Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m getting older and feeling that 60th birthday around the corner. But I’m seeing more and more sources say that “old thinking won’t solve today’s problems.”
I could not disagree more.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a modern guy. After all, I make my living online! And have for over a decade now. A definite early adopter.
But I firmly believe that old thinking can solve today’s problems, and tomorrow’s too.
So here are five bit of “old thinking” you might consider applying to your 21st century problems.
A written goals program
Everyone has goals. You have them. I have them. The teenage boy on his first date has them too.
But few have a written goals program.
A written goals program is work to set up. Mine took over 20 hours of real effort. Little did I realize what a bargain it was to trade 20 hours for what my goals program has done for me.
A written goals program will help you …
- Stay on track
- Objectively measure progress
- Never miss a deadline
- Focus like never before
- Sleep better at night (really)
For decades, study after study reveals the same thing. A written goals program helps people achieve more.
Be more so they can do more.
Working a fixed schedule
The great thing about the Internet is that’s it on 24 hours a day.
The terrible thing about the Internet is that it’s on 24 hours a day.
Never before, in my reading of history, has there been a time when the boundary between work and your personal life has been more blurry.
Surveys reveal that many people check their email just before going to sleep at night.
According to recent studies, over 4% of all adults in the United States have taking at least one sleeping pill in the last 30 days. Many take them every night.
That’s over 12.5 million people taking sleeping pills!
We are stressed, in part, because the lines between work and home are becoming blurred.
Here’s a fix.
Write down your perfect schedule. One that brings balance to your life. The schedule you want.
Work toward achieving that and be gentle with yourself when work, or life, gets in the way.
We all have 24 hours in a day. No more. No less. It can’t be stored up and we can’t beg, borrow or steal more.
Use your 24 hours to achieve your highest priorities and make sure that balance is one of those.
Giving before expecting to receive
If you want to talk really old school how about this? Advice from the Bible that works as well today as the day it was given.
Zig Ziglar rephrased it thus – “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.”
Took Zig from poverty (the real kind) to millionaire (and beyond) status in a fairly short period of time.
Remember, he was broke, overweight and in debt at 45 years old. From there he went on to become one of the most recognized names in the world.
He did it by giving and then expecting (full expecting by the way) to receive in return. He also contacted the national debt helpline for advice.
Call it the law of reciprocity, common sense or something else; it works today and will keep working tomorrow.
Write it down (gulp) on paper
The unhappiest time in my work life was trying to go “all digital all the time.”
While there seem to be no limits on what technology can do for us these days, there are limits to what is practical when it comes to using technology.
Here’s what I like about good old paper.
- I read much faster on paper.
- It feels good in my hand.
- It feels good to write on paper.
- I can scan a page without having to scroll and lose my place.
- It comes in many sizes, colors and textures.
And writing things down, especially as they come to you, can help keep your mind very clear and very focused.
Just ask my family about my Field Notes obsession sometime. 🙂
When I gave up the “all digital” thing I found balance again. Maybe it’s just me.
Use your brain for creating, not for storage
We’ve all heard it before. “Our brains are the greatest supercomputers that will ever be seen.”
True – our brains contain “computing” power we don’t even understand yet.
Our brains are associating machines.
Answer this quickly – what was the name of your high school?
Now think about the friends you had, the dates you went on, the locker rooms and classrooms of your school.
Bring back any memories?
All associated from one thought – the name of your high school.
Our brains are powerful but they don’t work well as filing cabinets.
But most of us use them that way. And that stifles creativity.
David Allen is the best voice I’ve heard on this. His “mind like water” analogy is spot on, and practical.
If you get his book Getting Things Done for only that you will be ahead of the game.
Whether you are all digital, all paper, or somewhere in between the key really is balance. Finding what works for you.
A balanced life is peaceful, prosperous and brings happiness to you and those around you.
A lofty goal to be sure, but when you get there you will have found a beautiful thing indeed!