Tag: goals

How to Overcome Laziness and Get Things Done

Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

 

“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”Anne Frank

 

Does your to-do list today fill you with the desire to chuck it all and chill out somewhere? Maybe you’ve gotten so jammed up that your schedule simply has no breathing room, no time for you to do anything you want because you’re overcommitted, unable to say no, or way behind on projects, tasks and chores already. You might, indeed, feel downright lazy. This laziness doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible or that you lack skills and abilities. Rather, it may mean that you need to do a little prioritizing, let some things go and learn how to get what matters done.

Do a needs-based analysis of your workload.

How much of what you’ve allocated to do today – or that others put on your schedule – is an absolute must? Is it a task or project you could delay for a time and focus on something else that’s more pressing, that has an urgent deadline, or you’re pressured to get done? Not everything you’ve penciled in on today’s list must be completed today. Some items can wait. The key is to carefully analyze everything to determine what’s necessary and what’s not. This isn’t an idle exercise. It’s an essential part of organization and crucial to getting things done.

Give every task a number.

After you’ve examined every item on your list, some stand out as more pressing than others. These are the ones to prioritize. Go through the list again and assign every task a number, with 1 being the most important to get done, and 10 and beyond less time-sensitive. Hopefully, your list doesn’t go much past 10, since that’s a clear sign you’re overcommitted.

Have a work list and a personal list.

One way to avoid getting lost in numerous tasks in one list is to carve out two lists: a work list and a personal one. What’s important here is to draw the line at the end of the work day and don’t allow work to cross over into your personal time. When work intrudes on home, family and relationships, or vice-versa, there’s bound to be unnecessary conflict. You’ll also get little accomplished as you waver between tending to one area of responsibility at the expense of the other. Clear work-home boundaries help a great deal.

Take a break – literally.

Feel your chest getting tight? A bad headache coming on? Jitters or queasiness? These may be signs of stress from internal and external pressures to perform, be the top achiever, nail the contract, settle the dispute, or find the optimal solution to a problem. The best way to relieve stress in this instance is to do a hard stop and get some fresh air. This is a literal recommendation, as being outside in nature is well documented to reduce stress and increase a sense of overall health and well-being. After your break – and it needn’t be much more than 15 minutes to a half-hour – you’ll return to your responsibilities feeling refreshed and more motivated to tackle what must be done. You may even find you’ve come up with an ingenious solution or idea.

See the end game.

Sometimes you can’t envision what your efforts contribute to the desired outcome. This may or may not be your own goal. You may be so tied up in minutiae of details that a successful result is not easy to see. Here is where it helps to step back and separate the individual pieces of the project or task and put them into perspective with the ultimate goal in mind. When you can better see how everything links together, it can serve as impetus to get moving again. While it’s better to focus on the positive aspects of your part well done, it can also be motivating to recognize what might happen if you fail to deliver on your responsibilities. In any event, seeing the end game can be a powerful tool to overcome laziness.

Ask for help.

Suffering with a piled-on workload or shouldering more-than-your-fair-share of responsibilities is enough to make anyone stall in enthusiasm. No wonder you feel lazy. One of the most effective ways to pare down a heavy workload is to ask for help when you need it. Be sparing in how and when you request assistance, though, as you don’t want to appear as whining, incompetent, shirking your duties, or lazy. Also, be sure you reciprocate by helping others when they ask, if you’re able to do so. Once you’ve asked for and received help, your mountain of assignments or tasks won’t seem such a hurdle. There’s a lot to be said for cooperative spirit in getting things done.

*  *  *

This article was originally published on Psych Central.

Related Posts:

10 Ways Nature Helps Your Well-Being

10 Ways Stress Harms You

Best Way to Effect Change

15 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

10 Tips on Reaching Your Life Goals

To automatically get my posts, sign up for my RSS feed.   

Want to get my free newsletter? Sign up here to receive uplifting messages and daily positive quotes in my Daily Thoughts. You’ll also get the top self-help articles and stories of the week from my blog and more. I also invite you to like me on Facebook, follow me on LinkedIn,  TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google+.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Frustration from Blocking Your Goals

Photo by Joe Gardner

Photo by Joe Gardner

You get up each day and have in mind a list of things you want to accomplish. Some are short-term projects, others works-in-progress, and still others part of long-term goals. But what happens when you become frustrated, have to deviate from your task, or are forced to stop completely?

