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To Think About . . .
We should not be so taken up in the search for truth, as to neglect the needful duties of active life; for it is only action that gives a true value and commendation to virtue. Cicero
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« Goal Monitoring | Main | The Source of Clarity »

Keeping on top

I want to expand on something I mentioned at the end of my previous posting: "I think the truth is that we have energy for just about anything that we feel on top of." I believe the above statement is true of just about anything, whether or not it is something that you enjoy doing in itself. Conversely even with things that you enjoy doing, if you are behind on them your energy will suffer. In fact you may be even more frustrated because you will feel that you can't even keep moving on the things you enjoy doing.

A good example of this is doing your accounts. Most people don't particularly enjoy accounts (unless they are accountants of course!) Some people have a positive aversion to them. For someone working on their own in a small home-based business, keeping on top of their accounts is not particularly difficult. There are probably not more than four or five transactions a day. If they enter each item in their account program each day and file the vouchers, they can easily stay on top of their accounts. That means they are able to get instant access to the up-to-date figures for their business's financial state. This is an important management tool. What's more at the end of a financial period, the finalising of the accounts is easy and will take little time.

Whether or not you enjoy accounting, being on top of your accounts in this way is very energising and motivating. It's a very different story with the person who puts off dealing with their accounts day after day, week after week, month after month. They have no idea how their business is doing, they dread the whole process of getting the accounts sorted out, and the end of the financial year an extremely painful time for them. The only difference between the two situations is a few minutes' work each day. So remember: an important source of energy is being on top of things. If you're not able to keep on top of something you should be seriously questioning whether you ought to be doing it at all.

(The original version of this article appeared in my newletter in January 2005)

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