This is the last of a series of 3 posts (I could probably do 100, and guarantee I’ll do more) on how to make it easier to get things done DESPITE the way you feel, and in a way that enhances your life, rather than brings you down.
- Minimize Distractions – Put on your blinders and resist temptation by making it less intrusive. Turn off email notifications, and even the phone if possible. Put a sign on your door that you will be available at 3:30 (or whenever), to minimize interruptions. We can’t quite turn off our brain (although a few minutes of mindful focus before you begin the work can help), so keep a ‘parking lot’ handy – a place to write down the thoughts that pop up and can compromise our focus, as we don’t want to forget to make that call, send an email, pick up the dry cleaning, order a replacement phone charger, add a new slide to a presentation you are not currently working on, etc. Some people find background music makes it easier to stay focused (volume and genre do matter!).
- Accountability Helps – Don’t try to go it alone. Report your progress to a non-judgmental accountability-partner, whether a friend, family member or coach, or consider joining an Accountability Group. I’ve recently been trying a new strategy (for me) that is especially appealing to the tech-savvy. I ask some of my coaching clients to take a photo of their progress and text it to me. It might be a completed page in their planner, homework assignment or business plan, an organized desktop, newly labeled files or an emptied suitcase from last month’s trip – whatever supports their intention at the end of our last coaching session. If they said they would join a study group, go to the library or attend a networking event, I ask for an on-location ‘selfie.’ The photo is fun, helps them to feel more motivated and gives ‘instant’ feedback as to a job well done – not from me, but from their camera :-). It is a testament to their success!
- Be a Detective – The best strategies may not work for you, or may work for only a short time. It is okay to acknowledge you are stuck. Maybe you just need new tools, techniques or strategies. Perhaps you would benefit from a greater understanding of how to do something – a workable office requires an understanding of functional organization, and systems that work with the way YOU think – especially for those of us who are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ thinkers. Yet we don’t know what we don’t know, LOL.
Maybe you’ve been struggling with writing papers because you never really mastered the process from a technical perspective. Perhaps you can save time with a better system for managing your emails or running meetings. Or you may benefit from exploring underlying causes that create or compound your challenges. These can include emotional issues, physical problems, learning disabilities, and executive function or attention disorders that can get in the way of success (and here you wasted a lot of energy blaming yourself for lack of willpower!). Perhaps you struggle with perfectionism, are overly self-critical or subconsciously sabotage your success. Sometimes it helps to work with a consultant, organizer, tutor, coach or therapist to get at the roots of chronic challenges.
- Be Kind to Yourself! Please!!!
Want to know more? Ask about my program, “Get Out of Your Own Way: The 7-Step PowerPlan to Success.”
I’m curious. What do YOU find helps to get things done?