Likely all of us have, at some time or another, felt “snowed under” at work. Tasked with so many projects that the thought of seeing the “light of day” and achieving the desired results or even succeeding at completing these tasks seems insurmountable. Usually the first thought is P.A.N.I.C. “Oh my goodness, this is impossible or I simply am not going to be able to get through this. I will fail.”
From my own experiences, and working with many other people and projects I have come to understand what it takes to successfully achieve and navigate through what may seem insurmountable. There is a certain skill set that is required to successfully achieve results. This skill set involves a combination of several factors. Namely; time management, natural ability, learnt skills and more importantly an aptitude to think like a successful person.
There are numerous book out there on the psychology of successful thinking. One particular such book is John Maxwell’s “How Successful People Think”. Some of the standout actionable items from this book are:
Thinking is a discipline. If you want to be better at it, you’ve got to work at it.
Figure out where you need to focus your energy, and then use the 80/20 rule.
To think differently, do different things.
When I graduated from my undergraduate degree, I worked as a Junior Accountant at a medium sized CA firm in Canada. I was inundated with audit work and found myself often confused by the amount of work. One time while working late into the night my boss came up to me and said to me “What are you doing? Shuffling papers!”
It was not until years later when I stepped into a managerial position that I realized what he meant by this. I was creating make work projects and not being efficient. Somewhere I had lost sight of how to achieve results in time.
I was talking to a friend about effectiveness at work and he, a superintendent for the school board, told me a story where a principal was working until 9 PM every night. He said to her, “If you keep working until 9PM every night, I will need to fire you.” She was surprised as she was putting in all these hours to prove that she was an effective and eager employee. He explained that an effective worker would be achieving the day’s tasks by 5 or 6 pm.
When I was accepted into the MBA program at Schulich School of Business, although petrified I was also very excited. I knew that failure was not even an option for me. I knew that no matter what, I was going to graduate a Master. The attitude of achieving this goal was 80% of the result for me. The rest of it was hard work and practicality. I was using the rules of a successful thinker. If I had entered the program with a different attitude, I likely would have dropped out, failed out and changed direction.
My workload was intense. Hundreds of pages of reading per day, assignments and tests, it was stressful, at times it felt impossible, but it taught me that with effort, time management, with heart and focus on success I would achieve.
This became the very foundation from which I now work. Impossible is not in my vocabulary. I may feel incapable at times when faced with what seems like a daunting workload, but I know that this is an erroneous perception. I have shown that I am capable and that every problem is waiting to be solved.
I encourage you to look at the ways you miss opportunities to achieve magnificence. If you reach for the stars you may just become one yourself.
Since 1994, Rishi Deva, founder and CEO of RishiVision and entrepreneurial coach, has empowered thousands of businesses. Rishi has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurial studies and a BBA in accounting. He has spent nearly twenty years coaching, consulting, managing and supporting thousands of businesses from new startups to active global leaders.