North Carolina Social Security Disability – Gaining Clarity, Part II

June 17, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

In our last post, we talked about how North Carolina Social Security Disability applicants really do need clear goals to make progress, not just in terms of collecting the money they need to live their lives, but also in terms of managing the multiple other “fires” in their lives, including frustrations with money, relatives, medical problems, information overload, you name it.

In today’s post, we are going to break down one technique that can really help North Carolina Social Security Disability applicants develop clear outcomes that they can use to set goals and begin to make serious progress towards them.

Step 1. Purpose

Before you start, you have to know WHY you are doing something. Why do you want to get better medical treatment? What’s driving you to seek benefits? Believe it or not, very few people understand the purpose of why they do things, so getting clear about this first is going to put you leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.

Step 2. Principles

These are the guidelines for how you do or do not want to go about your task. Author David Allen (who came up with this model in his landmark book, Getting Things Done) talked about how to derive your principles simply by filling in the following sentence stem: “I would give anyone else full permission to do this project as long as they….” Whatever you fill in that sentence will be your principles. Don’t spend a lot of time deriving them – just write them down. Try to come up with seven or eight answers to the stem.

Step 3. Vision

Visualize the success of the project from long past its completion. In other words, say it’s six months after you’ve succeeded doing this exercise. Imagine yourself looking back. What went right? How did it go right? Think about all the exciting, wonderful, fulfilling features of this future. Write them down. Don’t worry about organizing them yet. That’s going to be a step that comes later. Just flesh out the vision as much as you can.

Step 4. Brainstorming

Once you have your vision in place, it’s times to brainstorm possible ways to get there. Again, don’t worry about getting it right or censoring yourself. Just go for volume. Using tools called “mind maps” can help you here. Try to get as many ideas on the table as possible.

Step 5. Organization

Now, it’s time to put on a different mental hat and sort your ideas. What needs to come first, second, third? What steps can be skipped? How can you do this the fastest? You are looking to build a bridge to your vision by using all the stuff that you came up with in your brainstorming.

Step 6. Develop an action plan

Figuring out your “next actions” is the final part of the process. What physical things in the world do you need to do to move forward on each of the sequences that you developed in step five?

This blog simply sketches out the model that David Allen developed in detail in “Getting Things Done” but hopefully it can at least get you thinking about a new technique for getting clear about your goals, so you can make better practical decisions.

If you need help with any aspect of the SSD application process, don’t “go it alone” – connect with a reputable, experienced North Carolina Social Security Disability law firm to help you move forward.

More Web Resources:

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done Vertical Planning