Mind the Gap Between Dreams and Action

Are you running a mental inventory of what you want to do to gear up for summer right about now? Many of us are.

You might be changing over closets and drawers and figuring out what needs to be donated, tossed, still fits and looks good, and what needs to be purchased so you look both stylish and in-season.

Perhaps you are cleaning, washing windows, and gardening so that you can open up a sparkling home to the outside.

Some of us are changing the diet and exercise routine so that stubborn winter weight is either less or gone when there are less layers of clothing.

 

The dream is that things will be as we imagine them when the warm weather arrives. The change to the summer season bring optimism along with it.

You may also be running a mental inventory of what you want to get accomplished before the fall season at work. You are not alone. Are you talking with others about how to make those plans become a reality this month?  Providing a training program? Gearing up for an off-site, partnering meeting, or strategic planning session? Finally going to meet with someone one-on-one to accompsih something essential? Hope to find a speaker for the event? If so – congratulations! That’s good news.

Many plans fall apart some place between the dream step and the action step:

  1. You are busy and have time after all – summer isn’t even here yet! In fact, in part of the United States, the ground is still hard and the heat still comes on.
  2. If you move too early, things could change and you’d have to actually plan twice. So it makes sense to wait.
  3. Things slow down in the summer months as people take vacation. You will have more time later to focus on making your ideas a reality.
  4. Work is slower for others because the above noted people are on vacation, so people will be more available later.

My experience tells me a few things I’d like to share:

  • Summer is warmer, not slower.
  • The work of the people who take vacation in the Spring and Summer is shared with the people who are still at work.  Those people are actually busier now, because they are helping out and covering for those who are vacationing.
  • Editing and revising an existing plan, program, or project usually takes less time than creating it from scratch.
  • While you are thinking about doing things, other people are DOING things. When you finally get around to acting, the resources you were hoping to leverage (budget, people, space, time, consultants) may be otherwise engaged.

My Dad was a stickler for time management. A sales professional for most of his life, he made it clear to all of his children that it was a almost a sin to be late. This hard-wiring is why my brothers and I are always early, always leave for something much earlier than necessary, and feel terrible when something or someone makes us late.

If you think you want to have a meeting, program, project before September, act on in before the week is out. Take that first step to making it a reality. You aren’t really that early. Many people are acting on their plans for the summer now.

Because if most people are early, being on-time begins to look a lot like late.

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