Set Your Counters To Zero – Why Carrying Guilt and Resting on Laurels Waste Time

Save time by resetting your counters.
Save time by resetting your counters (istockphoto.com © Olga Milkina)

Imagine this: you plan to take your vitamins every day, but your life gets very busy and a week slips by during which you take no vitamins. What’s your next step? Do you a) take one vitamin and go on, or b) take seven vitamins to “catch up?”

Silly question! There are tasks that are intended to be done every day, but once the day is past, there is no catching up. So why do so many business owners that I meet feel that if they don’t get something done one day, they must do twice as much the next day? And the next? Soon we are carrying an enormous burden of late and undone assignments that we have given ourselves, and all satisfaction is drained from even our best work.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

— William James

Uncompleted tasks drag us down and waste our time.

Conversely, high productivity one day cannot be the excuse for slacking off another day, resting on our laurels. Remember the tale of the hare who raced the tortoise. The point of that fable is that “slow and steady wins the race.” I hate to admit it, but consistency trumps brilliance every time.

One person who speaks eloquently on this subject is Mark LeBlanc, author of Never Be The Same. Mark gives his audiences a success rule: “no plus or minus carryover.” In other words, don’t rest on your laurels if you’ve done more than you planned, and don’t carry forward tasks that didn’t get done. No plus or minus carryover.

Are you calling five prospects every day? Do your five, do more if you can. But start again each day, calling five prospects. Are you writing for 30 minutes every day? Do your writing, but if a head cold or a surprise party puts you behind, let go of any guilt – it doesn’t help! Reset your counter to zero and begin again the next day.

One Response to Set Your Counters To Zero – Why Carrying Guilt and Resting on Laurels Waste Time

  1. This post was so helpful to me. I have this issue where I procrastinate and put of tomorrow what I could do today and along with that is the guilt I pile on top which makes it even worse. To say if I do not get it done move on and start over is brilliant. I actually took the pressure off.

Leave a reply

Copyright © 2009-2014 Margaret Lukens