“A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control. “ Robert Foster Bennett
Do you ever have times when you feel like you’re constantly behind the eight ball? Things seem to get away from you and the feeling of being totally out of control forces you to run hard to catch up?
It’s something like when you lose grip of an important paper in the wind, perhaps a $50 note. The wind grabs it and it flies out of your hand along the ground and stops out of your reach, you run to pick it up, you edge closer but just before you get there the wind picks up again and it takes it further away. You chase and chase until either you can finally put your foot on it to secure it and pick it up or you simply let it go as it’s gone too far.
I think we’ve probably all experienced that feeling. I know I certainly have and do. The key question is ‘Do you have days like this, weeks like this or is this a constant experience for you?’
Most people would recognise they will have days like this due to the business landscape being unpredictable and uncertain. Regardless of how well planned you are things will happen out of your control that will impact on your day forcing you to change direction and be reactive to circumstance.
However, for those who are constantly experiencing their days like this something needs to change because chasing is an unsustainable way to operate in business if you are going to be successful and relevant. It’s also an unsustainable way to live life. Chasing is exhausting.
How do you get back control?
This may sound counterintuitive when you feel so far behind but the key thing to be doing when you are feeling this way it to stop and take stock of what is causing you to play this game of constant catch up. It’s only when people do stop and assess that they have any chance of changing this situation. As hard as it may feel, as much as the perception is that time isn’t available or as confronting as it may seem, stopping and taking responsibility for the situation you’re in is the one and only way to improve.
So if you are caught in the game of constant catch up, stop right now, breathe and give yourself the time to reflect and get clarity on what’s going on and what needs to be done. Write a list of everything (everything!) that needs to be done to catch up, prioritise and then plan to get these things done progressively. Identify what can be delegated to others or even outsourced. Is everything you’re doing relevant? Does it need to get done at all?
Yes you might need to do some hours, however, with the power of clarity you will make progress. You will also start to feel much more in control and create momentum. Don’t let business or your life control you.