There are times in our lives and careers when we seem to get paralyzed and are unable to get anything done. We realize that our inaction is going to cause us problems and is an irrational response, but we still can’t seem to get off the dime. The following ideas can be helpful the next time you find yourself in this situation
1. Set and Focus On Your Goals
If you don’t know where you’re going you probably won’t be satisfied with where you end up. Take the time to set meaningful goals that are measurable and attainable. The very act of setting the goals helps you to prioritize your activities and determine the logical next step to take.
2. Use Positive Self Talk
As you set your goals make sure that you state them in the affirmative. Then as you read through them, two or three times per day, you will give yourself positive encouragement as well as a focus on your objectives. When you are about to tackle a particularly difficult issue or assignment, give yourself a pep talk focusing on your abilities to do the task at hand and the good results that you will achieve.
3. Limit Negative Input
In order to accomplish difficult tasks we need to maintain our enthusiasm and positive outlook. There for it is important to limit the negatives input that we hear. Stay away from people who don’t support your plans and desires. Avoid listening to information that causes you to feel down, this may include newspapers, talk radio, TV news and even TV dramas. If your goals are important to you then your attitude should be protected.
4. Take Small Steps
So often we look at a big project and assume that it’s insurmountable. But if we could take that overwhelming project and break it down in to smaller, more manageable pieces we would be able to look at with more confidence. Cliché: Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time!
5. Develop a Schedule
After you have broken your objectives into reasonable steps it is important to develop a schedule for their attainment. This will give you the time markers that help you to stay on target with your plans and give you the encouragement you need to keep going. However, don’t make the schedule inflexible. Be willing to change it if absolutely necessary, but don’t change it simply out of convenience.
6. Beginning is Half-Done
Sometimes when we are trying to get started with a project we put so much time into the research and planning process that we never actually start the project. At some point you have to be ready to go so get started. Of course you will stutter and make mistakes but that is how the process works. As the Nike ad says, “Just do it.”
7. Reward the Small Steps
It is difficult for many of us to wait to be rewarded until a month’s long project is completed. Therefore we want to find ways to give ourselves rewards along the way. It doesn’t have to be a new car, but it should be something that you enjoy having or don’t want to do without.
In most organizations you will have someone who will act as your counselor or mentor. Make good use of that individual first by telling them of your goals and plans and second by consistently meeting with that person to go over the results so far. There will be times when you have to report poor results or even a failure. Don’t get upset with yourself, instead use it as an opportunity to learn.