Introduction text about how there are things that many people do that make our lives more difficult.
1. Failing to finish what you start
Starting a new project is like falling in love; it’s exciting, emotionally charging, and infused with all kinds of entrepreneurial motivators. Perhaps we get obsessed with our newest project and are so focused on our idea that we think it’s all going to ‘go well’ – similar to the so-called “honeymoon period” in a new relationship. We forget to pay attention to potential challenges that we may have to face and don’t think about how to overcome these challenges when they arise.
After some time goes by, a project may turn out to be more work than you expected, and you start to question whether or not it’s worth all of the effort. It’s taking too long to complete the project and there are some uphill battles that you feel you can’t win. You start to get stuck and are unsure of the next best step.
You grind to a half.
After that, you might start wondering if you should put the project on the “I’ll get back to it” list, or quit completely. Procrastination sets in.
See project through to the end.
I get it. New projects take a lot of time and effort, and don’t always pan out. It’s easy to feel discouraged and to want to forget about the whole thing and start with something fresh. Don’t give up on your project (or yourself) and make sure that you have dedicated a reasonable amount of time and attention to your project before you even consider giving up on it.
Keep in mind that this new project is likely not the only thing on your plate. Set goals that meet these criteria.
2. Busy Being Busy
Being “busy” doesn’t mean you are being productive. Being busy is glamourized by the media and in marketing, which often depicts people who have little free time.
Being busy might make you feel like you are in greater demand, however remaining overworked for too long can have significant negative effects on the health-life balance. Technology has done great things for productivity but is has also made it easier for people to become overworked (think about how many times you receive notifications on your smartphone).
Over time, you will realize that all of the time that you wasted not working on your business could have been spent gaining valuable experience and made a little money instead of none.
- Stop talking about being busy. The more you say “I’m busy”, the more you will actually feel like it.
- Do not take on every task. Saying “no” will be better for your wellbeing in the long term. If possible, delegate specific tasks to reduce your workload.
- Stop multitasking during leisure time. Don’t spend your lunchtime checking emails, posting on social media, or even reading work-related material. Disconnect from your work, and enjoy some free time. You will end up feeling renewed and energized.
- Prioritize your tasks and put them in order of importance. Knowing exactly which tasks need to be accomplished first will help you focus and ensure that things get done on time.
- Reduce distractions. Allow yourself the space to concentrate on completing the task at hand. A task takes longer to complete if it has your full attention. Note: this includes notifications on your cellphone or that popup that tells you when you’ve got an email.
- Get enough sleep. People who don’t sleep well at night tend to be more forgetful than people who sleep soundly. Eight hours of sleep is optimal, as is waking up early.
3. Waiting for ideal conditions
There is never a perfect time to start or grow a business; all you have to do is take the first step, and the rest will follow. Waiting for the right conditions only wastes the only asset any of us have: time. You can always make more money, watch more television, and travel, but you can’t earn any more time.
Understand that the perfect time never comes.
Instead of waiting for the perfect moment to act, make use of what you have – time, the resources you have available to you and your determination.
4. Not trusting yourself
No matter who you are or what you dream of becoming, remember this: no one is on this planet to play second fiddle, take the back seat, or make it small.
Our only limits are those that we place upon ourselves. Trust yourself and take a leap. The world is waiting for you to start something, waiting to hear what you have to say.
5. Making excuses
“I’m too tired.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I can’t do it.”
“Now is not the right time.”
It’s easy to come up with excuses to justify putting something off. The longer you rationalize and create empty excuses, the less time you have to take action.
It’s easy to say, “I will start when I have more experience/money/time/resources.” The truth is, excuses lead to more excuses – it’s a cycle. Once you get caught in the loop, it can be difficult to break free and to do what you’ve been holding off.
List the benefits
When we make excuses we tend to focus on the negative – how much time we will have to spend doing something, how many things we are lacking, and why this justifies our inaction.
Instead of focusing on the negative, try making a list of the benefits – the proposed outcome a finishing what you started. Not only will this outline exactly what you expect from the project at hand, but it will refocus your attention and reinforce your original feelings of determination and motivate you to continue where you left off.
6. Choosing the easier path.
Many people live their entire lives without ever standing up and stepping out. Most of us live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. We consistently hold on to this belief and keep procrastinating when work becomes a heavy burden.
Left unchecked, we always gravitate toward a more comfortable path, providing a state of mental security. Of course, it is hard for some of us to step out of the comfort zone, especially when there is a lot at stake (as with a new idea, project, or business).
It’s exciting to witness the rare few who dare to step out of their personal bubbles and create change. That’s because we witness them doing things that we know, deep down, that we are capable of as well.
Inspire, encourage, and empower yourself.
Do things that encourage you to grow as a person. Take part in activities that make you more confident, self-reliant, and more in tune with yourself. Stay confident and motivated by downloading affirmations, making a vision board, and reflecting on each day before going to bed. If you are into journaling, take some time to learn more about yourself and how you think.
Check out 31 Days of Reflection, a thought-provoking journal companion to inspire and empower you each and every day.