This is the first lesson in the Get It Done Now Series.
Do any of the following sound familiar: “I could never do that,” “They are so lucky,” “I’m just not feeling motivated today,” or “Why can’t I make this work?” These are thoughts that can hold you back from accomplishing your projects. Approaching your projects with these kinds of questions is like trying to stop an oncoming bus with just your arm.
Change Your Psychology
I think the best way to get your psychology in the right frame of mind for completing your projects is the familiar children’s tale, “The Little Engine That Could.” In this story, a little train car ends up having to pull an extremely heavy load over a mountain. Instead of getting overwhelmed, the little train car uses simple repetition as it attempts to complete its task.
“I think I can, I think I can.”
These are the only words you need to get in the right frame of mind. Action will follow. I can’t tell you how many times I get ready to do a project and I don’t feel motivated or I feel overwhelmed, or I just want to be entertained instead. These small words, “I think I can,” repeated in your mind over and over will change your psychology. Repeat them often.
Repeat the words, “I think I can,” enough and you’ll find it happening automatically. This means a habit is forming – in this case, a good habit. To create this habit, find your work space and get out some note cards or sticky notes. Write the words, “I think I can” on the note cards. Refer to them often until it’s natural for you to think you can.
When you think you can, you will try. When you try, you will make progress on your projects. As an aspiring author, I put this to the test with some marathon writing sessions of 4 to 5 hours late into the night. I wanted to complete my book and focus and repetition were key to staying on track.
The second is your default behavior on your computer. This just means what do you naturally do first when you get on your computer. One of my biggest temptations when I log onto the computer is to check Gmail, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, CNN.com, ESPN.com, NBA.com, Gamespot.com, and many more. It may seem harmless to spend time on these each time you log onto the computer, but actually, a dangerous habit is being created when you do so.
Think of it this way. Take two separate chain links and clasp them together. You now have a linked chain. This link can only be undone by breaking the link (pulling really hard), or taking the time to un-clasp the links. When you immediately go to entertainment on your computer as you log in, or even as you are using it, you are creating a stronger and stronger link in your brain that this is what you should be doing.
To remedy this, I recommend you set aside a specific time period during the day for leisurely activities, email, and social networking on your computer. And during this time, you must accomplish one task on one of your projects before you allow yourself to do them. This creates a better link in your mind that your projects are always top priority when you log onto the computer.
Linking Is Powerful
Creating links and behavior is very powerful. Traffic lights are an excellent example of strong linking. When you see red, immediately stopping comes to mind. When it is green, accelerating and going comes to mind. When it is yellow you have some people who have linked that with gun it and others with slam on the breaks :)
Even if it is just 5 minutes of work on your project the moment you get on your computer every time, this will go a long way (if done daily) to creating a more effective default behavior on your computer.
To change your psychology, adopt the words, “I think I can, I think I can,” into your vocabulary and regularly use them. Second of all, manage your default behavior in your work environment. The first thing you should always do is make progress on your projects. By doing so, you create a habit and link in your mind that this is always most important. Over time it will become easier to start your projects rather than drift off into email, entertainment, or other leisurely activities.
Be on the lookout for lesson 2, “Master a few basic skills” coming soon.
- Lesson 2: Master a Few Basic Skills
- Lesson 4: Setup Time-Boxed Completion Cycles
- Rise and Grind
- Simple Word Memory Test To Keep Your Brain Sharp
- Daily Discipline – Prepare For Rest