It can be really annoying and frustrating. You get up early, you roll up your sleeves, you are working really hard all day long, day after day… yet, it is not working out for you.
It seems like, no matter what you do, you are not moving forward and you are not enjoying the success you deserve.
But why? What’s wrong here?
Maybe you are just spinning your wheels
There are thousands of hard-working people who never succeed. Why? Because it is not so much the amount of work you are doing that counts most, but the quality of your work.
You could carry a big stone from A to B and then back to A and again to B… This could go on for hours, days and weeks. But, do you think, this would get you anywhere? Of course not.
But that’s more or less what so many people do in their personal careers. They focus on minor tasks that don’t really matter and no matter how many hours they put in, no significant results will show up.
I know, sometimes it’s tough to focus on those crucial, all important tasks
We do what we are used to do. We prefer to remain in our comfort zone. When we have the choice between 2 different tasks, we tend to pick the easier one.
But, unfortunately , that’s also the recipe for failure.
Make it a habit to focus on your most important tasks first
You know what those all important tasks are. I’m talking about those things that help you to really move forward, to take your business to the next level… and to make success inevitable.
But, those secondary tasks are usually much easier, oftentimes they are also more fun and at the end of the day they provide you with the illusion that you got a a hell lot of work done and that you should be proud of yourself.
The truth is, you will NEVER get everything done and that’s absolutely normal. However, instead of focusing on secondary and even less important tasks you should make it a habit to focus 100% on your most important tasks and tackle those other tasks only once you are finished with your primary tasks.
It is not at all as difficult as you may think
Yes, breaking old habits and establishing new ones is always a bit of a challenge – but only at the very beginning.
You can get used to pretty much anything in life and it doesn’t take much longer than 3-4 weeks to adopt a new habit. And I promise, the habit of focusing on your primary tasks first will change your entire life and it will almost guarantee your success.
Here are 9 simple steps that will help you to establish the habit of “completing your most important tasks first before doing anything else” fun and easy:
1: Identify your most important tasks
I’m sure, you already know what those most important tasks are in your case. Oftentimes, those are the tasks you like the least. The tasks that require you to step outside your comfort zone. The tasks you may be a bit afraid to tackle…
2: Make a list of your most important tasks
Make a list of your priority tasks for the next 3 months, for the following month and for the following week.
Also, at the end of each day make a list of your primary tasks and action steps for the following day.
3: Make the decision to tackle your most important task first
Before going to bed, promise to yourself to focus 100% on your most important task first thing in the morning. Make the commitment that no matter how you feel in the morning, whether you are motivated or not, whether there are tons of emails in your inbox… that you will jump on this top priority task as soon as your work day starts.
4: Visualize yourself performing this task easily and successfully.
Imagine, feel and visualize how much fun you have and how good it feels once your task is completed. This is an excellent way to prepare your subconscious mind to already get going while you are asleep. When you wake up in the morning, a part of you has already been working on your #1 task and it will be much easier for you to complete it.
5: Don’t think too much, just do it
The mind can be very tricky when it comes to performing those sorts of tasks that lie outside our comfort zone. If you spend too much time weighing your options, you may find all kinds of excuses why it would be better to do something different. Don’t think too much, just get going. Take action and get started.
6: Don’t worry about doing a perfect job
When you need to do something you are not used to, your performance will probably be mediocre. And that’s perfectly ok.
So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It is still better to do a mediocre job than doing nothing at all.
7: Push through those critical first 10-15 minutes
It could very well be that you don’t feel the slightest drive and motivation to get started with your priority task. That’s normal and that’s the reason why people procrastinate.
But, there is a simple trick to get around this lack of motivation. Commit to get started and to push through those first 10-15 minutes. 10-15 minutes is nothing and you can do it even if you have zero motivation.
Don’t think too much, don’t dwell on your lack of motivation. Just jump into your tasks and do at least something.
After those 10-15 minutes, your creativity suddenly starts flowing, ideas are coming, you feel the drive and motivation… and you are simply enjoying the process.
8: Enjoy your achievement
Once you are finished with your priority task, realize how good it feels. Enjoy your achievement and be proud of yourself. This will fuel you with even more energy and motivation for your remaining tasks.
9: Make it a habit
You have done a great job so far, but you didn’t create a new habit yet. So, I’m pretty sure, over the next few days you will encounter once again a situation where the temptation is huge to focus on one of those easier, less important tasks.
That’s normal, establishing a new habit takes some time – typically 3-4 weeks. Just keep on going and know that it is getting easier with every day and that after only 3-4 weeks you will have created a habit that will completely change your life and make success almost inevitable.
Feature Image Credit: Patrick Sikorski
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