On the last blog post, I discussed effective time management and creating a schedule. This post is a caveat. Having a “wing-it” approach isn’t going to work if you want to succeed. You might be able to make it work for that one instance to get by, but in the long-run, it will only hurt you. Here’s the embarrassing story of when I “winged-it” when by no means should I have done so: my wedding. My fiancée and I were planning our small wedding with family and friends and I got so caught up with it, that I did not do the most important part: I did not write down my vows. I felt that I was romantic enough to be able to come up with something in the moment and I was surely mistaken. I fell flat on my face and it didn’t come out the way I wanted and it didn’t seem romantic, especially as my bride pulled out a sheet of paper and had so much to say. It is definitely one of the biggest regrets in my life and I feel as if I am trying to make it up to my wife every day of my life.
We had a to-do list for our wedding, but it was general and generic. We should have taken the time to write a more detailed plan. We had “get a wedding cake” on our list, but it should have been “find the right supplier, choose flavor and design and pick up at (specific time).” Creating a detailed list would have made our wedding much more memorable for the right reasons. Having a general plan and to-do list is a great starting point; however, to be successful, you need to give it more detail. It’s as if figuring out you want a sandwich for lunch and you have bread. The next step is figuring out what you want to put in your sandwich and put it together before you can enjoy it.
Today, I challenge you to take your to-do list and give it depth. Explain to yourself what you truly intend to do and make a schedule. Use a planner, a notepad or an app and write down what you intend to do when. By doing this, you will better increase your chances of success. Set time aside, whether first thing when you wake up or right before you go to bed. Once you start, continue to do so. The hardest step is the first one. The second hardest is the follow through. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Don’t allow yourself to make an excuse today. Find a way to better yourself each and every day.