One of the biggest themes I’m hoping to get across to you in my upcoming book is that you are not alone, nor are your problems unique.
I say this because, at our worst and most mentally helpless – you and I both feel utterly alone, stuck, and like we won’t ever succeed in the world. This, despite working like crazy and having all of the world’s information at our fingertips. Logically, if everything is right in front of you, you feel like you should be getting somewhere.
But sometimes you just don’t. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by that and the mountain of information and goals that you have.
For all of my success (and though I’m nowhere near special and “famous” – I’m doing better than I dreamed of even a few years ago), I still feel like this sometimes with my goals too.
So what do you do when you’ve got all the ideas and work ethic in the world, but you just can’t manage to get past your paralysis?
This is my process. I even did it today, I kid you not.
- Make a list of your goals, the things you’re hoping to complete but are stuck on.
- Break them (or it) down into the smallest steps possible. Down to “Turn on my computer” – don’t worry if it sounds stupid.
- Act on the very first small step.
There’s two optional steps to this:
- After making your list, you can pick one goal and temporarily throw away the others. Then move to step 2 of the original list.
- After acting on the very first small step, stop. Don’t do any more until tomorrow.
The key to all of this is what happens after step 3 of the initial list.
Once you act, you need to be very careful about what you do immediately thereafter.
My natural inclination is to keep knocking off steps in succession, over and over, with no breaks. I get a ton of things done, to the point where I feel great despite being exhausted.
Except there’s one problem – I won’t get back to it the next day. Or the next. Or the days and weeks after that.
With every day missed, it’s harder to get back to the initial project. Invariably, I quit and fail. Because it’s familiar, easy, and literally requires no work.
Then I’ll start the whole process over again with something else new and shiny. Sound familiar?
My antidote to this is the optional step 2. I only do one thing, and I put it down. This actually makes me quite antsy, but it works to my advantage. I usually won’t be able to stop thinking about all of the work I want to put into the project, which will cause me to complete more steps the next day. Because I restrained myself the first day, I will do similarly the second (but completing more steps). Eventually I won’t even think about how much to do, but I’ll keep working consistently and manage my energy wisely most days.
Most importantly, I’ll get the project done.
Give it a shot – I bet it can work for you, with your own twist on it.
Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.