How to keep from becoming derailed in our daily work life? I’m forever amazed at how a lot people do battle with this saboteur – this purveyor of distraction, resistance, and frustration.
I could write a book about all of the ways that we participate in dragging our feet, shelving our fantasies and serving as the key barrier to attaining our goals (but I’d probably think of a million unique explanations to keep me from actually writing it). Underneath all of the outward indications of procrastination is fear – fear of failing or fear of achievement. That’s a philosophical dialog, and far more than I could do justice to within the boundaries of one blog post. So I’m putting aside all of the subconscious motives we always get in our own way and focusing instead on what we can do on a more purposeful level to jump start our goals and accomplish something every day.
Daily Success Habits
Habit and repeat are what float the ship and after querying customers, colleagues and mentors, I’ve assembled ten of the very best success habits you may incorporate into the daily ritual of the way you work. And the way you get things done. Really and truly done.
Develop your routine
We’re all creatures of habit – even those people who prefer to consider ourselves as spontaneous. So use this to your benefit. I’m most definitely NOT a morning person. My creativity runs in constant bursts of energy during the day (and night), so I’ve learned to utilize those loopholes to achieve my most thought-intensive work. Do you want to work in the morning, the night or in tiny increments during the day? Take some time to evaluate how and when you are in your energetic best and devote that time to doing what’s most critical and what demands a clear, focused mind.
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
Wake up and let your first thought be that you are thankful for this day. Take a few moments to recognize the blessings in your life and let this set the intention for the best way to appear throughout your day.
Define your everyday target (s)
Be clear about what you would like to accomplish. Make this a brief list. Resist the temptation to specify a 3-foot list of aims and rather focus on the one, two or three complete priorities (notice I wrote”complete” priorities – not things you “should” or “want” to get done now ). Break big tasks into bite-sized, doable actions. Taking one baby step is far better than taking no measures.
Love what you do
Do just what you like to do or you won’t do it. Delegate or dump whatever keeps you stuck in the land of explanations. For me that means delegating anything to do with numbers. Just the notion of tackling my company financing is enough to send me ducking for cover and dropped for many hours on the data highway or playing online Scrabble (shh, do not tell anyone).
Honor your working time
Train family members or co-workers to honor your working time. If you are a home-based entrepreneur, then put a note up, lock the door, hire a babysitter, visit the library or your nearest Starbucks, if needed. For those who work in a workplace, the very same rules apply. Do whatever you will need to do to keep the interruptions to a minimum during those high-energy periods or when you have a deadline looming. Despite all of the chatter about girls being good at multi-tasking, do not believe the hype! The best way to get things accomplished would be to focus on ONE thing at a time.
Set yourself up
Do you end up regularly running to the fridge or down the hall to get a cup of coffee? What other avoidance tactics are you using to keep from getting down to business? Stockpile a no-excuses-supply of drinks, Kleenex, snacks, pens, paper, etc., close by in your workplace so you’re not jumping up and down when you need to be hunkering down.
Work on a deadline
I use the timer system (really it is the timer on my kitchen stove). To help keep you on task and determine how long each target requires, set your timer for 60 minutes and get to work on one of your priority goals for the day. When the timer goes off, have a short 10 – 15 minute break. This isn’t a suggestion. It’s mandatory. Studies indicate that brain function starts to decrease after 60 minutes of concentrated attention. Get up from your desk and go the restroom, have a walk out, do stretching breathing, or meditation exercises – anything that gives you an chance to rejuice and recharge. Reset the timer and dive in again until you have successfully completed your everyday action steps.
You have a friend
Got a challenging task? Work with a colleague, coach or a friend. Use the timer system once you buddy up to assist you in getting tough tasks completed. Use a call and check accountability system. Have your friend call you to get a 10-second”touch base” call when you begin, and make a call to let your friend know when you finish. A telephone call is a lot more successful in this situation than a text or email due to the human voice connection element.
LOVE your work environment
This probably looks like a no-brainer, but be sure where you work is a place you really need to be. Surround yourself with things that inspire you, energize you, and remind you of your big “Why”. If you work from a house office there’s obviously much more latitude in the way you decorate your surroundings, but even the most conservative corporate office can withstand a little personal touch. I like to travel, so my home office contains things I’ve bought from many places I’ve seen – it brings an invigorating, diverse energy into the space and the photographs of my loved ones and friends helps to earth that energy and fortify my”Why”.
Celebrate your success every day
At the end of the daily write down 5 items you accomplished today that transferred your project ahead. Reward yourself by doing something just for you. A bubble bath? A walk in the park? Reading a non-work-related novel? Spending some personal time with your children or partner? Rewarding yourself is imperative to keeping your work/life equilibrium in proper alignment. Don’t fudge on this measure.