Have you noticed that really successful people seem less busy than other people–until you sit down and talk to them? Successful people are busy. Really successful people have more of an air of quiet accomplishment.
What’s this difference, and how do I get it?
I think really successful people have developed a system for moving projects through to completion. Onto the plate, through to completion, and off the pate. Successful people work really hard getting things onto the plate and working the project. But they often don’t have a system for getting things off their plate. These might be unfinished projects, or regular work that should be handed off to someone else.
Because we’re all humans here, there are physical limits to what we can do. We can only have so many things “on our plate.” Period. And when we get too many things on our plate, there’s no room for even one more little thing. So we end up turning down opportunities because we literally can’t do one more thing.
There are only three ways that things move off your plate: You finish them; someone else finishes them; or they become old and irrelevant and will remain unfinished forever. That third one is called failure. The second one is called delegation.
Notice that delegation equals success.
Really successful people can accomplish an unlimited number of things because they can acquire projects and have a system for moving them through to completion. They don’t have to personally do everything. They just have to make sure the system works!
Really successful people have more of a sense of calm and balance because they know things will get done. They don’t have lots of old, dead projects cluttering up their plate. In fact, their personal plate has a limited number of discreet projects.
In the article “Don’t Stop at The Point of Apparent Success,” we explore one of the key elements of moving projects along to completion. For any project, there’s a point that seems like success. It feels like you’re finished. But you’re not finished and you can’t stop there. If you stop at the point of apparent success, you really just leave projects on your plate.
Check it out.