The Do-It-Now Habit
Do you feel overworked? Do you have too much to do? Are you not making the progress you want to be making toward your goals?
Why can some people produce twice as much as others? For example, Jane not only handles three kids, but works 30 hours per week and runs a small online business from her home. Jane’s house is always clean and she prepares delicious, healthy meals for her family every day.
Jill, on the other hand, has one daughter, makes no money, believes she has no time to do her housework and prefers pizza delivery dinners.
Both Jane and Jill are good mothers, but why are they so different? Why is Jane so efficient?
To be more like Jane and less Jill, you need to break two bad habits and form one good habit.
Two Bad Habits
1. The first bad habit is to look at a piece of work you are supposed to do (a task, a program, a communication, an assignment or other work) and put it aside to do later.
Instead of acting, you read it, digest it, think about doing it, consider the problems, discuss it and finally put it down to do later. You waste your time and accomplish nothing.
2. The second bad habit is taking a piece of work, look at it and refer it to someone else. Even though it’s your job, you try to get someone else to do it.
The other person eventually sends it back to you. A total waste of your time AND the other person’s time.
One Good Habit
“Do it Now.”
“One of the best ways to cut your work in half is not to do it twice.”
“If you do every piece of work that comes your way WHEN it comes your way and not after a while, if you always take the initiative and take action, not refer it, you never get any traffic back . . . ”
“In short, the way to get rid of traffic is to do it, not to refer it; anything referred has to be read by you again, digested again, and handled again; so never refer traffic, just do it so it’s done.”
“So if you are truly a lover of ease, the sort of person who yawns comfortably and wears holes in heels resting them on desks, if your true ambition is one long bout of spring fever, then you’ll do as I suggest and handle everything that comes your way when it comes and not later; and you’ll never refer anything to anybody that you yourself can do promptly.”
“Do it when you see it and do it yourself.” — L. Ron Hubbard
For example, the government sends you a tax form asking you for some financial information. You take ten minutes to understand what is required and realize it’s quite simple. You notice it’s not due for two months, but instead of tossing it in your desk to do later, you take another ten minutes to find the information, fill out the form and drop it in the mail.
If you wait to fill out the form later, you have had to spend another ten minutes to understand it again. Perhaps you look at the form every few days, think it over and decide to wait. You might even forget do fill out the form and then waste even more time trying to understand why the government is charging you a $250 late fee.
As another example, you notice your car tire is a little low and you fill it right now. If you wait, you get a flat tire while driving to work. You are not only two hours late for work, you have to buy a new tire.
Your food explodes in the microwave? You clean it up now.
Your boss asks for a report? You write the report and turn it in now.
Your group needs a decision from you? You make it now.
When you jump and do things at your first opportunity, you stay in better control of your job and your life while earning hours of extra time to use however you wish.
How to Form the Do-It-Now Habit
The best time to get into a do-it-now habit is, of course, RIGHT NOW!
1. Take a list of things you need to do, a stack of papers, a task or any kind of cluttered mess that you need to handle.
2. Take the first item.
3. Deal with it, handle it, do it now.
“. . . take the initiative and take action. . . .”
4. If you find it hard to do it now, remember the reward. If you get your work done in half the time, how will you spend the OTHER half of your time? Earning more money? Starting new projects? Having more fun? The choice is yours.
Give it a try.