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  • John C. Parks, BS, MBA

"Think Before You Do"

Thinking Strategically

Our society rushes us to get things done. Consequently, we are in a mad rush and scramble to get all the things done on our "To Do List." The stress of staying competitive, getting more money, taking care of family, and being relevant is a plate full. The more we give; the more people want from us. When we do take a moment to breathe, the Facebook inbox rings, cell phone inbox rings, or cell phone rings with more "To Dos," more concerns, and more problems.

There is no idiom or principles that says we have to juggle all the balls. Most emergencies are really not emergencies, especially when they are initiated by people who improperly plan, highlight everything as a high priority, or simply shove their "To Do List" onto your already heavy list.

The reason for this plethora of activities and its associated stress level is the inability or not taking time to think before they do. In addition, they have not comprehended the value or pay off of what they are trying to accomplish and the resulting benefits. Consequently, everything is a priority. Here's a technique that will help you dig yourself out of this dilemma.

Here are seven (7) steps that can help you think through the mirage of activities:

1. Identify what you would like to get done and write it down in simple terms, and the benefit or value of each item

2. Take time to think carefully about each item. If the activities don't yield value toward achieve your desire outcome, put in on a list called "do when I have time or downtime

4. Order the list in priority based on the payback or value

5. Pick the top 20% of the list and throw away the rest of the items. The remaining items are normally subsets of the top 20%

6. Schedule the times during the day when you will accomplish these priority items.

7. During the day, you should schedule 10% (2.5 hours) just for your on personal time of thinking, planning, and relaxing. In the open time slots left, you can accommodate other people's requests.

God has granted us a 24 hour day - 8 hours to work, 8 hours to sleep, and 8 hours for ourselves. How you think during the 8 hours of YOU TIME will determine your success and quality of life. Remember, that only 0.1% of day may be truly an emergency. The rest of our day is fully under our control. But, we must think before we do.

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