Getting Things Done

Photo by Breakingpic of Pexels (modified)

Do you have a procrastination habit? Or maybe staying motivated and on task for a particular goal is challenging for you.  My previous article told Claire’s story about lacking motivation. You may remember that I shared 3 components on connecting to her WHHY (What makes your Head and Heart say Yes at the same time) and how that helped her to get things done. Here are two more tools you can use to stop procrastinating and reach your goals.   

1)   Address resistance – Even when you are connected to your WHHY and the value of your goal for yourself and others, resistance can still happen. If you aren’t sure why you are procrastinating and resisting getting tasks done to reach your goals, fill in the following blanks and see what comes up. Don’t censor yourself. Be honest about your inner conversation and fears, even if you logically know better and the fears don’t make sense (or maybe they do): 

*      I have decided _________________ is more important than my goal (so that is how I spend my time). List all the items that keep you occupied and away from completing tasks for your goal.

*     If I work on this, I am afraid______________ will happen. And that will cause ___________.

Here is where you honestly acknowledge your fears, even the irrational ones. Overcoming the block requires you to be aware of what is in your way.

*      When I get busy with this, I will have to give up ______________.  

This step can help you see what potential trade-off is causing you concern. Then you can determine if it isn’t as valuable or important as your goal. If it is that important, then make a plan that lets you keep what you don’t want to let go of, and still move forward.

It is important to understand that the distractions (TV, exercising more, researching, etc.) that keep you away from your goal are just ways to avoid dealing with these fears and concerns. 

Some forms of resistance, like the need for some ‘down’ time to rejuvenate, are a legitimate need. In Claire’s case she did need some summer rest and relaxation time, but she learned to schedule open time as well as work time. Other distractions, like imagining how long the goal will take to get it ’just right’, may uncover a previously hidden tendency for perfectionism. 

Recognizing and accepting the difference between an improvement versus (unattainable) perfection can help free you to get things done.

Set reasonable and achievable goals to complete your tasks.  

2)   Stay Flexible – It is important to have a plan of action, and also to know that things won’t go completely as planned. Learn to be flexible and follow the flow. This adaptability becomes easier when you stay emotionally connected to the outcomes of your goal for yourself and for others (see the previous article).  Give yourself permission – to succeed, to fail at some aspects, and to adjust your plan. You might even identify new, fun ways to work.

Motivation comes from within. Use these tools diligently to develop and maintain yours. As Zig Ziglar said:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing. That is why we recommend it daily.”

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