In the 1960s, the bumbling, lovable, nincompoop secret agent, Maxwell Smart, was tasked by his masters at CONTROL to target and defeat agents of his nemesis agency, KAOS.
Well, now it’s your chance to Get Smart. Do you want to live under CONTROL or KAOS?
My friend, management guru Karen Martin, recently published a book called, The Outstanding Organization. In it, she says that chaos in the workplace is one of the cornerstone reasons businesses don’t succeed.
Chaos, she says, “robs your business of the energy it needs to innovate and respond to the marketplace’s ever-increasing demands for faster, better, cheaper.” Guess what? Chaos does the same to your personal life.
According to Karen, chaos is characterized by shifting priorities, unclear direction, unstable processes, unhappy customers, and disengaged employees.
Sound like your life?
I’ve talked about spinning our wheels. So many of us spend so much time working without a plan, running around, being busy, without making as much progress as we should. It’s easy to get caught up in the illusion of progress when we’re frantic and manic.
This week I’d like to suggest two approaches to minimize your “wheel spinning.”
First, get a grip on chaos. Use Karen’s four-pronged approach to reduce chaos and minimize wheel spinning. Here’s what you need: Clarity, Focus, Discipline, and Engagement. Do we really need to talk about them? Think about each of those words and answer for yourself whether you have them in your life.
Are you chasing too many projects? Are you trying to please everyone around you? Are your relationships in good shape? Are you easily distracted by your cell phone, television, and other things that suck up your most productive time? Do you even know where you’re headed?
The second way to deal with chaos and minimize wheel spinning is to analyze and assess how you run your daily life. Do you bundle errands to run them together or are they spread out, costing you valuable time? Do you realize that not all hours are created equal? When is your prime time? Do you have systems in place at home for your laundry, for doing chores, times at which you wake up and go to sleep, how you go shopping?
Understand where your time and energy is going. That’s the only way to fix it.