We all procrastinate at one point or another. Getting work done effectively is a matter of setting up all your routines to ensure you are as productive as possible.
As we specialize, we become experts in our fields and deepen our knowledge, but we can also miss out on learning about other areas that can have a significant impact on our companies.
One of the greatest lessons of this situation is that 2020 was a master class on stoicism’s concept of focusing on what we can control.
I could not let the end of this year pass without writing about a significant transition this new year will represent for so many people. 2020 has been a Pandora’s box in many ways. Personally, in Honduras, we had to deal with the pandemic as well as two hurricanes just ten days apart. We had not had such extreme weather in 22 years, and then we got two storms in two weeks. I think that many of us will be happy to start a new page in 2021, but before we do that, let us take a little bit of time to appreciate what we learned from both the good and the bad in 2020.
We tend to associate creativity with artists and writers and their inspiring sculptures, vibrant paintings, and beautiful poetry. Because of the focus that exists on these brilliant creators, we seldom appreciate the impact that creativity can have on our professional careers. However, creativity is one of our most useful skills, no matter what work we do, whether it is accounting, marketing, or simply managing a department.
Creativity is what permits us to forge our path and our view. Without it, we remain a part of the organizational machine and the existing structure. With creativity, we can alter our environment, make it better, and grow.
Life is full of uncertainty. Whether we are starting a new venture, launching a new business, or confronting a new or existing health problem, any unknown path can be scary. We might have no idea of what the entire endeavor will entail, and we may not even know where to start.
Sometimes we are stopped before we have even begun – fear can prevent us from taking any action at all. We might not even consciously know it because we justify our lack of action in different ways. My go-to justification for not doing something I want or must do is that I don’t have the time.
I often look to Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Charlie Munger, vice chairman of the same company, as inspiration for my days. Both have developed a reputation as sages in the investment community and beyond. They invest in new companies infrequently and hold on to their investments for the long-term. Buffett and Munger spend their time reading, studying, and pondering and have been able to build a business empire based on this strategy of deep analysis and sparse action.
As I have been working on building my company over the past couple of years, I find myself often in constant action mode, completing one task after the other. As often happens, I find it difficult to find the time to ponder ideas and decisions. With time, I have come to realize that I must slow down to be more effective, as the idea is to take the time and learn to think as clearly as possible.