We can waste a lot of time thinking and worrying about the future. These thoughts and fears then influence our decisions now even though they likely won’t happen for months, years or never at all. While it’s crucial to consider the future, it should never be at the cost of missing out on the present. This is especially true in the business world, and particularly true in the challenges of today. Below are three reasons why you should focus on today instead of tomorrow.
Why Focus On Today
“The ‘future’ is an abstraction. It doesn’t exist except as an idea. The only future that has any reality is the one that you continually create for yourself through each day’s contributions, achievements, and results. This is an excellent time to ignore all those experts who never saw the present circumstances coming. Focus on what you can do over the course each 24 hours, and you’ll be the only expert on the future you’ll ever need.”– Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach
While there are more than enough people on the internet and on the television making their predictions on the economy, the reality is that no one truly knows what is going to happen going forward. Markets are often more unpredictable than they are predictable.
Between the impacted economy and social environment caused by COVID-19, we’re all in uncharted waters. The trend in the business world is to cut costs and do everything possible to stay afloat. The expense for this strategy is usually the cancellation of projects, layoffs and limiting resources. However, time and time again the companies that come out of tough times the strongest are the ones that didn’t worry about the future and tried to retain their regular work operations.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re working in, it is always changing. Sometimes it is a quick shift due to groundbreaking innovation while most of the time is a slow transition. However, if you’re too set on the future you have planned out that you will fail to see the changes that are already occurring. Regaining your focus on today can help you avoid having to react after being left behind.
Your business should still have flexible long-term plans. However, these plans are always accomplished one step at a time. Take each day on its own and be aware enough when you may need to pivot the direction you’re headed. Don’t let potential possibilities that may lie down the road distract you from what you have to accomplish today.
Tomorrow will be too late
Benjamin Franklin is credited with two quotes that fit right in with being concentrated on the present. The Founding Father said, “You may delay, but time will not,” as well as, “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” Unnecessarily troubling yourself with the future can completely derail how you operate. Your workload will pile up on you each day you let the future rule your mind.
We truly don’t know what tomorrow holds. However, we do know what we do today can heavily influence what comes next. Your long-term plans are accomplished one day at a time so take care of what you need to this day to maintain progress.
Inspired by The “Scary Times” Manual by Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach, this is the fifth installment of the Strategies for Success Amid COVID-19 blog series focused on 10 strategies to help support growth and positive thinking during uncertain times.
We hope that you use this series as a resource to continue to progress during times of uncertainty. Follow Alexander’s on LinkedIn and Instagram as we feature six more strategies to progress and remain positive in negative situations during COVID-19.
Strategies For Success Amid COVID-19:
1. Forget about yourself, focus on others
2. Developing client and work relationships
3. How to create value for clients
4. Focus on your opportunities
5. Why you should focus on your progress, not your challenges
6. Forget about the future, focus on today
7. Six ways to focus on your future self
8. How to respond to unexpected events
9. Focus on your available resources
10. How to be more grateful