How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Get Important Things DoneAug 03, 2022
Do you ever feel like you can't do what you said you were going to do? Like an invisible force is standing in your way?
Other things seem to suddenly need your urgent attention! What is important to you ends up on the back burner - again.
Another day down and another day of incompletes.
I suffer from this. I am often caught up in small, nonsensical tasks spinning my wheels.
This is not what I want to be doing!
I know my coaching clients struggle with this, and I'm quite certain every single one of us deals with this at some level.
How do we get beyond doing unnecessary things and spend more time in deliberate practice designed to help us realize our dreams?
Wouldn’t you rather be getting Important Stuff Done than…well…what you’ve been doing?
It’s time to get out of your own way and take charge of your life.
Here are 6 tips to get out of your own way and become more effective.
Ditch the Blame
We must start here. If you blame this modern world of 24/7 news cycles, addictive social media, the children's schedule, our parents, the dogs, the weather, and just about anything else. STOP!
It is very easy to assign blame to others and it feels good to quickly escape responsibility. But, in denying our own failings, and ignoring that we are the ones who decided to do what we are doing, we are giving our power away!
We are stunting our personal growth because we deny that we can take control here.
Blame stops us from seeing ways that we can change our behaviors so that we can reach the outcomes or establish the habits we desire.
Understand that you, and only you, are responsible for the outcomes in your life - stop the blame game.
Remember What You’re Fighting For
What is the purpose of your doing? I often gravitate to the lesser task because the thing I need to do doesn't excite me. I mean who wants to do taxes, balance the books, call the service department, sit down to write the proposal, finish the script, or the business plan?
That stuff doesn't excite me but it is absolutely necessary for becoming an effective leader in your business and at home.
These mundane tasks can feel like you are wasting your time. If you cannot delegate this to others, do this one incredibly simple thing: remind yourself why you’re doing it.
When you have a purpose, it’s easier to get moving. Even if the reason you’re doing it is something small and only meaningful to you.
Focus on the Goal
Take this a step further. You know why you’re doing something. Now imagine what life will be like once this goal is accomplished. Hone in on the benefit, like how good it will feel to have this completed, or how life will be made simpler once this is finished. Get that worm out of your head - free your mind of that burden that you are carrying around daily.
Your world grinds to a halt when you start obsessing over what other people are doing instead of focusing on reaching your own goals.
The liberating truth is, someone will always be better than you at something. You cannot simultaneously be the best parent, be the best corporate employee, be the best lover, have the most perfect body, and have a home on the cover of a magazine.
Getting caught up in the comparison game is only going to drive you crazy and keep you from reaching your own important things done.
A better choice? Compare where you are now with where you were a year ago or five years ago. Measure your gains and not the gap.
Focus on your personal growth and accomplishments and make a new goal of beating the records set by the old you.
Drop the Perfectionism
Stop getting caught up in making sure everything is ‘just right.’ You know you’re never going to achieve perfection - let the illusion go! Ship it, turn the work in. Sometimes good enough is OK. Let it go so you can move on to the next thing.
You, me, we - all of us love rewards and crave recognition. So give that to yourself. Dangle a carrot for yourself.
How about a small treat for a small task accomplished? Give yourself 30 minutes to scroll Instagram - only after you completed XYZ.
Maybe it is a fancy dinner out to celebrate a more important milestone.
Perhaps it is the tropical vacation because you finally smashed past the obstacles that kept you playing small.
Place the rewards on the calendar or in your planner - somewhere where you will see them often. You’ll be amazed at what a bump this gives to your productivity.
I write this as much for myself as anyone else. I need constant reminders to be better and do better. It helps me - I hope it helps you.
I would love to hear what you would add to this list and how you stop yourself from taking the easy route to distraction.
“Perfectionism is a survival strategy we use to avoid rejection”! ~ James Wedmore - “Mind your business” podcast.
There’s no such thing as perfect. Perfection is merely someone’s belief, their opinion, and certainly not a final destination.
Think of perfect as a verb - a doing word.
To perfect something is to improve on it or refine it; actively bringing it closer to its final form. Actively. Closer.
This is not about a final destination or a final product.
This “survival strategy” killed many of my dreams before they even saw the light of day.
Nothing will ever be perfect – so just do it already!
To become more effective and get closer to your goals:
- Ditch the blame game
- Remember what you are fighting for
- Focus on the goal
- Stop Comparisons
- Drop the Perfectionism
- Indulge yourself
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