Are You Busy or Forward Focused

Busy does not mean you are actually in the development of meaningful work.  It is easy to be busy learning new software and protocols and at the same time marching in place instead of going anywhere significant.  It is just as easy to build the next great path for humanity and not need 37-hour days to do so.

I want to say the choice is yours, yet there is a problem you must overcome first.

To feel the inertia of movement, you need to put your plans into gear.  To do so, you need to know and understand software, various philosophies, and how to market your ideas.  There are a plethora of offers to help you through classes, symposiums, and other time (and money) consuming events. 

Do these side developments help you to advance ideas, or are they paid diversions?

The answer is how you decide what training and other knowledge you need and how you go about the process.  Being presented with this, I must ask one thing.

When you work on new projects and programs, how do you pick and plan your platforms to further your knowledge?

Getting Started Is Hard

Sometimes getting started is hard. When these times come, the real heroes are the ones who get up and take a step forward anyway. What direction they go, or how far they go, or how fast they go does not matter. The important thing is that they make the initial move. Starting to move is always harder than keeping the momentum going.

Many things can get in our way of that first step. Whether it is a physical problem or a mental block does not really matter. The seeming inability to get started, always feels the same.

There is a trick I used to teach my team when anger, fear, resentment, or other problems blocked a path to moving in positive directions. This is something that I have used and seen work, and I’ll share with you now.

I used to supervise an assembly team for computers and servers. Whenever grumblings, complaints, or other items that detracted from our ability to work would show up, I would take everybody into a conference room. I would explain to them that they were all outstanding workers and yet we had some concerns about actually getting the job done and doing it right. And then I would put a trash can in the middle of the conference table with an entire team of up to 27 people sitting around the table.

I would look at the trashcan and look at the people. And I would explain to them that we were carrying things we absolutely did not need, and these items hurt our ability to build. The elements of this pain were the contrary ideas we had.  The thoughts were also destroying our ability to have a fun and productive shift.

I then had everybody take their hands and wind-up all their negative feelings in a ball. They wound up all the petty problems, all the trivial concerns that were preventing them from having a fun and productive shift.

I would have them take this imaginary ball that they had built with their own hands, smooshing it together as tight as possible so nothing would get loose. And, I would have them throw that ball into the trashcan. With the concerns now on the trashcan, I explained to them some of the good things that they had done in the past, and some of the great things they were capable of in the future. Then I explained we were going to go back to work. I said to them that no one was to reach in the trashcan on the way out and take their ball back out with them.

This actually does work. It is a physical moment in which people can clear their mind, leave troubles behind, and actually go forth to do great things. You don’t have to have a team of 27 people to do this. You can do this by yourself. Just set the trashcan on your desk or in the center of the room.  Get all those disturbances which are blocking you from doing what you want to do out of your head, and into the trashcan.  Sometimes, it’s even reasonable to take the trashcan out the back door and empty it.

Have a great day. Please do not pick up any imaginary problem balls on your way out.

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