Stop Start - By BenjaminIt is that time of year for me. It is coming up to my birthday, again, which always seems to trigger a time of introspection and reflection. Maybe it is kicked off by that irrational discomfort of a digit shifting in the ominous number that denotes my age these days.

Decades seem to flick past in the way that years used to, but I still have my hair, and for the time being, more of it is brown than grey. Although, come to think of it, there does seem to be less brown and about the same amount of grey of late. Anyway, enough of my male paranoia. Where did that reflection take me?

I was lead back to the core philosophy behind the “Work Out What Needs Doing And Do It” methodology, the phrase that spawned this blog. I love the balance of thinking and doing that is encapsulated in that phrase. Doing without thinking can lead to disaster; Thinking without doing can lead to the tragedy of wasted ideas.

In their quest for greater productivity, people and businesses can get caught up in the doing, and miss out on the thinking. So many business leaders today are like a misdirected driver, driving as fast as they can to make up for lost time, unable to pull over to take a look at the map. I know, I’ve been there. Of course, successful businesses don’t stay in that state for long, and really successful ones never get to that position. Bill Gates books in thinking time each year, and from what I understand of Warren Buffet’s days, the majority of them are dedicated to thinking.

Why is it that we so easily cast in our lot with the dreamers when we get home? We browse the catalogue, but we don’t make a purchase. We think great thoughts and plan great things, but rarely fulfill them. Where would we be if we took the drive from our business lives into our personal domain, and the reflectivity of our personal lives out into the business world? Many people have managed this, and with amazing results.

Being effective and productive somehow goes beyond just thinking and doing. A while ago I wrote out these four pillars as a ‘strategy for living’ :

  • Think CLEARLY
  • Communicate EFFECTIVELY

In my experience, the simple stuff is the most powerful. However, the simple stuff is also the hardest to do! I am seeing increasing fruit from these four habits as they develop in my life. I hope that they help you too. Dream big dreams, and make them happen.