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Just Start Again



This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


You have good intentions. You want to keep your daily disciplines. You want to do what’s necessary to produce better results. And sometimes you do a brilliant job working your plan. But there are times when your intentions aren’t enough.

Sometimes it’s difficult to follow your plan. It can be difficult to will yourself to do the work that you need to do. You get distracted. Your brain seeks variety. You get hooked on some new novelty. Just like that you’re off your plan and wasting time.

And then you’re stressed out because you’re off plan. Stressed out isn’t a resourceful or productive state.

Relax, it happens to everyone! In fact, it happens to some of the most productive people in the world. Really smart people, like Tony Schwartz, recommend you work only for 90 minutes and then take a break so to refresh the psychic energy it takes to focus on the work you really need to do.

It takes energy, discipline, and focus to stay on your plan to do what you need to do. But when you fall off plan, don’t fret about it. Don’t agonize over having lost a few hours–or even a few days. The emotional energy you waste feeling bad about having lost the time does nothing to help get you back on plan.

Accept that you fell off your plan. Accept that you could’ve done better. Forgive yourself for your all-too-human failings. Just start over. Today is a clean slate. There’s nothing you can do about anything that happened in the past, but you can do something about what you’re doing right now in this moment. And that’s where to focus your attention.

You can start over today. You could start over right now. You could start this instant.

Questions

What causes you to lose focus?

What distracts you and knocks you off your plan?

How do you forgive yourself when you get off plan?

What do you to get back on plan?


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