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"The Tank's on Empty"

by Gary Lockwood

Here is a brief synopsis of the following article (810 words):
Having a full tank of gas in your vehicle is very similar to having
reserves for yourself. When you are running on "empty" with
regard to time, money, space, love, faith, and so on, you will feel
the same negative emotions you feel when driving with an empty
gas tank. Stop the anxiety. Build reserves of all the things you need
in your life.

The Tank's on Empty

Remember the last time you were driving down the road and
noticed that your gas tank was on "empty"? How did you feel?
If you're like most of us, you started feeling just a little anxious.

You probably began thinking about how and when you would find
a gas station. You might have even wondered (for a few seconds)
what it would be like if you ran out of gas. With your imagination
in high gear, you would have visualized yourself trudging on foot to
the nearest gas station, buying a can of gas (including the can!),
then hiking back to the car. What a trip!

Now switch scenarios. Recall how you felt when you just filled
the tank. You are confidently driving with an ample reserve of gas.
No worries about fuel; no anxiety about running out.

Having plenty of fuel for your car is very similar to having reserves
for yourself. When you are running on "empty" with regard to time,
money, space, love, faith, satisfaction, or companionship, you will
feel the same negative emotions you felt when driving with an
empty gas tank.

So, what's the answer? Build reserves of all these things you
need in your life. Do what you have to do to create more than
enough love, attention, space, time, money and so on.

Let's get something straight first. Building a reserve of something
you need in your life is only one part of the puzzle. The other piece
is to identify what is draining your reserves. If you're pouring into
the top of a leaky bucket, you won't make much progress.

For example, let's get started by examining how to create reserves
of time. Many of my new coaching clients complain of having too
little time. Their "time tank" is running on empty, so they feel uptight,
frustrated, flustered, pulled in every direction, and tired. Often, this
is the first thing we work on together. Clearly, a reserve of time
would reduce the stress. So, how do you do it?

Start by plugging the leaks. Take aggressive action, such as:

** Reduce interruptions - Interruptions can drain 1-2 hours a day.
Rather than spend time with anyone who happens to stop by, close
the door, turn off the phone or work from home one day a week.

** Reduce the clutter - Is your desk or credenza piled with pending
and unfinished work that will be done when you "get around to it?"
The average businessperson spends 3 hours each week looking
for things plus 2 hours being distracted by the stuff lying around.
The most effective people work from a clean desk. An uncluttered
desk helps you stay focused on your most important project.

** Dump useless tasks - Quit doing some of the routine things
you do just because "that's what I've always done". Practice good
priority management. Plan each day to stay focused on those tasks
that will move you toward your goals. Watch for tasks that can be
delegated or simply dropped.

As you plug the leaks that drain off your reserves of time, start to
create even more time. Here are a few ways to do this:

** Stop the "Crises Management" - Ever feel that you're leaving 
a trail of unfinished projects, unreturned phone calls, unread mail,
partially completed reports? Crises arise from jobs we left 
unfinished to work on other unfinished tasks. Another term for 
crisis management is "fire fighting."

Most of this is really caused by losing focus of true priorities. Learn
to tell the difference between "urgent" and "important".

** Plan better - You accomplish the most when you know exactly
what you want to accomplish. Decide what is really important in
your life. What can you delegate? What can you simply drop? You
can't manage time, only your priorities.

How about another example of creating reserves? If you wanted to
create a reserve of money, what could you do? Start by plugging the
leaks. Take aggressive action to stop wasting money; do what you
have to do to avoid late payment penalties, shop wisely (with a list),
look for deals and pay off the credit cards.

As you plug the leaks that drain off your reserves of money, start
to create even more money. To do this, you might: turn a hobby
into a business, save at least 25% of income, develop sources
of passive income, raise your prices by adding more value, make
a financial plan.

OK. Back to reserves now. You can see that we were shifting from
being a "spender of time & money" to being "an investor of time and
money". Start today to plug the leaks and create ample reserves for
yourself in all the areas where you have needs. Some suitable cand-
idates are time, money, space, safety/security, ideas, opportunities,
friends, love, attention, self-esteem, confidence, energy, and gas in
the tank.

Fill the tank!

© 1999 BizSuccess All rights reserved. No duplication

About the Author...

Gary Lockwood is Your Business Coach.
Grow your business, make more money and have more fun.
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