David Allen is best known for his book Getting Things Done. His book has been, over the last decade, the most popular time and productivity management book and process on earth. The quotation below applies to managing our time, but goes much deeper, if you allow it to. I hope today’s questions and action steps will help you do that.
“Without a gut-level sense that you are ultimately in control of what’s happening to you, you won’t even consider the option that you could manage it better.”
– David Allen, author and productivity expert
Questions to Ponder
- Am I in control of the happenings around me?
- How can I influence those happenings to gain better results?
- Recognize that you have more control and influence than you might realize.
- Decide how you will manage those things for your benefit and improvement.
Personally, I would modify one word in David’s powerful thought, swapping the word influence for his word control. That word change doesn’t really change the intention of his point though.
There are many things that we can’t control, but that we still have influence over. The challenge for many people is the black and white thinking that if I don’t have control over it, then I can do anything about it. The reality is that you have influence over a vast majority of things in your life, even if you can’t directly control them (or control them 100%).
Being clear on this point is the heart of David’s message. When you realize you have power (control or influence) you will recognize that you could manage the situation and therefore the outcome. Until you do that, you will play victim far too often in your life.