All of us get confused. A little upside down now and then. Usually this happens when, a. we don’t understand the situation or b. we have tooooooo many choices. Most of us will do the predictable thing when confused: shut down. Once that happens, we can get a little depressed that nothing is moving.
When you take little or no action, you will receive mediocre results. This is the law of the universe, and there isn’t anything that you can do to change it. If you are unsatisfied with any areas of your life, maybe you are not taking the necessary steps to make things better. Here’s a step by step guide to get yourself going again.
1) Admit This – Even Seemingly Positive “Steps” May be Procrastination in Disguise
“Everything in moderation,” is a popular mantra around my office. Even things that are seemingly good for you – like knowledge or yoga or fresh air – can be harmful when ingested or used in unhealthy amounts. The same is true for knowledge.
The only way that knowledge becomes power is if it is married to ACTION. Learning and taking classes and getting your MBA is all well and good – until you realize that you’re merely putting off launching. You can always keep learning but for most of us, when we create something – like a program or a product – that will help others: GET IT OUT THERE. The nips and tucks of perfectionism won’t make it better. Might even ruin it.
You can turn your life around only when you had decided to make use of the acquired knowledge and take action to make things happen.
2) Have A Goal in Your Mind: Without One You Are Just Wasting Time
Knowing what you want will help to guide you along your journey. Many can have the tendency to “keep your options open, go with the flow.” A little of that is good — too much is bad — just as in step 1. When you have a goal in mind, you set your sites on something, you will “see” where you are going. That makes it much easier to make decisions (will this get me where I want to go? yes or no) and it makes things SIMPLE.
If you do not know what you truly want to achieve in your life, find out what you are dissatisfied with. It is a good place to start. Be aware of your dissatisfaction in your life and set a goal to turn it around. Make it a goal to lose weight if you are dissatisfied with how you feel and look. Make plans to get out of debt. Find ways to start a business. Just get an end to your mind so you can start to work towards it.
3) Brainstorm For Strategies
You will need strategies if you want to reach your goal. You may not have all the answers now, but you need the first set of strategies that you will take to start moving forward. You can improve upon your strategies afterward.
Brainstorm about all the strategies you have in your mind and write them down on a piece of paper. Brain dump everything on the piece of paper and don’t think about how silly the idea is. You are not going to evaluate during the brainstorming period. Evaluation will only hinder the process.
You need to find out whether your strategies are feasible and are they the 80/20 tasks that will provide you with major results. For your info, the 80/20 principle is the concept of identifying key tasks (20%) that will produce the greatest results (80%).
The common mistake during the evaluation period is to allow fear to make the decisions. After the brain storm session, most people will cross out many fabulous strategies due to fear. They will start to doubt their capability of carrying out that strategy. Don’t let fear hold you back. Ask yourself this question; “if you can’t fail, will you still do it?” If you do, most likely it will be a key strategy or task that you need to undertake.
Remember to identify the 20% tasks that will produce 80% of the results. Checking email is the 80% task that will produce 20% of the results. Writing an article or creating products are the 20% tasks that will produce 80% of the results for a blogger. You get the idea.
5) Take Specific Action Today
It is time to get to work. Your dreams will remain just that unless you start to take action to turn it into reality. I believe you are going to take the necessary action or else you won’t be reading this article in the first place. Refer back to the strategies that you chose and derive specific action that you must take.
David Allen, the author of bestselling book Getting Things Done, mentioned one excellent idea in the book. If you want to tune your car, tuning your car should not be in your to do list. You can write ‘tune my car’ into your to do list if you are the car mechanic. If you’re not a mechanic, it is a good idea to break the task down into action steps that you can do instead.
This is the thinking process.
Tune my car – Find the name card of my favorite mechanic – Get the number of the garage – Call and schedule the appointment.
“Tune my car” is broken down into specific steps that you need to take in order to get things done. When your tasks are specific, it increases the probability of you doing it. If your to do list is filled with vague tasks, you are making it harder for you to take action. Life is hard enough, make things easier.
If you intend to write “tune my car” in your to do list, what is the next step you are going to take? You do not have a specific step to take in this case. You are making yourself procrastinate when your tasks are vague. It will be a completely different story if you write down ‘find the name card of my favorite mechanic’, followed by ‘get the contact number of the garage’ and lastly ‘call and schedule your appointment’.
Getting specific tasks out on your to do list can help you gain clarity, take action faster and build your momentum to take more massive action.
6) This Is The Secret Weapon You Can Use If You Are Reluctant To Take Action
Let me introduce you this idea, 5 Minutes Room Rescue, proposed by the FlyLady, who is an executive turned into an organization guru. The idea is to set your kitchen timer for 5 minutes. Next, rush to your dirtiest room and clean it up. When the timer buzzes, stop and you can stop with a clear conscience.
This powerful strategy can help you to kick-start yourself into taking massive action. Sometimes when you just don’t feel like doing anything, set a timer for 5 minutes and start doing it. Usually you will end up doing more than 5 minutes. It is hard to stop when you are seeing instant results.
To get you to start is the hardest task. However, it is hard to stop when you get started. This is where momentum will help to make things easier for you.
7) Review And Fine Tune
Taking massive action is terrific, but it won’t matter if it does not produce the results that you want. Make it a habit to do weekly or monthly review. Use numbers to help you track results. If you want to lose weight, track your weight monthly. Record them down on an excel sheet. If you want to start a business, create a time line and review it monthly to see how you are progressing.
The most important question that you need to keep asking yourself is whether are you getting nearer to your goals.
If what you are doing now is not getting you nearer to your goals, fine tune and change your strategies. If you are doing the right things, results will show. This is why tracking numbers and reviewing your progress is crucial. Once you start to see the results, you will be inspired and motivated to take massive action.
True or false: most people think Twitter is the bastion of famous people, hungry for yet MORE attention?
It’s really much more relevant to everyday folks than we – and I include myself in that group – ever thought.
Twitter is worth a third, fourth and fifth look….. check out this great article on Twitter’s powerful platform and why business owners – if they would just look a little closer – will find it a TREASURE right out there in the open, just waiting to be discovered.