Busy feels like it’s moved into a new dimension. Before most people had lots of things to do for their professional life and at least an equal amount of stuff to get done for their personal life. Now, you must factor in all the chaos happening in our world around COVID-19 and the variants, and how that specifically is impacting things for you. For example, many local businesses on Cape Cod have found it almost impossible to hire people to handle the demand from the tourist industry.
All of this “stuff” can feel overwhelming. When this happens, it can be challenging to know where to begin because there is so much to do. This can create a feeling of swirling. The visual that comes to my mind is a dog chasing her tail. I picture her going round and round, without making any progress. For some ideas about how to address the swirling, check out these two past newsletters:
- “Rest Improves Productivity” – click here to read
- “Procrastination Buster” – click here to read
When addressing overwhelm, another big factor can be your attitude or mindset. If you are primed for success, it will be more likely you’ll be successful. Often, I find once I experience one little bit of success, then I’m able to position myself to experience more successes and that momentum starts to build. Success then just starts to flow more easily.
How do you start getting on that first bit of success? Here are 3 ideas to get you moving into a success frame of mind and to keep it going:
Create small successes
Often people think that success means accomplishing something BIG. Small successes can be a great way to boost your motivation and your confidence. It can also be fun, which can help make that huge to-do list get done even faster! For example, recently I needed to make some big changes to my website. One of the things I needed to do was something I had tried to figure out unsuccessfully before. I was not looking forward to spending a ton of time, once again trying figure out how to get this done. I decided to carve out a 30-minute block of time to work on this. I turned off my email reminders, put my phone in the other room and focused on this one task. After a few failures, I was finally able to figure out how to do this! I was so excited! My timer had gone off, so “technically” I was done. However, there were other things I needed to update on my website that I had been putting off, too. This success made me excited to start looking into how to make these changes. One by one I was able to cross off a few big items from my to-do list and it was all because of that first success.
Do not multitask
Our brains are built to focus on one task at a time. For most people, trying to do multiple things at one time will lead to:
- more errors and
- each task taking longer to complete, than if you focused on one task at a time.
A while ago, one of my clients was having a challenge getting things done. I suggested she set her timer for 10 minutes and focus on one task that she wanted to get done. After she did this, she told me by focusing on this one task, she got so much done. She confessed, she kept checking her timer to make sure it wasn’t broken…that’s how much she got done!
Often one of the most difficult things about moving forward towards success can be starting. Have you ever started to do a task and then found a million other things to do instead? Or, have you ended up talking yourself out of starting by telling yourself how challenging the task was going to be or even how awful it would be? It’s common for people to create lots of roadblocks to convince themselves not to start something. One tool I use to combat this is my timer. When I have been procrastinating about starting a task or project, I will pick a small timeframe, say 15 or 20 minutes, to get started on this. I set my time and get to work! When the timer goes off, I get to choose what I do next. I can continue to work on this, or I can stop and move on to something else. Either way, it’s a success because I FINALLY started this thing I had been avoiding! The other terrific thing about getting started is that the success of having already started this will make it easier to continue working on it in the future!
I love this concept that success breeds success! This can completely change your perspective of being busy and feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do. For me, success breeding more success can become a positive internal game. As I start experiencing tastes of success, no matter how big or small, I get inspired to keep moving forward to create more success!