This is probably the most commonly asked question I hear from my clients during coaching calls. All of us from time to time get stuck in a rut, unable to get stuff done and produce results. Question is how long you’ll remain stuck and how much time you waste before you figure out your next move.
There are many possible pitfalls that get and keep us stuck, here are some questions to help you understand what’s going on and resolve it once and for all and get stuff done faster.
Question #1: Why do you want/need to do it?
Let’s be honest. If you DON’T WANT to do something, you’ll find ways how NOT to do it. If you WANT something, you’ll find ways to do it. What is your motivation behind this project or task? Why is it important that you take action and make it happen? Motivation kicks us into action. There’s no action without motivation. You’re not a machine and can’t be turned on and off by someone else. YOU have access to a switch, use it well. Click here to learn more about the importance of motivation.
Action step: Get clear on your WHY. It will keep you going through good times and bad times.
Question #2: Should you be doing it?
If you’re like me, you KNOW to do many things. Over the course of my life I learned a lot of information, skills and trades. I worked in different environments and had to do the tasks I wasn’t necessarily good at, but they had to be done. But just because you KNOW how to do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD be doing it. You create your best results when you focus on tasks and projects that are aligned with the areas of your strengths, with the areas of your passion and areas of your expertise. Many times we procrastinate because we’re not the right person for a task. Who else could do it? To learn more about strengths, click here.
Action step: What are your strengths, passion and expertise? Is what you are looking to do aligned with what you are GOOD at?
Question #3: How much time should you invest in this task/activity?
I find that many people have unrealistic expectations of themselves. We all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You need to prioritize your tasks to ensure that you are investing time where it’s needed most. If you are in reactive mode, you will notice that most of your time is spent putting up fires, working on urgent, but unimportant tasks and focusing your best energy doing what others ask you to do. On the other hand, once you decide to shift things around and become intentional about how you spend your time, you will be able to work in the areas of your strengths, allocate your best energy to the most important tasks that are moving your closer to your goals, and create new opportunities that weren’t there when you started.
Action step: Evaluate how much time you’re spending in the areas of your strengths, passion and expertise. Your goal is to focus at least 80% of your time in these areas. Once you do, your life (and results) will be very different.
Question #4: How committed are you?
Commitment is one of the most misused words in our vocabulary. People promise to do things without being truly committed to accomplish them. Husband says he will be home on time, employee says she will deliver materials on time, but what they truly mean is “I INTEND to be on time” or “I’ll ATTEMPT to get the materials to you on time”. We say we’ll do something as a way to interrupt or end the conversation, but without actually allocating appropriate time and/or energy to specific task.
What is the difference between intent, attempt and commitment? Here’s a funny example:
- He intended to rob the bank.
- He attempted to rob the bank.
- He robbed the bank.
Intent is good (or bad in this case), but it doesn’t create the results. Attempt will get you into some action, but night not be enough to create result – you might get stopped, distracted, or give up. Commitment gets you all the way to the end result. It keeps you going in spite of problems or circumstances, you’re willing to work harder and change things around as needed.
Action step: How committed are you to get this task/project done? What can possibly stop you and how can you overcome these obstacles?
Important note: Just to clarify, your goal is NOT to commit to every task or project. Your goal is to choose the RIGHT tasks/projects to commit to and lower your commitment level to the tasks/projects that are not moving you closer toward your goal. Click here to learn more about commitment and how to use it well.
Question #5: How much energy do you have?
You can have the best intentions, but if you don’t have capacity, it ain’t going to happen. Multiple surveys prove that 8 out of 12 individuals experience mental or physical fatigue during a normal working week. In fact, most of the people have been experiencing fatigue for the past 6 months or more, indicating that the stress of the job had accumulated over time. Most of the people put in 55% or less of their energy into the projects or tasks. If lack of energy is your problem, that basically means that a task that would normally take you 30min., will take you 55+ minutes to be accomplished.
Here’s the deal: The solution isn’t in working MORE hours. Quite opposite. You need to slow down, get more rest, replenish your mental and physical energy and shift things around in your daily/weekly schedule. It’s about time to stop running the car down and give it the maintenance it needs!Focus your best time and energy on the most important tasks to move forward faster. Click To Tweet
Action step: Are your tasks taking you longer to accomplish? You might be experiencing signs of fatigue and stress. How can you adjust your daily/weekly schedule to allow enough time to re-energize your body? What do you need to STOP doing to create time for activities that will help you live healthier?
Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Check our Planning For Success, the ultimate guide to planning and goal setting.