Productivity and GTD
“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” ~ Babe Ruth
Some years ago I attended a business creation and management course at the University of Alicante. This course lasted ten weeks and classes were taught by different lecturers which most of them were either advisers or executives in large and medium-sized companies.
What struck me the most about this course is that each and every lecturer, at some point in their classes (whether in finance, strategy or marketing), spoke passionately about how important perseverance is to succeed in order to have a successful company, beyond even the quality of your idea and the efficiency with which you execute it.
So, the most important idea I took from that course is that perseverance is a necessary condition, though not sufficient, to succeed in any project you undertake.
According to the Oxford dictionary, perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Persistence is not very glamorous, and therefore, our society does not speak much of it nor value it in its right measure. But the truth is that no success story has been a smooth process. Any successful person who tells you how they managed to get there, will talk about overcoming obstacles and facing difficult situations over and over again.
Studies have suggested that, rather than talent, the quality that distinguishes successful people is their exceptional commitment to their goals. If you are not perseverant enough, here are some ideas that will help you:
- Break your goal down into small and attainable milestones. Once you are on the road and moving forward, the important thing is to make your progress visible. Achieving success will help you build trust and hope. Quick wins often trigger a spiral of positive behaviors.
- Complicated tasks provoke resistance. When you feel that resistance, force yourself to work just for five minutes. Five minutes will be enough to break that resistance and pave the way for the next session.
- But above all, begin with the end in mind. You need to have a clear vision of your destination, because in the middle, everything looks like a failure.
It does not matter if you are studying, building up a career, or training to run your first marathon. Your success depends on your ability to focus on your goal again and again, despite the difficulties. To keep trying, without giving up.