While everyone experiences frustration from time to time, it’s never pleasant. Often, it’s difficult to know what to do to overcome it. Here are some suggestions.

Always Have a Plan

Think of any goal as a kind of journey. Before setting out on a trip, the wise course of action is to have a plan. Without knowing what route you’ll take, where to stop for gas, a bite to eat, side trips you’d like to take or alternate means of getting where you want to go if you encounter road construction, bad weather or snarled traffic, the journey could be haphazard or worse.

Working toward any goal could become problematic when any powerful emotion gets in the way. And frustration certainly counts as a roadblock to goal achievement. That’s why it’s important to make a plan and commit to sticking to it, even if some parts of the plan cause frustration.

Even daily schedules can sometimes wreak havoc. Things happen that interrupt your flow. The point is to always have a plan. Then have a backup plan in case the original plan doesn’t work out. With more than one plan, you have options. You’re not stuck wondering what to do next. No longer powerless, your self-confidence increases at the same time your frustration level decreases.

Stay Flexible

It’s great that you have one or more plans, but don’t be so rigid that you’re unwilling to deviate from the plan when something goes haywire. In other words, don’t cast your plans in stone.

When you try to force your plan to work – and it doesn’t – this adds to your frustration. The more frustrated you feel, the more your stress builds, along with anxiety and a sense of failure.

But by staying flexible, you might come into contact with other solutions that will get you past this impasse. You could do things a little differently, rearrange tasks and reassign priorities. The key is to keep your options open by remaining as flexible as possible. As with most other good habits, you’ll get better at this with practice.

Set Expectations That Are Reasonable

If you’re too hard on yourself, always demanding perfection, you’re bound to amp up your frustration. While you want to achieve your goals as quickly as possible, when you take on challenges you’re not yet ready for or try to force a result that requires more time, effort or resources, you’re going to add to your frustration at the same time as you defeat your goals.

The workaround here is to take the time to set reasonable expectations for yourself. The most difficult task or project may not be the best one to tackle at this point. Perhaps it’s better to work on the easier ones first. This helps establish a track record of success, makes you feel good about your accomplishments, and reduces the frustration you feel from putting too much on your plate at one time.

Lighten Up

The recommendation here is to avoid taking life so seriously. Granted, life does deal some unexpected challenges and not everything you get involved in is light-hearted, easily accomplished or without difficulty. Still, the frustrations you experience today probably will be a distant memory six months from now.

When you lighten up and learn to take things in stride, you’ll greatly decrease the frustration that keeps you from your goals.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. That’s a given. It isn’t the mistakes you make that matter, however, but what you learn from them that counts.

Granted, no one likes to fail. There’s something distinctly unsettling about falling down or obtaining results less than you’d hoped. It stings, no question about it. Yet there’s still something you can glean from the experience that will serve you well the next time you’re in a similar situation. You can also extrapolate lessons you can adapt to other circumstances.

Timing is also important. Maybe you rushed into things without proper preparation or tried to speed through a project when it required more time. In any case, looking back you’ll probably see how you could have done things differently. If you pay attention, this is a lesson well learned. This makes you smarter the next time.

Keep It Positive

It’s easy to see how frustration leads to negative thinking. But that won’t turn things around. What will help is to keep it positive. An attitude that’s positive in nature helps you see solutions that might otherwise remain elusive. When you do feel frustrated, a positive attitude will help ratchet down the frustration and motivate you to get back to work on your goals.

Evaluate Your Accomplishments

When you’re stuck, feeling frustrated, you need some motivational self-talk. You can do this by taking stock of the accomplishments you have already achieved. This helps remind you that you have what it takes to get the job done, notwithstanding any frustration you experienced along the way.

The fact that you have a supply of effective strategies that worked well in other situations adds to your self-confidence and self-esteem – especially when you’re thinking about or tackling something new.

Start Over

Stopping frustration from derailing your goals will be a unique approach to each person. It may also turn out to involve adapting techniques you’ve used before, adding to them with suggestions you’ve learned from others, or taking a completely different route.

The only way you’re going to reach your goals is to start over, begin again, try something new. This means regularly revising your goals, adding new ones, modifying or eliminating those that no longer apply. It also means striving to learn something new each day, applying what you know works to new situations, networking with others who may have good ideas on how to best deal with recurring problems, and maintaining a positive attitude.

You want your life to be as happy, healthy, productive and fulfilling as possible. In essence, then, when you are frustrated over not being able to complete your goals, you simply need to start over. Eventually, you will succeed in reaching your goal or determine that another one takes precedence.

