Once upon a time, you attended a talk/workshop/coaching session/meeting/… (fill in the blank), that left you riveted. You laughed, learned, made notes about all the new habits you were going to start and then walked straight back into your life and carried on exactly as before.
Then, like a stuck record, you’ve been repeating the same bad habits again and again, day after day, week after week, year after sodding year, while still wondering why you are not getting ahead and reaching for the stars. Exhale!
So what’s stopping you today from taking action or making that change?
Excuse #1: “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME”
It’s not really that we don’t have enough time, 86 400 seconds per day is quite a lot to work with really. It’s more that we are struggling to make choices that help us use our time wisely and that boils down to planning and self-discipline.
Now this is a deep and involved topic, but we have to start somewhere … here’s what you can do to make a change:
- Attend your next meeting with your to-do list. Instead of taking notes, add “I must action” or “Ideas to action” to your list. Before even leaving the event room, you can scan through and prioritise your list. This way, you don’t leave with a ream of notes that you never look back on but you do get to have a list (hopefully not too overwhelming) that you can work from.
Excuse #2: “I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”
I could be cheeky and say “Check out #1” but overwhelm is a common saboteur and one of the main reasons we procrastinate.
- Before you start to panic, list only the first 3 actions you need to do towards getting your task done. Set a timer for 10 minutes and get going. When the timer buzzes, decide whether you should keep going (it’s often the starting that’s what trips us up) or set the timer again tomorrow and work through the task little by little. Remember anything x zero = zero so make a start now!
Excuse #3: “I KEEP FINDING EXCUSES”
I bet you don’t really think you make too many excuses, but watch yourself today and you might be surprised. It starts early (think: rolling over and hitting snooze on your alarm clock) and then progresses in intensity throughout your day robbing your time, confidence, energy and actions. And then it’s late and you must get some sleep. Wash – rinse – repeat.
Self-discipline, according to Brian Tracy, is doing what needs to be done when it is due, whether you want to or not. Having clearly defined goals and an accountability buddy to keep you in check can certainly help keep you on the straight and narrow, but if that’s still not working, you might consider this …
- Stop checking email in the morning … well not first thing anyway! Reserve the first hour of your work day for your high value tasks. Turn your phone to silent, close your door, de-activate all your email automatic receipt notifications, set a timer and work like crazy without distraction to get your most important tasks done.
So what’s holding you back from taking action on your great ideas now … what excuses are you still making?
Looking for more motivation? Download a copy of Get Organised’s e-book “Mental Clutter … It’s Crazy” with our compliments.