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A quote that has stayed in my mind over many, many years is from the Scottish poet, Robert Burns. In his poem “To A Mouse” he wrote :-

” The best-laid plans o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain
For promised joy.”

You would have noticed in your own work life, that Burns’ words ring true, every now and then. Something will go wrong despite all your plans.

Patrick Forsyth runs Touchstone Training & Consultancy and is a prolific author. In his book on time management called “First Things First” , he writes of Murphy’s Ten Laws of Time Management:

  1. If anything can go wrong, it will do so
  2. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems
  3. If you mess with something for long enough, it will break
  4. If you try to please everybody, somebody won’t like it
  5. Nothing ever works out exactly as you expect
  6. Whatever you want to do,there is always something else you have to do first
  7. If you explain something so that no one could possibly misunderstand , someone will
  8. Nothing is certain until it has happened ( and then you should check it more than once)
  9. If everything is going according to plan, then it is a sure sign that something is about to go wrong
  10. The only predictable thing about your day is that something totally unexpected will happen

As if to prove this right, in the course of posting this, I was forced to stop 5 times due to interruptions, once I got disconnected, twice the power went off and it took me ages to do what should have been done in a few minutes 🙂

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This is the 140 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success