A lot of us struggle with getting our most important work done in time and to our satisfaction. Progress can only be made when we understand how to plan and take action on our goals. We usually have a multitude of things to do within the few hours available to us in a day and it can be overwhelming at times when we find ourselves not achieving the most important activities that will bring fulfillment and purpose to our lives. Failing to actualise what we have in mind to achieve can sometimes generate a debilitating feeling of failure and a dampening of the spirit. I will summarize five steps that have helped me overcome this daily challenge.
1. Don’t start the day without a plan
The first thing to do in the morning, or preferably the day before, is to list out everything that we want to do the next day. The best way to do this is to empty your mind on a piece of paper and then taking time to prioritise your list in order of importance. Most times we will not be able to do everything we set out to do, and that is okay as long as we get to knock off the critical ones for the day. Secondly, reduce the list to an achievable number of items by eliminating the least important ones. Thirdly, you will have to set an estimated timeline for each activity and keep your plan by your bedside.
2. Do the most important task first
A lot of times we want to start from the least important or easier tasks and move up to the so-called difficult ones but this tactic only serves to procrastinate on what is necessary. From my experience, the most difficult task is the one we fear the most, and is usually the most important to our survival, so it is better to face the most difficult task first. Completing it will give you momentum to face the lesser objectives.
3. Get yourself to the site of your task
For example if you have to go to the gym in the morning to exercise, the trick is to make sure you get inside the gym; and this is usually the hardest part. Or if you are a writer, the goal is to sit down at your desk and open your blank page; the writing will come gradually. For any task, identify that first indispensable step and ensure that you do it; life gets much easier from there.
4. Believe in yourself
The most important trait of achievers is their belief in getting things done. When we believe that a job can be done, it usually gets done. Starting is normally the most difficult part, but when we get into the flow, we ride on the rhythm of success. Push yourself to start and gain some clarity and momentum. The middle phase is usually intense but once the end is in sight, you feel more confident. The end will be glorious for those who don’t give up. If you need help or assistance, do not hesitate to call or ask other people. Nobody has a monopoly of knowledge or resources. There is help around the corner.
5. Dance with your Fears
The more crucial the task is, the greater the fear to do it. Most of us know we have to live healthy lives. We know that we have to realise our full potentials. However, fear can be the greatest hindrance to completing any task. To dance with your fear is to do what you fear even while afraid. On the other side of fear is hope. Try to focus on the possibilities and cling unto the hope that you can do it. The fear never goes away so we have to learn how to use fear as a compass to navigate our way through life. I hope these simple tips help you as they have helped me to achieve something of value to me everyday.