* * *

Want to get my free newsletter? Sign up here. I post highlights from my blog, my Daily Thoughts and more.

 

 

Can You Name Your Top 5 Goals?

blog 3

Chances are you want a lot more out of life. And you’re well aware that success requires ongoing effort, a plan and willingness to do what it takes.

So, why are you floundering? Or are you just confused, unclear or unmotivated?

When the thought occurs to you that you’re not where you want to be, the next question to ask yourself is, “What are my goals?”

This basic self-query is essential to achieving anything in life, whether it’s success in business or career, at home, school, in relationships, and in finding happiness and purpose.

Goals are the key.

With this in mind, can you name your top five?

If not, all is not lost. Here’s help to get you back on track.

 

What All Good Goals Have in Common

Goals are as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach. They’re also as unique. Your goal for achieving success at work is different from mine, from that of your friend and co-worker, the neighbor across the street, your best pal in high school.

Yet good goals have a few characteristics in common:

  • They’re meaningful, highly desirable to the individual.
  • They can be separated into smaller, specific goals for different parts of your life (such as career, relationships, health, self-fulfillment, hobbies, etc.).
  • They’re realistic.
  • They’re achievable.
  • They generate inner excitement.
  • They spark enthusiasm and drive to achieve them.

 

How to Understand What Really Matters

Everyone’s heard the story about the patient who learns she has only six months to live. What will she do with that remaining time? A lot gets clarified in a hurry when time is short.

Translate that to your situation – and that means putting yourself in the life and death scenario. Think about the people and dreams that are most important to you. Are you making progress toward doing what makes you most happy and fulfilled?

Suppose you always thought that having $100,000 in the bank would be a sign of success, that this was a worthwhile goal. Is the bank statement showing you’ve got $100,000 in your account a manifestation of what you believe is truly important in life?

Will it sustain you and bring you comfort over the next 180 days?

Granted, it’s painful to envision the end of your life. Yet this exercise may help you drill down to the essence of your values and beliefs. It may be easier to strip away the nonessential and hone in on goals that really do make a difference.

These will be the goals that are meaningful, can be broken into workable parts, are realistic, achievable, exciting and motivating.

 

Step-by-step Process to Achieving Goals

After you’ve completed your self-awareness analysis and gotten to the crux of what means most to you, you’re ready to begin work on goals.

Specifically, this is an eight-step process to achieving goals:

  1. Identify goals. Remember the various aspects of your life that matter? Take the time to write down goals that affect your career, attitude, health, relationships, financials and more.

 

  1. Prioritize goals. Assign a number to each, from most- to least-important. Do this for each category.

 

  1. Create sub-goals. While you have already identified primary goals, each of these need to have sub-goals that you create. A sub-goal is a goal that must be achieved before you can succeed in attaining the primary goal.

 

  1. Develop intermediate goals. Take each goal category and list what you feel you need to achieve in several timeframes: a month, six months, one year, five years and 10 years. Make these intermediate goals specific. Write them down.

 

  1. Do a present status assessment. Next, figure out where you are today relative to your goals. If you find that you’re far short of where you need to be, consider what you need to do to either change your circumstances or reconstruct your goals. This isn’t giving up on your goals. It’s revising them to acknowledge the constraints you’re experiencing while still giving you the opportunity to achieve them.

 

  1. Get used to achieving goals. You want to become familiar enough and comfortable with attaining goals. Once you succeed, instead of considering that you’re done, revise the goal again to the next level up. As you gain more self-confidence with continued goal achievement, you will experience continued growth.

 

  1. See yourself being successful. A crucial part of goal setting and achievement is actually visualizing yourself a success. Engage in a little daydreaming here to see how that success looks, sounds and feels.

 

  1. Set a timeline and plan. Having gone through steps one through eight, you’re not done yet. Now it’s time to put down a timeline and a specific plan in order to achieve each of your goals.

 

The more you go through this process, the easier it will become. After a while, it’s going to become second-nature. Instead of struggling to figure out where you’re going from here or not knowing what really matters, you’ll have an instinctive blueprint.

You may not end up with five top goals. You may have only three, or you could have 10. The number isn’t important. What matters is how these goals help you to live a vibrant and purposeful life.

If they don’t, are they really that important after all?

*  *  *

Stay connected. Sign up for my free weekly newsletter here.