Grind Daily. That’s the only way to show the universe that you mean business. You want me to tell you that the motivation is waiting at your bedside when you wake up. Sorry. Most of us have to employ techniques to get pumped in the morning. It’s not that we are lazy or lack motivation. More often, it’s that we have 15 different things that could be/should be completed, but we know we only have time to address them, not complete them. Getting started involves a choice. We are indecisive. That challenge can leave you frustrated and less effective today.
I offer my top four prioritizers. Implement these in order to sustain momentum daily contributing toward progress and small successes. They add up. Integrate them into your lifestyle in order to make your choices ahead of time rather than at the starting point of each day. They free you up.
1. What Will Make You Feel Best?
Let’s be real. Production is all about satisfaction. Some people use stimulants and depressants, you’ve developed a craving for achievement. Feed that craving with small successes. Set aside an hour each week to create a list of the “moving forward” or “progress” goals for the week. Take out your schedule and coordinate things you Have To Do with those you Want To Do. Fill your calendar appropriately.
Look at your list each morning, and consider which activity from the Want To Do list would provide the most joy. Do something with that project. Spend as little as 30 minutes. Outline, write a paragraph, make a call or contact, organize a file. Gain the joy that conspires to power the rest o your day.
2. What Can Be Done Quickly?
The skill of the producer mindset is honed with small tasks that can be completed quickly. They may not be the most joy-producing, but they can be done in less than an hour. It’s tempting to allow these to pile up for “quick completion later.” Later has a way of being standoffish.
Schedule time each week. Reflect on that time each day for 30 minutes of doing what can be done quickly. I like to take time at each break from major projects to review my at list. I put quick time into items that are quick to resolve. They build satisfaction because they have been addressed. Doing this also relieves the dull anxiety of having those quick items on your list.
3. What Has You Preoccupied?
Sometimes a project will simply captivate your attention. It may be in the middle of another project. More likely, it’s at the moment when another project is stalled. Engage with it. Take as much as a day to work on the project that excites you even at the delay of another project.
Think about it this way. The goal is progress. Make progress, and you sustain gains. Enjoy what you are doing, and you build intrinsic motivation. If you are on a tight deadline, set your timer and give 45 minutes to the captivating project. After the timer expires, return to the pressing project. That 45 minutes of captivating will fuel your energy to meet the deadline.
4. Developing the “Want To”
It may never come in the form you feel you need it, but that’s your pivot point. Get the “Want To” where and when you can. You never, or rarely, want the work. It’s the reward you are excited about. Just place the work mentally as a first draft toward the reward. Steps. Not even credited as toDo list barriers, but toDo list facilitators. Yes. It’s a mental shift. But, it’s a mental shift worth making.
The technique is classic. Consider that you have 3 options when addressing items on your list. First, you can outline them to identify tasks requiring 30-45 minutes at a sitting. This enables time-to-completion projection, but it also is valuable to production and a sense of progress. Second, you can work through a 30 minute to 2-hour block of production time. This is the traditional grind of hard work. Your third option is to complete a project. This is the ultimate achievement.
The point behind listing these three options is to help you see the point of progress. You don’t have to be confined to completion as the only worthy goal. Also, recognize the value of outlining and planning as a tool for organization and time scheduling. The ability to break larger projects into smaller tasks will serve you well and return value each morning.
Grind daily, but don’t work harder. Work smarter with a plan to feed you need for achievement sustainably. Approach each morning realistic in the knowledge that it you will have to motivate your self to persevere. Implement my 4 prioritizers to inspire the faith that the grind can be enjoyable.