Whenever you think of something, do you always do it immediately?
It’s wonderful when you can, because you don’t need to remember anything. You can play around and improvise on a whim. It’s fun, interesting and might lead anywhere; and if the things that trigger those thoughts are well organised, then it is likely to lead somewhere.
On the other hand, it might lead nowhere. And what are you doing about your thoughts on the things that you are not doing and cannot do now; these start to build up.
Also, always doing things when we first think of them is a habit which can generate the converse effect. We wait until we are doing something before we think about what to do. If so, our actions and decisions are likely to be based on limited information because little or no preparation has been done.
People for whom mistakes can be expensive have developed sayings to counter this. For example, carpenters say: “think three times, measure twice, and cut once” and pilots say: “plan the flight, and fly the plan.”
In other words: “do now, but think sooner”!
By collecting our thoughts and putting them in places where we can use them later, and by gathering information and thinking about it in advance of using it, we are building up a picture of the way forward. This makes it more likely that, when the time comes, we will do the right things and makes doing those things much easier. [Disclosure: yes, I am a fan of “GTD”!]
So “do now, but think sooner” also means “think now, do later” … assuming that you capture those thoughts.
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