6 Skills That Will Increase Your EQ
6 Skills That Will Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is considered a much better predictor of success than pure intelligence. In many cases, it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are.
You know plenty of people that possess average intelligence that are very successful. The struggling genius is quite common. Thereâs more to life than being able to do calculus in your head.
Making good decisions, communicating effectively, having positive relationships, and managing yourself well can be far more valuable and powerful than a genius-level IQ.
Boost your emotional intelligence with these strategies:
- Become an excellent listener. Think about the best listener you know. You probably hold that person in high regard. Listening is a lost art that few people are interested in resurrecting.
- During your next conversation, notice what happens while youâre speaking. The other person is likely bored, distracted, and simply waiting to speak.
- Youâll do much better with people and have fewer misunderstandings if you put all of your attention on the other person during a conversation. Theyâll even think that youâre a great conversationalist. Try it and see!
- Pause before you respond. Think of all the times you wish youâd kept silent. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts can be a real advantage. Youâll save yourself a lot of grief if you give yourself the opportunity to respond wisely, or to not respond at all.
- Give yourself all the time you need to make an intelligent decision.
- Develop self-awareness. Very few people are self-aware. We have little idea of how others perceive us or how we come across to them. Think about how odd it is to hear a recording of your own voice, or how you seem to look heavier in photos than you thought you were. Thatâs only the beginning!
- You might be significantly more rude or obnoxious than you think. Maybe youâre dismissive to others and donât even know it.
- Ask someone you trust what they think your biggest problem is. You may be surprised by what you hear. You wonât like the answer, but youâll know in your heart that itâs true.
- Learn how to motivate yourself. Life is easy if you can get yourself to do the things you know you should do. However, few of us are effective in motivating ourselves to do those things consistently.
- You can avoid most of the drama life has to offer if you can simply do the things that need to be done, when they need to be done.
- Consider why you procrastinate when faced with tasks that are unappealing to you. Youâre going to have to do them eventually. Why not put yourself out of your misery as soon as possible and simply get them done?
- Analyze your emotions. Notice your emotions while youâre experiencing them. Try doing this in place of quickly responding to them.
- For example, if someone says something that irritates you, rather than reply in a hostile manner, ask yourself why youâre experiencing this emotion. What caused it? Is it reasonable? What is an intelligent way to respond?
- Be assertive. There are advantages to being assertive. You have a much better chance of getting what you want. Youâll also be more transparent to others. People wonât have to guess what you want from them.
- Your relationships will have fewer misunderstandings, too, if you are upfront with your feelings and concerns.
Emotional intelligence might be what youâre missing from your life. You can be goal-oriented, committed, and capable, but itâs difficult to rise above the level of your emotional intelligence.
How would you rate your emotional intelligence? In what areas could you improve? There are several books on the subject, and many contain diagnostic tests. This might be a great place to start.
7 Common Lies to Stop Telling Yourself
7 Common Lies You Might Want to Stop Telling Yourself
We lie to ourselves each day. We tell ourselves that weâre going to start eating perfectly on Monday. Weâre going to start a blog on January 1st. We blame our parents for our current financial mess even though we havenât lived with our parents for the last 20 years.
Maybe we believe if we only had a swimming pool, weâd finally be happy, and that happiness would last forever.
These are all lies that we tell ourselves.
The lies you tell yourself are the most damaging lies of all:
- Iâll be able to pay it off next month, so itâs okay if I buy it now. Using debt to purchase anything is a serious matter. Itâs easy to convince yourself that youâll brown-bag your lunch for the next month, or that you wonât go out for 30 days. However, we rarely seem to stick to these promises.
- Debt has a tremendous potential to snowball. Avoid using debt as much as possible.
- Iâll start on Monday. Whether itâs a diet, a budget, an exercise plan, or any other undertaking, itâs a lie to tell yourself that youâll start on Monday. Of course, Monday might not be your day of choice. Some people really prefer the first of the month or the first of the year.
- If itâs worth doing at all, itâs worth starting right now.
- Itâs all my parentsâ fault. Thereâs no doubt that some parents are lousy at the job of parenting. But youâve had plenty of opportunities to put your life back on track. Putting the blame for your present on the past limits your future. There is plenty you can do today to make your life better.
- If I just had _____, everything would be perfect. Once you have the money, body, job, or whatever else it is you think you need to have a âperfectâ life, youâll likely find something else that you just have to have. Thereâs always another thing waiting behind the thing you currently want.
- Iâm different from everyone else. A lot of people believe thereâs something wrong with them. And itâs not just something wrong with them, itâs something uniquely wrong with them.
- Everyone is unique, but the similarities between people are far greater than the differences. Youâre not that different, and itâs unlikely thereâs anything wrong with you that canât be managed.
