Thinking One Thing and Doing Another

Written by  on June 26, 2004 

Another interesting week and what do we find…
Another week of working and something has been undermined
What started out so fresh, has finished with a thud
Why has all the excitement turned out to be a dud?

A funny thing happened the other day that made me do a little research into why good people slow down. Why their works suffers at times and what can be done about it.

A client of mine mentioned that one of his employees had started making mistakes and slowing down. His work had become so erratic that it was now causing his co-workers some stress as they felt responsible but were unable to put their finger on what it was that had caused the slowdown.

I asked some questions around what had happened to the employee and my client found that he knew very little about what was happening.. So we both decided to see what we could do to handle the situation for both the client and his employee.

Just like any handling or fix that is done on someone’s computer here in the forums, we did a fix on the situation. Not the same, you say? Well it was surprisingly very close. You see, when you do a fix on a computer, you rid it of the bugs and viruses that it has caught, clear out all the old temp files and cookies and get it back to a state where it is working entirely in present time (not affected by the bits and pieces of past downloads and spyware and ad ware.

The same things applied. Now I aren’t talking of doing anything like counseling or dealing with issues of the past that should be left to the psychology experts. I’m talking here about one person asking another person “what’s going on?” in a caring and empathetic way. Its all about being authentic enough to really care about what happening.

Now, getting back to our little research project…

The amount of time you spend thinking about other issues will directly relate to the speed and quality of your work. Try this for size… try thinking about a great holiday you had or an event that impacted on you for some reason while you attempt to write an email directly related to your work (or study)

It’s like going to a funeral while listening to a comedy CD. Your emotions struggle to fit. Something has to give and in most cases it will be the least important issues that suffer first. Like your work when a family member is unwell.

The time spent not in the present is the lack of present time stuff you get done.

Being in the present is a skill and you can master it despite everything that is going on in your life. It takes practice and a desire to succeed. Once you start to taste the success of being in the present despite the things happening in your life you will become more motivated to stay there (or should I say “stay here”)

The employee, in this case, was suffering something terrible. He had a couple of family issues that were affecting his judgment and quality of life, you see, these things don’t only affect work, they affect the whole of your life. He wasn’t sleeping due to the worry. Now my client was in a bit of a bind, how do you get this person back on the job and working to his capacity?

He gave him the day off, well actually as much time off as the employee needed. Within a day, the employee was back after handling his situation. Now you can ask how such a big issue was handled in a day? I don’t exactly know but I do know that if you continue to pressure a person to perform when they are under some outside stress, they will continue along much the same as they have been doing. If you give them some time, and in this case, some space to look at what’s happening, remarkably they can start to see issues for what they are.

Just having this time and space is sometimes enough to bring a person around to the present enough to get them working in the present. And this then frees up valuable space for them to handle the stresses and strains in the present time rather than being “splattered all over the universe”

As I have mentioned before, tolerations (those things in our life that we are tolerating) try very hard to pull us off this present time track. What helps us stay here is gaining enough reserves in our life that even in the tough times we can look at issues from the here and now rather than lumping them into all the times a similar issue has occurred.

Its like a reserve tank of gas. When you are running low, you can still find time to get to a pump to refill because you have this reserve. The reserve is just that, a reserve. Don’t get into the habit of using it as part of the main tank otherwise, that’s what it becomes. A reserve is the things we have that can be used in an emergency to stabilize and sustain us when all else has failed. It allows us the luxury of being able to remain effective despite some turmoil.

We can find reserves in, food, energy, money, space, in fact any part of your life can be built with the added luxury of having a reserve in place. Now what happened in my clients case, was that he did have reserves in the workers he had which allowed him to give the employee time off. This, in turn, enabled the employee to go off and in his own way handle the stresses and strains. He was back real quick and operating his job effectively which further increased my clients reserves as they weren’t run into the ground. So as you can see, building up reserves also creates more.

This Present Time is a great gift as there are so many interesting things happening. It is a pity to miss what’s going on here and now due to our living back in the distant past. I say distant because its gone, never to be seen again. Work on this skill of being in the present will open up new horizons. Create new opportunities and most of all help you be effective in your life, whatever you are doing at the time you are doing it.

cheers… Bill

Bill Gray

Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.

Sydney, Australia

Ph +61 413 949 521

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