Stop getting ready to take action and just start doing.
How well you do something will define you
Like most of us, you will have multiple areas of life and projects you would like to complete and you probably have a long list.
The problem is, even if you are committed to working on one action at a time, our natural tendency is to revert back to our old habits at some point. Making a permanent change to the way you action things can be very difficult.
Whether you’re stalled working on a project, feeling lethargic because you seem to be procrastinating, or you can’t bring yourself to work on your long to-do list, you are not alone.
Inspiration can be a powerful motivator to get you going again. But you are not going to make much progress unless you prioritise your work and start working on your most important priority.
Too many good intentions don’t achieve anything
Most people faced with a list of projects to deal with them deal with them on the ‘headless chicken’, jumping all over the place.
Are you rushing around doing a bit here and a bit there, constantly getting distracted by whatever is making the most noise at the time. What usually happens is that the ones which have become pressingly urgent get finished, while the other more important activities suffer, along with the other people involved.
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned”. Peter Marshall
If you want to master your action habits and become a good finisher, then you need to figure out how to be consistent in your approach to completing your workload.
Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with a project and finish it well if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the tasks involved.
Good implementation intentions only work when you focus on one thing at a time. So let me repeat: developing a specific plan for when, where, and how you will stick to a task until it is completed, will significantly increase the odds that you will actually follow through.
What happens when you focus on one thing
When you begin practising to focus on one thing at a time, a new habit is formed. But, it can still require a conscious effort to remember to do it.
After awhile the pattern of behaviour becomes easier. Eventually, your new approach becomes a normal routine and the process is more or less mindless and automatic.
The most important thing to note is that there is a “tipping point” at which time new habits become automatic. The time it takes to build a new habit depends on many factors including how difficult the habit is, your experience and what your environment is like.
It is said that it takes approximately 30 days for a new habit to become automatic.
We have all been guilty at some point or another of analysis paralysis. Taking action can seem particularly hard when you’re facing a big decision and you want to be absolutely right in the outcome that is expected.
While some amount of planning, preparation, and deliberation are important, the reality is that taking action, even small ones will have a compounding effect to carry you forward toward and through the big challenges and decisions.
Getting started in doing things well
Firstly, list all your outstanding projects, splitting really large projects into stages or smaller tasks. Next, decide on the priority of each task.
The easy way to decide the order is urgency, rather than importance. However, sometimes it will be better to focus on the task that will have the biggest positive impact.
Take time to fully access the importance of each activity. After all, if they are not important, what are they doing on your to-do list in the first place? You are too valuable to be doing unimportant work.
Now decide on the projects and tasks you like doing and are good at, and either delegate or outsource the rest.
The best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Instead, it is best to focus on one important task or project at a time, work on it until you have completed it well and to the best of your ability, before moving on to the next one.
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There are many words that can describe when you do things well or not. Properly, correctly, agreeably, competently, skilfully, perfectly, satisfactorily, clearly, efficiently, effectively, pleasingly, attractively, splendidly, nicely, favourably, admiringly, positively, and satisfactory. Often it will be okay for you to do the best you can in the available time and with the available resources.