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The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Unless I can make this plan happen, it won’t matter.


Execution is critical to any business. You can plan, dream, complain, brainstorm, scream, think of 50 different ways to achieve something, or throw money at it, but unless you execute it, none of those matter.


Sometimes people need to get out of their own way. They over analyze, make lists, come up with 50 different excuses and do everything else but execute and complete a project. Without completion, nothing matters. It did not matter that you got 90% there.


Why do people fail to execute?


They fail to know themselves:

I love bright, shiny new projects. I love to fix things. I love to brainstorm. I will get 90% there and never finish. Why? Because I hate trivial and monotonous tasks which usually need to be done to execute the project. I used to get mad and beat myself up over never finishing those projects. I quickly learned that I need to assign those completion tasks to someone else to finish. My strengths lied in the brainstorming and in the fixing; it did not lie in finalizing the project. Once those tasks got delegated to the correct people, they got done. It is important that you think about what is holding you back from executing a goal.


How bad do you want it?


People fail to execute because they value something more. Several years ago, I worked with a doctor that wanted to raise profits and increase patient satisfaction. We did studies where they brought me in as a consultant. We found it was critical that he show up in the morning. This allowed him to meet with his staff, go over patient deductibles, and insurance information. Clinic started at 9:00 AM and it was essential that he was at the clinic at 8:00 AM. 8 months later nothing changed. In the end, he was the problem. He stayed up too late watching TV and could not get up in the morning to get to the office by 8:00 AM. In the end he valued TV over the success of his practice period. He threw money at the problem, he got upset at his staff for failing to raise profits, he blamed everyone else but in the end he was the problem. It is a sad story but true. He didn’t want it bad enough. You make your own choices, you choose what you want more in life.



Everyone has lists of things that need to get done but we usually fail to do the most important things. It is essential that you look at your to do list and pick the top three critical things that need to be done. Get those three things done first. Don’t just pick the easiest or the quickest to do. Pick the most important. To do that, ask yourself the following questions:


1. What is the one thing that will help me achieve my goal the most?

2. What one thing must be done?

3. What one thing will make the maximum impact on my life?

4. What do I personally have to do?


Not everything on your to do list has to be done. Not everything on your list needs to be done by you. Delegate tasks if you can.


Execution is vital to your business and to your life. Do not allow trivial things to stand in your way of achieving success. Know yourself and know your limitations. Prioritize what you really want in your life. What is stopping you from your execution? Concentrate on what is important and delegate.

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