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Think now

Although it pays to prepare thoroughly for any task you do, taking this to extremes will only slow you down and could be confusing. The best approach is to look at the information to hand and the skills at your disposal, then plan a course of positive action. Looking too deeply into the past or worrying about the future can cloud your thinking and affect your focus.

Planning ahead is important, and you do need to consider the milestones on the route to realising your vision. But becoming preoccupied with what might happen is a waste of your valuable energy and can raise your stress level for no reason. After all, you have no control over events until they present themselves to you.

The same goes with looking back at previous encounters and analysing their outcomes too closely. At the point of failure or success, it’s definitely wise to look at the factors that came into play to inform your future performance. But overly dwelling on past successes can breed arrogance and an invincibility complex, whereas harbouring regrets over past failures can be ultimately self-defeating.

Analysis at the time is key, but then it’s vital to move on and stay focused on the present. After a great victory or crushing defeat, most successful football managers – and players for that matter – will say they will learn from the experience, but will them immediately focus on the next game. Similarly, although winning the leagues is their goal, their next game is their priority. Living for now hones your focus and preparation, while moving you on to your next task more swiftly and effectively.

Focusing on the present How to think in the now:

When confronted with a difficult situation, look at the facts to hand and deal with it

Stop looking for answers and reasons – just accept!

Try to avoid emotional responses to a situation–think rationally

Don’t look back if you made a wrong decision–moveon

Be consciously aware of your thoughts and emotions

Living in the present enables you to:

Make quicker decisions

Deal with situations and circumstances more effectively

Achieve more in less time

Feel more accomplished in your work

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