A challenge that we all face is what is sometimes referred to as the tyranny of the present – the seemingly all-consuming pressures on our limited time and energy. We have so much to do, so many deadlines, so much work, and so many meetings. We find ourselves churning toward “what’s next” in an all-too-often rush to be done.
In this experience we seek satisfaction in our work, the sense that we have accomplished something. This end-point confirmation is often found only at the completion of the project, the sealing of the deal, our performance counseling sessions, or some other marker on our contribution. In this sometimes dizzying work world, we often barely recognize the immediacy of our role, impact, and how all the little things add up to the big things. We can do better.
Being successful today means taking the time to re-order your perspective so that the proverbial trees of your present don’t get lost in the forest of your deadlines and end-points. We can be more effective in our work, in our interactions with colleagues, and in our engagement with clients by better embracing today. We must be present – now, focused on the person in front of us, at this moment.
While you may need to achieve certain goals and measures of success by the end of the week, month, quarter or year, your results will certainly be based on how well you do today, and over the coming days – each one standing as an opportunity to be successful.
By seeing your performance in daily stages you are better prepared to maximize all that this day has in store for you while you continue towards larger accomplishments. To paraphrase a once popular bromide, today really is the first day of the rest of your professional life. Do not doubt the power of passion, consideration, focus, momentum, and leadership – right now.
We must work to establish habits of success that have a daily orientation and that help us concentrate on being fully present in our “performance moments” – those actions and interactions, large or small, which represent our professional engagement. The steps and tools to be successful today are easy to embrace and perform, but they do require commitment.
It can sometimes be difficult to change mental habits and routine no matter how debilitating or self-reducing they may be – we are creatures of habit. Take the time to examine how you are in your work.
Being successful today will ask you to identify what’s important in the big picture and then distill that down to clearly see your productive opportunities – your performance moments. Get in the habit of doing the following each day:
- check your attitude at the start – when everyone is talented, attitude trumps aptitude – it is the difference maker;
- consider and identify 2 achievable professional commitments for the day that are not job tasks – make them focused and beyond your in-box, such as reconciling a misunderstanding, taking time with a staff member you have had little time for, reading that important journal article you have been putting off, etc.;
- open yourself to growing – be a constant learner – read, listen, and consider;
- embrace the power of humility – self-assess everyday – know that you can be better;
- reflect on how you want to be thought of today – how you want to be remembered – see every day as a legacy;
- see yourself as a leader, no matter what your position – ask yourself if you made a difference;
- reflect at day’s end – prepare for tomorrow by understanding today;
- repeat – embrace the patterns of success in your attitude and orientation – re-commit – put passion in your action.
Finally, in this effort, bring your best self to work – everyday. That’s not always easy, but critical to optimizing your performance and being successful today.
Horizon Performance Solutions, LLC