We all know that in order to be successful at whatever we want to do, we have to take action. Simple, right? Then why is it so hard to get going? Sometimes it’s because out the tasks are boring or difficult, or it’s something we just don’t want to do. Denial won’t cause the task to go away; procrastination will make it harder the longer it’s put off. We’ve all been there! I’ve found that a change your mindset will help. Consider the following helps change your thoughts:
1. Take a look at your thinking. If your mind is full of negative thoughts, you will start to believe that the task is impossible and that it’s okay to give up, put it off, or leave it unfinished. Tell yourself, “I will get this done” and commit to it.
2. Get to know when you’re peak performance time is. Regardless of how you feel about the task, choose that time to do it. For me, I do my best writing in the morning when my mind is clear and I’m rested. Maybe you’re a night owl and are at your best in the evenings.
3. Decide what your most important tasks are and do them first. Prioritize and organize. Often people use the excuse of working on email as a way to put off more important work. Don’t fall for that trap! (turn off that sound!)
4. Are you overextending yourself? Learn to say no. Many times it’s hard to say no either because we don’t want to let somebody down or because we’re afraid to turn jobs away. If we overextend ourselves, we might not finish any of our jobs or we might finish them late, making for unhappy clients.
5. Be careful about distractions. People may come to you and say, “I just have a quick question”. But if 20 people come to you with a quick question, your day is used up with other people’s work.
6. Don’t forget to treat yourself. No matter how hard we work on our mindset, there will always be some tasks we just don’t like. There’s nothing wrong with a bribe for completing the things we don’t like to do. I use the timer on my smartphone and set it for 30 minutes. I work on the project until the timer goes off, then I give myself a reward like going for a walk, perk up a nice cup of tea, spend time in the garden. Once the break is over, I work on the project again, and eventually it gets done!
7. Take a look at what you do when you’re away from your computer. What do you do when you’re shopping or standing in lines? Train your mind to be thinking about new things you can do for your business. Take a notebook (I was thinking of a paper one, but electronic will also work!) with you and write down any ideas you have that might improve your business. This is one of my favourite strategies because I never know where I might find inspiration – it could be a conversation with someone, something I see or somewhere I go; it may help solve a problem for me or someone else.
What are your strategies to stay ahead of the curve ball and keep your head in the game? Please share with a comment below!