- Itâs too late for me. For some things, it might be too late. But itâs not too late for a lot of things. Waiting longer than you should have can make a lot of things less convenient, but thatâs not the same as being too late. It just means youâre going to have to work harder or endure more inconvenience.
- Thereâs a penalty for waiting, but itâs rarely insurmountable.
- The timing isnât right. The timing is never right, and itâs never going to be right. Do it now while you can. Each day that you wait is another day of delay. Youâre not going to live forever, and life never follows your plans anyway. Just do it.
We lie to ourselves to make us feel better. Telling ourselves that weâll start losing weight on the 1st of the month puts our minds at ease and allows us to eat poorly until that start date. We blame others for our challenges, so we can convince ourselves that it isnât our fault.
The lies you tell yourself make you your own worst enemy and stop you from making progress in your life. Be honest with yourself and give yourself a chance.
The Value of Organizing Tomorrow – Today
The Value of Organizing Tomorrow – Today
If you want to maximize your effectiveness and the amount you get done each day, organize tomorrow, today. The second that you open your eyes you can already be clear and certain about what you have to do that day.
Itâs much more effective than trying to plan your day on the fly!
In the evening, youâre much more objective about the next day than you are when youâre in the midst of it. Itâs easy to plan a trip to the gym the day before. Itâs not as easy to do so on the same day when itâs raining, and youâre just not in the mood.
The best time to plan tomorrow is today!
Follow this process:
- What do you want to accomplish? Depending on your job, health, family, hobbies, and life in general, what you want to accomplish will vary. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish tomorrow. Include tasks that help you to reach your goals. Your list might have activities like this:
- Make a nutritious lunch for kids.
- Be at the office by 7:45.
- Give a great presentation at work at 2:00pm.
- Eat a healthy lunch.
- Work out for 30 minutes.
- Practice piano for 30 minutes.
- Speak with an employee about frequent absences.
- Call my financial planner to schedule a meeting about my portfolio.
- What are the best ways to accomplish those tasks? There are many ways to accomplish something. But there is only one best way. Think of your resource constraints (including time) and determine the optimal way for you to accomplish the tasks youâve identified as most important.
- What foods will you include in your childâs lunch?
- What is the best route to get to work? What time do I have to get up in order to be at work by 7:45?
- What do I need to do to be prepared for the presentation? Do I need to reserve a room? Who should be present?
- What will I have for lunch? Will I bring it or go out to eat?
- What type of workout will I do? Where?
- What are the obstacles youâre likely to face? Consider everything that might get in your way and develop a plan that will address those obstacles. If something goes wrong, how are you going to handle it?
- Make a plan that has the greatest possibility of avoiding the fewest obstacles as possible.
- When are you going to do your tasks? Decide when youâre going to do each of the items on your list. Bill Gates plans his day in 6-minute intervals. You might not have to be that precise. Find a method that works for you.
- Evaluate your day and try again. At the end of the day, take a look at your day and look for ways to do better. Use what you learned to improve your planning process.
- What did you accomplish?
- What did you fail to get done?
- When are you going to do it?
- What could you have done better?
Make the most important decisions about your day the night before. The day is for executing, not deciding.
Save your decision-making time for the evening when you can be more objective and thoughtful.
Put your nose to the grindstone during the day and get things accomplished. Living life by the seat of your pants might be exciting, but itâs not the most productive way to live. Make a good plan and then follow it to the best of your ability. The quality of your life will soar!
8 Ways to Take More Responsibility for Your Life
8 Ways to Take More Responsibility for Your Life
Do you take enough responsibility for your life? Those that donât often have challenging lives. There are so many forces working against you that itâs imperative to actively participate in your life.
Blaming others, relying on luck, playing the victim, or hoping that randomness will be in your favor is a loserâs game.
Your destiny is under your control, but only if you exercise that control.
Use these strategies and take greater control of your life:
- Own your problems. Every problem you have is your responsibility to manage. Whether you have terrible parents, a bald head, ugly knees, or a lousy boss, youâre the only person that can save you. Own your problems and youâll stop waiting for someone else to save you.
- Make yourself a priority. Itâs okay to put yourself first. If you donât, who else is going to? No one. You and your life are important to you. If you donât make yourself a major priority in your life, your life will suffer for it.
- Avoid complaining. Complaining implicitly suggests that you donât have control over the thing youâre complaining about.
- If you canât fix the thing thatâs bothering you, then why complain? If you can fix it, then fix it. But fix it without whining.
- Avoid making excuses. Excuses make you weak. There are people that look for excuses so they can let themselves off the hook and take a passive position. Forget about making excuses and look for solutions. Excuses undermine your power over your life.
