I remember growing up hearing the saying, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! This may sound sensible, but not if you overwork yourself and all you can see is the big task before you that you are never going to be able to complete. It is really not about how big the task is, it is about how you tackle them.
Sometimes you just have to go slow, to go fast. Think about sitting at the dinner table. We are told to take our time and eat our food. Don’t open your mouth too wide, or bite off too much. We know we have to take our time to chew the food really well instead of chucking it down. The last thing we know about this process is that our bodies will digest the task of eating the meal better when it is done in this way. End result, Success! We have accomplished something that is going to be beneficial and profitable for what it is intended. That is to nourish our bodies.
Let’s look at that from the business perspective…
You have a lot you want to finish this year, but not much year is left. You panic and think,”No way can I start next year at the same place I left.” You go about setting up your plans to end strong and start the next year strong. You are running out of time and you have no clue how to tackle a task of this proportion. Now, I would say fall on your knees and cry out for mercy unto God. But, God help those who help themselves and he gave you the ideas, the means and the way, along with a whole year to make it happen. My best advance, Plan B and a little prayer and gratitude.
You must realize that you can’t work yourself to death and expect great results. That will leave you too tired and burned out to meet your clients needs. Here is where a little bit of Mindset Shifting can take you a long way.
Four Mind Shifts to help you get ready for the coming year.
1. LIMIT YOUR TO-DO LIST
This might seem counter-intuitive to the fact that we are taught to write down everything you need to do and transfer whatever is left over to the next day. The problem with this is that the next day comes with a whole new set of tasks of its own. Instead of trying to eat the whole thing, limit how many things you want to accomplish in a day and make some of them light tasks and some a little heavier loads but no more than three.
Guess what’s next? Then do it!
You will get real gratification each day as you lie resting and feeling accomplished. It will help you to be positive, less stressed and ready to implement the next days list.
2. Focus on the “Here and Now”
Do not make a list that will span throughout the whole week. I’m not saying not to create the master list. But choose the best next things that will move you forward. The whole idea of a list just for today is to lighten the burden of the mind and to relieve the mind of the guilt of never finishing the list. Do this by decreasing the clutter on you list and you will also declutter your mind so that you have the space to focus and get the immediate things done. Do you realize that the mind continues to replay the script the way it is written and perjures you, by giving you false evidence as to why you should feel unaccomplished if you do not do everything? It’s not going to tell you, “It’s okay. The list was to big to began with. It will feed on the negative.
Negative thoughts, Be Gone.
3. Plan ahead each night before
Believe it or not this is another mind shift that will get you off to a good start in the morning and help you get a good night sleep. Write your list down and plan what is your “Daily Must.” By doing this, you will not only know what you are going to do the next day, but you also give your mind permission to rest. How often have you laid awake or tossed in turned in your sleep while your mind was trying to rectify an issue?
Setting plans the night before, not only helps you get sleep, but you wake up with clarity on what your tasks for the day are.
4. How will you know if you are being more productive? MEASURE YOUR RESULTS, NOT YOUR TIME.
It may be a little tricky, but you can’t measure time against time. All it shows is how much more or how much less time you spent doing a task. If you have planned, focused and stayed on task, your results are going to be significant. You will start to see that you are completing what you started. You will have more time to relax and prepare for the next days tasks.
One way to be more productive with huge projects is to break them down into digestible bites. Referring back to the beginning, don’t try to swallow the whole elephant at was. You will set yourself up for failure. By doing this you will see that you don’t get discouraged as easily. You will start to feel like you are winning on a daily basis.
Before you know it! That elephant will be gobbled up…I mean, well-chewed and fully digested in no time.
I bet you’re wondering why I’m talking about an elephant while showing a cute little turtle with that big strawberry that it can’t quite get a bite out of. You see, it doesn’t matter the size of what’s being eaten, or the size of the eater. What seemingly may seem a small tasks can be huge if you don’t approach it with the right mind. You can make something seemingly easy, seem so difficult when you don’t have a plan.
What really matters here is how you go about the process of getting the job done!