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The secrets to success

October 18, 2016

By Kathie M. Rotz, Director of Learning

I have found that the secrets to success in whatever we do come down to two words, and both start with the letter D. I refer to these as the double Ds (DDs). Take a minute and write down all words that you can think of that begin with the letter D that will bring you success in life.

Now, let’s see if you already knew these secretive D words.

Have you ever heard someone say they are too busy? They may be too busy to exercise or take on a new project at work. Unfortunately, those excuses are often unfounded and can have far-reaching consequences. Failing to plan ahead or neglecting the importance of how a new project could impact our careers are hardly acceptable excuses. Changing those habits or taking on that project will pay back dividends.

Sometimes we use these reasons or excuses as a success or time management tool. We think that we are saving or managing our time by saying “no, we are too busy.” In actuality, those choices may give us more tasks on our lists in the end. (Doctor visits, surgeries, looking for a new job, loneliness)

I do not think we are ever too busy. Instead we make the decision to do or not do something.

The first D of success is “decision.”

For example, the first thing I do when I get home is go upstairs and change my clothes. On my way upstairs I pass piles of stuff on the stairs (dirty laundry, back packs, papers, clutter). What do you think I do when I walk pass the piles on the stairs? Walk right past them. Why don’t I take something up with me? Because I don’t know what to do with it when I get upstairs. I don’t want to make a decision. It is easier to leave it there to avoid a decision. That is the same reason others in my house put it on the stairs.

Many times we do not do anything because we do not want to make a decision.

For example, an overflowing inbox at work can seem like a daunting task. We do not want to deal with it or make that many decisions. However, to achieve efficiency, these tasks must be done and these emails must be answered. Instead of being overwhelmed by the clutter, make an appointment on your calendar to clean out your inbox. Decluttering your life will help declutter your mind. You just need to make the decision and stick to it.

You will improve your time management and success by making a decision and moving forward with that decision.

Let’s figure out that second D. Sometimes the action that I need to take on a task that takes longer than a three minute email. For example: writing this blog, planning a project, organizing an event, figuring out software. What do you do for time-consuming projects? I need to focus. I need to learn how to see past all of the distractions and interruptions so that I can focus on the task at-hand. This can be achieved with the second D – discipline.

“The one human quality that must be developed for success is self-discipline. The willpower to force yourself to do what you know you should do when you should do it, whether you like it or not, whether you feel like it or not. Success is tons of discipline.” ~ Brian Tracy

Sticking to the calendar appointment we made to clean out our inbox requires discipline. Setting appointments with yourself and keeping them will help train the discipline muscle. Think of these as meetings with yourself and bosses don’t cancel.

The best part about the DDs of success is that the ‘s’ also provides insight and guidance. The ‘s’ should actually be inserted between the two Ds. It stands for “systems.” If I’m going to make a decision to do something then I am going to add it to my system (usually my calendar) and have the discipline to follow my system.

I needed to meet with an executive within the week. The only time available was at 3 p.m. Wednesday. According to his calendar he is blocked at that time. So, I called his assistant: “Can I double book his calendar?”

“No, that appointment is not movable. You will need to find a different time.” I found a time at 7:30 a.m. one morning.

Wednesday at 3 p.m. do you know where I bumped into my executive friend? In the fitness center!

Part of me was annoyed that he could not change his workout time for our urgent meeting. The other part of me was envious. He has control over his calendar and has made the decision to be disciplined and stick to his system. He never has a personal lunch hour because he is meeting with clients; he works his tail off and still makes time to take care of himself.

If busy, successful people can still have a social and healthy life, then so can I. Only I can control my calendar. I thinks it is time I add some decisions to my systems and stay disciplined to the system. How about you?

 

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