a couple of my friends for a game of cards” (or some other reward that fits your lifestyle).

By developing these anti-dilly dallying skills, you can become more productive, while at the same time reducing stress.

Your life

Now, let’s take a look at your life. What are you ready to do now? If you are employed, have you thought how you can take your career to the next level? If you are not working, have you thought about improving your finances, and self-satisfaction?

What steps have you taken to convert your living space into a dream home with organized spaces, fresh colour and style, decorated with your own photo art? Have you planned your personal life? Have you taken care of your family’s health, your children’s future and wife’s requirements? Do it now!

Afterthought

Did you ever see airplanes lining up for their final approach to an airport? It looks like a ballet in the sky. Although it’s fun to watch, you can imagine the timing and split-second decisions that must be made, to land the airplanes safely. Could you imagine what would happen if the air traffic controllers began dilly- dallying?

That got me thinking…Is your to-do list a mile long? What are you waiting for? Do it now! Although your to-do list may contain very few life-and-death decisions, each item should be tackled fast with the same speed, agility, and thoughtfulness.

That means, maintaining the right perspective, committing to the goal, focusing on the task, and getting it done. The truth is, air traffic controllers don’t have time to get overwhelmed, make excuses, or put off decisions for another day. Air traffic controllers have a job to do. You do too! So, take command of your to-do list and land those airplanes safely. Do it now! 

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