3 Common Problems Prevent Getting Things Done

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Is it too simplistic to say that 3 common problems prevent you from getting things done? I don't think so. I believe it is accurate because it is true in my life more often than I want to think.

In my years of working with people and companies, these 3 common problems always appear! Yes, there are more problems than just these 3, but these 3 capture the essence of the struggle.

3 Common Problems Prevent Getting Things Done


The first of the 3 common problems is most common - RUDDERLESS. That means you need more clarity about purpose, strategy, and goals. You must be more explicit about where you are going or what you want to achieve. You are like the anecdote, "What is the difference between a ship without a rudder and a captain without a charted course? Nothing." Both will go somewhere driven by the day's currents, wind, and tide. IS THAT YOU?

As I work with people, most think they know how to create goals. I believe 95% of people need to learn how to create clear goals. In too many cases, people write what they believe to be a goal, but when asking them what the end result looks like, they do not know. That end result is the key; you can get better using simple tools like SMART.

Time to get clear about what you want to create or achieve!


Or, you are BLIND. That means you are not in touch with reality, "how things really are." The actual state of your life or the organization needs to be clarified. Of the 3 common problems, this one is invisible to most people. 

The Biggest FLAW in most planning or goal setting happens when you are not CLEAR about HERE. You are blind to your current reality, resources, problems, strengths, or opportunities. You become or are subjective instead of objective about your life and what is happening right now.

You know about your basic situation, but you will need to take the time to clarify. That leaves you blind! You have assumptions about where you are rather than clear facts. It is like the difference between an editorial using opinions and a report with objective research and factual evidence.

When you are unclear about current reality, you fall into two traps. You believe things are BETTER than they really are or are WORSE than they really are. You are subjective, not objective, about life. That results in an opinion, estimate, guess, or speculation rather than reality.

This problem is enormous because you waste time creating actions when you need to know where you are. Of the 3 problems, this is often the most difficult to solve because we love to speculate.


Finally, UNFOCUSED results from the need for more clarity from the first two. It is tough to focus when you do not have a clear end result or a clear current reality. Your days, weeks, and months are filled with inconsistent and uncoordinated actions. 

You do lots of stuff! You are VERY BUSY but constantly "fighting brush fires." So, there is little to show for your work and effort.


So, what do you think is the solution? It is the creative process we call THP (THERE, HERE, PATH)!

  • THERE (Future) — “I want to go THERE”
  • HERE (Present) — “…but, I am HERE”
  • PATH (Transition) — “That looks like the PATH I could take.”

THP is our adaptation of what Robert Fritz teaches. The creative process has been around for thousands of years. It is the foundation of how things are created. Your brain is wired to follow THP, but only some people are disciplined to do it that way.

Abraham Lincoln understood the profound nature of THERE-HERE-PATH because he said...

If we could first know there we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.

So, it is time to remove all 3 common problems that prevent you from getting things done.

Determine your THERE (where you want to go), assess your HERE (where you are), and then develop clear actions to move you along the PATH (how I can get to THERE from HERE). And, when on the PATH, always use ALA (Act - Learn - Adjust).


blind, ignore reality, lack of direction, lack of purpose, overwhelmed, rudderless, unfocused

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