I want to share with you one little shift that you can take that will enable you to go from unintelligent to intelligent action.
I think managers need to learn how to take intelligent action. I’m not saying that you’re not intelligent. I understand that if you’re reading this or listening to this, you’re an intelligent individual. 🙂 But so often people act without thinking properly (me included).
I was asked a question the other day when I was running a ‘Productivity program’ for an organization. One of the employees said to me: “Colin, I regularly find myself halfway through a task and then realise I haven’t properly thought it through.”
A classic example for me was a little while back when I was packing for a holiday with my family. I just wanted to get on holidays so I was packing really fast. Then I stopped and thought to myself: I don’t have enough room. I knew that I had enough room in the car overall, but the way I had packed it wasn’t working. My wife Sarah came out to me and said, “Colin, have you thought about how to put the stuff in the car?” And I really hadn’t.
I know that’s a comical example but sometimes we do that with our projects or even with our daily work. We start doing stuff quickly, but don’t really think clearly about how to do the task effectively. Basically unintelligent action.
Intelligent action is three steps:
1. Feel — Catch yourself in that motivation stage and say, “No, I need to actually think here.”
2. Think — If you have a strong feeling with a project perhaps, and you think “I’ve got to get this done,” use your brain, sit down and plan. One of my friends Dale Beaumont, an amazing thought leader, says that spending time planning is worth ten times the amount than actually doing. Spending that little bit of time planning is so crucial.
3. Then Act
This is one of the biggest things that will shift you from unintelligent to intelligent action. Simple but powerful.
QUESTION: In your daily activity, what would thinking before acting do for your personal productivity? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
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