Getting things done

In the modern world there are so many distractions it is easy to get side-tracked, but those who concentrate on the areas of their business that need attention and grind it out will be successful, writes Karl Morris. 

Karl Morris has a free podcast. For details go to www.themindfactor.com

Karl Morris has a free podcast. For details go to www.themindfactor.com

I once heard a very successful businessman say that in effective large corporations there had to be a collection, as he put it, of ‘finders, minders and grinders’. In essence what he meant was a business needs people with a vision to take it forwards and discover new clients and customers, people to manage and oversee the process and then for others to actually do the work of making the products. This model may be somewhat outdated in the digital age and would have been far more relevant across the board in the industrial age but what he said at the end of the conversation still really applies: ‘The grinders are essential’.

The grinders are essential. The people who actually knuckle down and do the hard yards and get the product out to the marketplace. Ideas are great, management is essential but unless you get the job completed then you have nothing, no product to sell, just a bunch of ideas.

In the modern world I think people who can get on with their job and get it done are becoming an increasingly rare and valuable commodity. Getting the job done essentially means you have got to keep your attention focused on what is in front of you and, despite any distractions, keep doing it until it is complete. We are now unfortunately in a modern world riddled with constant distraction. How often do you check your phone in a day? Is it really that necessary? How often do you find yourself surfing the net with no real destination? How much time in any given day do we actually grind things out and get the job done? How much more productive could we be if we regained the art of grinding it out?

Staying with a project until it is done and then being able to look with satisfaction as to what has been achieved. We still recognise in the game of golf itself those players who manage to ‘grind out’ a score. We appreciate that skill. The ability to get the ball around the course in a decent number when they only have their B or C game. Despite the distraction of the ball not doing as it is told these players get the job done. They are usually the ones that last the longest on tour. They find a way.

Of course in most golf businesses you have to be a combination of all three. Finding the business, minding the business but give some real thought as to what could be achieved if you got better at the grinding bit. Both yourself and your staff. What projects and ideas could really make a difference to your business if you started them and hung on in to completion?

What is the area of your business you know needs a lot of effort but, if you stick with it, will bring you the most reward? The irony of the grind is that when completed it does give a sense of real accomplishment that lasts a long time. Part of the secret to the grind is to notice the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else, wanting to take a break and look at your phone, wanting to take things easy. Notice these feelings and, instead of reacting to them, just let them pass. The mind feeds on distraction. The more you allow it to be distracted the easier it is to be distracted. There is a big difference between noticing a feeling and just acting mindlessly on it. When you notice the feeling of wanting to pick up your mobile phone you are now in the position of choice. You can either allow yourself to be distracted by the latest banal round of social media trivia or you can stay with what you know to be important to your day. If you need to do social media for your business, that is different. Get on and do your social media, get your message out there but do what you need to do as opposed to being hooked by what others are doing.

I honestly believe success is merely an ‘accumulation of good days’. If you put enough good days in you will move forwards. At the very least you will know that you have given your very best. At the heart of every good and productive day lies a set of decisions. You either made the decision to do the right thing or you allowed yourself to be distracted by the feelings of wanting to do something easier and you wasted another precious 24 hours. We all have the choice and we are all battling distraction; the modern world does not make it easy for anyone but the decision is ours alone to make. How your business looks in twelve months’ time will be a reflection of how many good days you put in.