This is a reprint of an article that appeared first in August of 2011. I hope you find it helpful.
Part 5 of 6
This is the continuation of a series based on the book "Good to Great in God's Eyes" by Chip Ingram. Here's a review of the first four:
Part 1: Put God First – The Principle of Priority
Part 2: Take Out the Trash – The Principle of Transformation
Part 3: Do Your Own Dishes – The Principle of Responsibility
Part 4: Write it Down - The Principle of Clarity
Inertia has been defined as "the tendency of a body at rest to
remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in
a straight line unless acted on by an outside force." There is a
propensity with most of us to stay where we are and to continue doing
what we have been doing. Yet it also is true that "if we always do what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always gotten."
If you've read this far in the series it's quite likely that you
really are wanting to make positive change in your life. If so, this key
is vital for you: start now. The world is full of people who have every
intention of doing the right thing. They're planning on saving, losing
weight, getting in shape, charting a growth plan for their life or any
number of worthwhile goals. Yet it never seems to happen.
For some it's because they suffer from "the paralysis of analysis" -
the need to look at every aspect of the decision in minute detail. They
fear making a mistake; so they wait for the "perfect" opportunity, but
such do not exist. It's like they're stuck: ready, aim, aim, aim, aim...
At some point, if we're going to get something done, we have to begin.
Some wise person said "if you have to eat a frog, eat it first thing in the morning."
While I have no desire to eat a frog, the point is valid. Get the
project you dread out of the way as quickly as possible. The reason for
this is obvious: the longer we wait, the larger the problem becomes in
our minds. It grows fangs and claws and hair and learns how to hit us
where it hurts!!! As William James said, "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
Conversely, dealing with issues or challenges early gives us a sense of
accomplishment that helps with whatever else we might face.
One thing that I've found helpful is developing the habit of
prioritizing. Once I list my tasks for the day I place them in order of
priority. I try to tackle the most important things first. The
challenge, however, is to not wait for something to become a crisis
before it makes it to our priority list. Developing the habit of doing
the small things in a timely matter can prevent them from becoming
larger and more urgent down the road. As Chip Ingram writes: "When
you've procrastinated and have a week's worth of papers to file, twelve
calls to return, several days' worth of homework or office projects to
complete, and five loads of laundry to do, it's a little demotivating,
Once we push ourselves into that kind of a corner, it can be
overwhelming to get out. What I've learned over the years, as I've found
myself in those situations, is to "lean into it." A leadership
principle that applies here is to "accept the pressure of the moment."
Resist the urge to throw your hands up in the air and run in the other
direction, or to simply curl up on the couch. Simply begin by starting
with that which is in front of you. In establishing the discipline of
doing it now you can save yourself from a world of problems later. As my
mother always told me, "never put off until tomorrow what you could do today."
"Do Your Own Dishes" - The Principle of Responsibility
"Write It Down" - The Principle of Clarity
"Take Out the Trash" - The Principle of Transformation
“Put God First” - The Principle of Priority
Developing Great Habits