What's Guiding You Through Your Day?

I recently spoke at a corporate leader's retreat held at a remote mountain resort. A number of the participants arrived later than planned. The reason was similar for most of them-their GPS wasn't working correctly. Some gave reports of being on gravel roads that simply ended while others said their GPS unit lost signal and they couldn't determine which way to go next.

I had to chuckle because I think that's the same approach many people take to how they work through their day. They put their trust in a series of tasks (turns and road names), hoping that the completion of these tasks help them achieve their goals (arrive at their destination). Sometimes it works.... and sometimes it doesn't.

A more effective approach to planning and organizing our daily schedule can be found in how people planned travel prior to GPS units. They include:

  • Getting out a map to identify the location of the destination. It's like identifying our goals and objectives for the day, and where we want to end up when the day is over.
  • Making a physical list of all the road names and turns involved in the journey. Again, you're focusing on how these tasks and activities will lead you to a desired destination.
  • Reviewing the map from time to time. Most people make a list for their day and then don't refer back to it until they have added other tasks (turns) that don't really connect with the desired destination.
  • Talking with someone who knows directions to your destination. How often could we improve our efficiency if we sought the advice of others instead of just hoping we were engaging in the right tasks?

Don't get me wrong. GPS units are amazing devices, and I use one regularly. However, I have found that completely relying on them without using some of the strategies listed above can get you lost. The same is true when we don't take a more active role in planning (and traveling through) our day.