I have a theory. It’s not really MY theory, but one I subscribe to . . . “what we focus on expands.” I’m thinking of this in relation to a topic I teach, train and coach on – self-defeating behaviors! My challenge is how much do I focus on something I don’t want to expand? But it’s relevant to everyone’s efforts toward increased productivity and living our best lives, so I’m touching on it, just a tiny bit. I ask you to do the same – read this, integrate what you need to keep moving forward, and then promptly put it behind you.
There are three ways we sabotage ourselves.
Procrastination , or putting off tasks that you just can’t face. I know, I’ve been there. My work in radio sales involved creating a sales budget for the year, the thing I disliked the most. So, of course, I put it off and put it off and then crammed the night before it was due. Talk about stress!! But here are two things about procrastination:
1. The tasks we put off are usually not nearly as bad as we think.
2. The key is in the STARTING of the task that we can’t seem to get to, not the completion of the task.
My best advice for procrastination: COMMIT TO STARTING THE PROJECT FIRST. Put a date/time on your calendar and only bite off as much as you can do in that time-frame. And then again and again until, voila! Project done! One more thing, think of a great reward you will give yourself for starting the project. And okay, maybe another one for finishing!
Perfectionism , or a worthy goal, but totally unreasonable to try and live up to. Of course, we all want to do our absolute best. But really, at the end of the day, if you have strived for excellence and done your very best, then accept the strongest result you can produce, even if it’s not perfect.
Think excellent and great, both of which are attainable and are a much better use of your time than fretting over not being perfect. If you know your own work ethic to be that of always doing your best, trust me, your work won’t suffer by taking pride in a product that is GREAT!
Workaholism , or give everything you’ve got to your work at the expense of the rest of your life. I get it. It feels like we’re all being asked to do more with less, to stay longer and do more. But here’s the thing. If you are worn out, worn down, and tapped out, you risk not having anything to give to your job, your family, or yourself. If your physical and mental health is at risk from workaholism, you are left with nothing to work with. And who does that serve well? No one really. So build in personal break time to re-charge and re-group in order to give of yourself fully to all aspects of your life.
So as I like to say in shorthand, Get to It, Let Great Be Good Enough, and Too Much of Any One Thing isn’t always the answer. Be good to yourself and your self will be good to you!