When you’re doing something you love the time flies by and you get that sense of achievement that makes you feel good when you complete your project or task. When it comes to getting things done that are either something you don’t like doing or is outside your comfort zone it’s more likely that you will engage a range of strategies:
- Procrastination – do it later for a whole range of reasons from ‘I’m tired’ to ‘there are lots of other things that are more important’.
- Lack of concentration – which makes it all seem much tougher and perpetrates your belief that it is a difficult and unpleasant task.
- Hiding the task – how many times have you put the paperwork to the bottom of your pile of papers? How often have you ‘forgotten’ to add it to your to do list?
Am I immune from these avoidance tactics? Nope – I’m human too! So why am I writing this? It’s about changing your strategy.
Any sensible business person knows that if a strategy isn’t working then you need to change it, dump it and/or create a new one. Most of us don’t do that when we’re in full avoidance mode so here is a system that may help you:
- Make a list of all the tasks you are currently avoiding or regularly finding yourself not doing.
- Attach a rough time required to complete each of these tasks.
- Make a note of what it is that you dislike so much about it (this is for you only so you can be totally honest – if you think that the reason is because you’ve got to understand something that seems complicated to you and makes you feel dumb, write that down).
OK – you should already be feeling a bit better at having faced your challenges head on. Next step ask yourself about each task:
- What would happen if I didn’t do it at all? If this is your monthly accounts the answer is likely to be a fine from HMRC eventually, but some things really don’t have to be done.
- Is there a system I could create for this so I can do it one step at a time? Writing yourself instructions often simplifies complicated things and gives you a structure in which to work.
- Who do I know who might show me how to do it better? What could I trade with them to get their help?
- Who do I know, or could get to know, who does this kind of thing for a living? How much would it cost to outsource this work to them? If it takes you two hours and it takes an expert 40 minutes, isn’t it better to pay for 40 minutes of their time and earn money doing what you are good at in the two hours?
Go on – try it, you might be surprised at how much ‘stuff’ you can clear and how much more energy you’ll have to do the things you love to do.