Summary: Having a hard time focusing, performing or being optimistic to complete a task? Maybe you just have too much to do. This article will help you to get something really done and to strengthen your mental abilities.
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“How do you get all these things done?”, a client asked me recently. “There is so much to do in my life”, she sighed. Her priority is finding a new job, then she’s involved in volunteering, she also sports a lot and she is teaching yoga.
Somehow, she had the idea that I get a lot done and that I am very disciplined when I have my mind set on something. That is nice to hear, and I am grateful for this compliment.
Perhaps you have a lot to do as well today and I am happy that you do find the time to read this article. First, start with just one task or goal for the day. You do only have a certain amount of willpower a day and this will be depleted fast if you do many things simultaneously or have many things on your mind while doing something. For more about this, read ‘Start with just 1 resolution’.
This article gives you a new approach on how to get something really done. I did read about it in ‘The Power of Full Engagement’ by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz (see also my article ‘7(+2) valuable books’) and I think it can help you to really get things done.
To focus better, perform better and to be more optimistic with your task, they describe the following steps: Mental preparation, visualization, positive self-talk, effective time management and creativity. These steps are important to strengthen your mental abilities.
1. Mental preparation
So before starting to write this blog, I prepare myself mentally by reviewing the book mentioned above and any other articles I have written about focus, motivation and performing. I just make a list of things I want to do and what need to research.
“A dream without a plan is just a wish”
I visualize myself writing, laughing, researching and having a good time doing what I want to do. Also, I visualize the moment when I publish this article and people finding some value in it. A good visualization technique is written in ‘A Perfect Day’.
3. Positive self-talk
What helps me is to have positive thoughts about a certain task such as “The result will be great”, “I will enjoy writing” or “This article will help others”.
Of course, negative thoughts can help to direct thoughts. I will have to start on time with this task because I want to avoid the stress or anxiety to not finish my task on time (and the resulting bad feelings). Motivation plays an important role here. Read ‘The Secret to Stay Motivated’ and ‘100 ways to experience more joy and happiness’.
4. Effective time management
I always give myself a certain amount of ‘uninterrupted’ time to work. This means that I will check my email and answer voicemails later. In my article ‘8 tips to be more productive’, you’ll find some more techniques to manage your time and get things done.
There must be an alternation between being engaged in your work and being disengaged. But do limit your breaks otherwise you will just end up procrastinating. That’s why good time management is so essential. What I do is to plan breaks to get something to drink or take some fresh air.
And often, during these breaks, I get new creative ideas. Most people get the best ideas when doing something they like, when they are sporting or doing something creative… It takes a lot of mental energy to perform a task or make a difficult calculation. You will need a [mental] break to continue a peak level or have new creative ideas for your projects. So, take a walk, talk with someone about your project, just listen to some music while you rest or just think about what you’re doing. For more inspiration, read ‘Techniques for engineers to be more creative’.
You might also try to multitask in slow motion, as Tim Harford explains in his TED-talk ‘A powerful way to unleash your natural creativity’. A lot of well-known geniuses like Darwin, Archimedes and von Humboldt have practiced this. They were able to get new insights by studying, learning and doing many projects at the same time. By working on one thing, they discovered something new on a totally different field. It is said that Archimedes had his Eureka moment when he was taking a bath.
A benefit from this approach is that you’ll experience a task or action deeper, that you will remember it better and that it has more impact to you and your environment.
How do you really get things done? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!
Do you need help to focus better and find out what (& how) you need to do to reach your goals? I can help you through coaching. Contact me today for a FREE intake by clicking on the button below!
You can also follow a workshop that will help you to make choices in your life. Together with Marjolein Diks & Marius van Vlijmen we will be exploring what your purpose in life is, how to make better choices in line with your why and how you can communicate this. Stay tuned for more information soon!
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