Think Less, Do More

AdvisorBlast – Quick Tips to Accelerate Your Practice
In this issue:Is your thinking really procrastination? Stop over-thinking and take action.

paul-kingsman

We should have a fantastic statue somewhere called “The Doer,” instead of “The Thinker.”

Most people spend too much time thinking about taking their first step instead of actually taking it. 

When faced with an important decision, taking time to carefully consider options is wise. When facing more routine situations, wasting no time before taking the first step is really smart. The first step might be small, but it’s a step – not a thought! Go for action over contemplation. That step will move you closer to your objective. Once you’re moving, you have more chance to build momentum and actually achieve your goal.

When I was growing up in New Zealand, our provincial swimming championship races were always held in an outdoor, unheated pool. Our team would go there to practice several times before the competition began each year. The pool was a wind-tunnel and was always cold, especially at 5:00am. Teammates would regularly frustrate our coach with their tactical dithering to avoid getting into the cold water. I found the best way to get in, which everyone had to do eventually anyway, was simply to start walking to the edge…and just keep walking.

Focusing on taking one step and then another and another was much less painful than standing on deck contemplating putting your warm body into the icy water. Interestingly, each morning when I made up my mind to promptly enter the water that way, I had some of my best workouts. Instead of dwelling on all the details of the situation and over-thinking it, I just committed to a simple activity – literally taking a single step, without thinking.

We can say we’re thinking about something and sound productive, but if we get very honest, all we’re doing is procrastinating. We use up limited quantities of emotional energy figuring out how we need to begin, considering if we are using our time effectively, or thinking about different ways we could do the job, when we would be better off not thinking and simply applying that energy to the inevitable task. 

So, if you need to write that quarterly report, open a new document on your computer and write the opening sentence.

Or, if you need to call a client, look up their number, pick up the phone, and dial.

Or, if you need to take a breather, get up and start walking.

Or, if you need more rest, close the laptop and go to bed.

Whatever your task, get started. You have no chance at all of finishing something unless you begin. 

Decide that your first step “counts” only if it’s an action step – not a thinking step.

To get enjoy success sooner:

  • When faced with a task, allow a second to think about the end result and the positive feelings accomplishment you will enjoy – but only one second. Then move on – don’t dwell on those thoughts longer than that. (I can easily get side tracked thinking about exciting “what if”s or positive possibilities. But none of that actually moves me closer to where I want to be.)

  • Take the first action step. Realize you’ve already overcome the greatest hurdle to getting the job done – you got a body at rest into motion.
  • Enjoy the momentum you’re beginning to build. If you have time and can complete the task, carry on. If something more urgent requires you to stop, move on to the next task with the same action-oriented approach. When you come back to your first task, jump right back in, without wasting any time thinking about it.

Yes, there are times when planning and more preparation is required. But in many instances, avoid contemplation; simply take the first step and reach greater results sooner. Stop waiting and discover what you can achieve once you take the first step.

Take action!
Paul
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As a motivational speaker and executive coach, Paul Kingsman helps financial services professionals successfully grow their businesses by taking practical daily steps to achieve outstanding long-term results. Combining his experiences as an Olympic medalist and his background as an advisor, Paul understands how to stay focused over the long haul, as well as the unique business challenges faced by advisors. Through his professional speaking and executive coaching he equips them to overcome distractions so they can get the money they need, the clients they want, and the time to do what they love.

To find out more about how Paul can equip you or your team to achieve outstanding results, visit paulkingsman.com/coaching or email him at Paul@PaulKingsman.com


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