Hello, My Name Is Consistency – We Should Hang Out More Often

Consistency. As an entrepreneur, I’ve come to learn that consistency is the key component of success. I will admit, that even though I’m a CEO with a full staff of support and a plethora of tools at my disposal, and even though I’m a professional organizer and time management coach, I still let things fall through the cracks sometimes. Case in point, this blog.

I spent the better part of the day working on some organizing and time management material for my second-quarter Hot Mess Masters class. In doing so, I began to think about prioritization as it pertains to consistency.

If you prioritize certain tasks, to the detriment of other tasks, those “other” tasks will fall through the cracks of consistency. Whether it’s writing a regular blog post, sending tweets, or simply taking time to shred old documents, eventually the things you’ve neglected will pile up. At that point, your lack of consistency will manifest itself as procrastination.

You see, being a professional, even being considered a “certified expert,” does not exempt you from having areas of weakness or making mistakes or letting things fall through the cracks. In fact, I would venture to say that even the most successful business people in the world make mistakes regularly. The rubber meets the road where we admit our mistakes and take steps to resolve them.

What I’m trying to say is, if you can prevent your lack of consistency from turning into full-blown procrastination, you can prevent the vicious cycle of stress that goes along with it. The busier we become, the more stuff seems to fall through the cracks and the greater our odds of slipping into a pattern of inconsistency and eventually suffering the wrath of procrastination.

Even if you consider the things that you’re doing in place of your “crack-fallen” tasks to be more important,unless you intend to write those crack-fallen tasks off completely, it will be up to you to prevent them from becoming the product of procrastination.

Don’t get discouraged, it happens to all of us. I wouldn’t be writing this blog post If I have not been convicted of my own inconsistencies while I was working on some product information earlier today.

Which brings me to the real meat of this post. Are you being consistent? Are you following through? It doesn’t matter how busy you are, if you make commitments that you struggle to keep and you’ve yet to address the problem, you’re being inconsistent.

Inconsistency makes you seem unreliable. If you seem unreliable, clients will not trust you to provide them with quality products or services, and while these things happen to all of us, the difference makers are:

1) Admitting that it happens.

2) Stopping it before it becomes a habit.

knowing something and following through on something are two different things. I know that I made a commitment to my blog posts every week. I know that the material I put these posts will be beneficial to other people and every day that passes with no blog post becomes a nagging sore spot in the back of my mind, because commitment and consistency is of vital importance to me. I’m not only hurting my clients, I’m hurting ME! Just because the other things I’m working on are more pressing at the time, it doesn’t negate the importance of previously made commitments – even if they seem kind of small.

I said all that say this, none of us are exempt from mistakes. You have the power to punch the brakes on whatever inconsistency you’re currently facing. I urge you, for the sake of your sanity and for the sake of your business:

1) Don’t make a commitment unless you are absolutely certain you can meet that commitment – even to yourself.
2) If you find here being inconsistent, take active steps to stop their inconsistency early. Don’t let it become a procrastination problem.
3) Be willing to admit to your coworkers and your clients when you let something fall through the cracks. Even if it’s something minor, like weekly blog posts.

Your willingness to admit your human nature will go a long way toward your reputation with your clients and your colleagues.

And finally – TAKE A SELF ASSESSMENT. Where have you been inconsistent in your life? Exercise, laundry, writing, bills…?  Who is it effecting? What steps are you taking to fix it?

Where Smoke Meets Fire – Quit Your Whinin’

I see it all the time. People are very proficient in the skill. People everywhere, no matter their race, age or professional status have an incredible ability to complain. I don’t care what the situation is, people complain – it’s virtually impossible for all people to be pleased all the time. In fact, I’d venture to say that it’s pretty much impossible for even a few people to be pleased all the time.

I have come to the realization that complaints are a part of our psyche — the part that wants change (or, in some cases, the part that DOESN’T want change). But here’s the thing, most people complain without even the slightest intention to DO something about whatever it is they’re complaining about.

Yes, I’m aware some things are beyond our ability to change them — but if that’s the case, isn’t complaining just whining about the inevitable?

I’m talking about complaining about things that could be remedied, altered or otherwise improved through the application of action and effort. Even big, “can’t do it by myself” things aren’t worth complaining about if you’re not going to take the action steps to change them.

Instead of running your whiner, why aren’t you out there taking action? Instead of blasting your woes on social media, why aren’t you in the middle of the action?

I know this sounds harsh, but I’m kind of tired of hearing whiners whine about every little thing from pot holes to pancakes when they aren’t willing to DO anything to resolve their problems. The way I see it, if you aren’t willing to “put your money where your mouth is” then you shouldn’t be running your mouth at all.

I am PERFECTLY FINE with people having opinions, but opinions and complaints are in two different ball parks. I am a doer, and an action taker – some might even say a quick starter. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s bad — but at least it’s SOMETHING. In business it’s the action takers, the problem solvers, the go get ‘ers, the DOERS that do – the whiners accomplish a whole lot of nothing and are, what my dear husband likes to call oxygen thieves.

Complaining is not Godly. It’s not glorifying to our maker — instead it glorifies troubles. Whining is like worry’s bitter cousin, it doesn’t solve the problems of the future and instead sucks the joy out of the present.

There is a saying that we’ve all heard, “blowing smoke.” Blowing smoke is when you tell someone what they want to hear, whether it’s true or not and ESPECIALLY refers to the dribble of the mouth that has no hope of being enacted upon. In short – lies. The way I see it, complaining about everything, while simultaneously making ZERO effort to act, is the same as blowing smoke.

You see, it’s the FIRE that burns. FIRE is the source of the heat. FIRE is active and alive. Smoke is the bi-product of that action. Smoke makes  it hard to see, hard to breathe and toxifies the environment.  ACTION STARTS FIRES, Complaining just blows the smoke. Smoke that’s been created by someone else’s fire.  I’d rather be a fire starter than a smoke blower any day of the week.

I challenge you to TAKE ACTION, start your own fires. Stop blowing the smoke off someone else’s flame and ignite some action of your own. You’ll find much GREATER satisfaction in action than you will in your own hot air – I promise.

And yes, you CAN do it. You CAN light a spark… you CAN! And you better be willing to TRY. If you’re not, you’re just going to end up as one of those oxygen thieves I mentioned earlier.  You were made to DO great things, be a doer.

James 1:22 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.