- Schedule your time. How you spend your time is critical. Avoid living your life by the seat of your pants. Make a plan for each day and follow it to the best of your ability. Youâll be stunned by how much more control you have over your life if you use your time wisely.
- Choose the people you allow into your life very carefully. People can wreak havoc quickly. Theyâre unpredictable, distracting, and tend to act in their own best interests. You have an obligation to yourself to be very picky about the people in your life.
- Itâs better to be a little lonely than to deal with the burden of something that isnât a positive addition to your life.
- Track your time. Make it a habit to review how youâre spending your time each day. At the top of each hour, ask yourself how you spent the last hour. Youâll find yourself making better choices if you develop this habit of checking yourself.
- See yourself accurately. This is incredibly challenging to fix, but itâs very likely that you simply donât see yourself accurately. This causes a lot more grief for you than you realize.
- You might not know how you come across to others or what it is about you that people like and donât like. You underestimate and overestimate yourself in many ways.
- Itâs not necessarily enjoyable to see yourself accurately, but itâs certainly helpful.
Itâs important to take full responsibility for your life. Acknowledging that your life is your responsibility gives you the power to control the outcome of your life. Youâll feel better about yourself and your future if you accept full responsibility for your life.
This is part of becoming an adult, but itâs more than that. There really isnât another good option. To refuse to take responsibility for your life puts you at the mercy of others. No one will ever care about your life more than you do.
The only way to have a great life is to be responsible for every aspect of it!
10 Ways to Finish What You Start
10 Ways to Finish What You Start
Many people are poor at getting started. They make big plans but never take the first step. Others can get started but seem to bail out before they reach their goals. Itâs quite maddening to put in a lot of work and then quit just before you reach success.
The most successful people are masters at finishing what they start. Theyâre like a bulldog with a bone. Theyâll never give it up without a fight.
We all have a story of quitting that seems to haunt us. You can put a happy ending to these stories – and this behavior – by learning to finish what you start.
Try these techniques:
- Develop the habit of being a finisher. This is most easily done by finishing all of the little things you start. Complete every little task you start.
- Wash ALL of the dishes.
- Fold ALL of the clothes.
- Finish the chapter you start reading.
- Be obsessed with driving through to the end.
- Set reasonable time estimates. We often greatly underestimate how long something will take. When something takes longer than we think it should, we become discouraged and quit the task. Instead of assuming everything will go perfectly, assume there will be challenges and plan accordingly.
- Release yourself from the need to be perfect. Perfection is a burden that gets in the way of progress. It takes too much time and destroys your enthusiasm. You can still do something well without taking the time or energy to try to make it perfect.
- Remember the adage, âBetter done than perfect!â
- Keep the benefits of finishing in mind. List the benefits of getting this task done. What will it do for you? How will you feel? Focus on the positive, and youâll be much more motivated to complete it.
- This is much more effective than focusing on how much you donât want to do it, or focusing on how miserable the experience will be.
- Keep the end in mind.
- Reward yourself for completion. Plan on giving yourself a reward when itâs done.
- Buy yourself a new car when you finally land that new job.
- Go out for coffee when your taxes are complete.
- Meet a friend for dinner when your work is finally done.
- Remember the times that youâve quit in the past. Weâve all given up too soon and later regretted it. Remember those times. Remember how much it bothers you now that you quit. No one wants to relive that feeling. Quitting something meaningful should be something that no one does more than once.
- Remember the times that youâve completed a big project in the past. How did this make you feel? Really good, right? Hold on to that feeling and feel more of it, more often, by completing things, even if theyâre just small tasks.
- Keep track of your progress. Make note of the progress you make. Be proud of your progress and use it as fuel to keep pushing forward.
- Keep away the negative thoughts. Giving up is the result of negative thinking. Notice when your thoughts are counterproductive and immediately switch your thoughts to something more positive.
- Itâs hard to believe, but you can choose to think about anything you want. Choose wisely.
- Be okay with discomfort. Being uncomfortable doesnât have to derail your progress. Accept that youâre uncomfortable and keep on going.
- The more you give in to discomfort, the less youâll achieve.
If you want to be successful, itâs crucial to learn to finish what you start. This isnât a skill that most of us were taught. We like things that are easy and comfortable, but if you learn to finish what you start, your life can easily become more comfortable for you!
You know people that never seem to complete anything. You also know people that finish what they start. Take a long look at their lives. Whom do you want to be like?
Simple Ways to Discover Your Purpose in Life
Simple Ways to Discover Your Purpose in Life
Life is more meaningful if you have a purpose. Life is also a lot simpler if you know what youâre working toward. Decisions are easier to make than when youâre just floating through life. Having your life focused on something creates some peace.
Even if youâve never considered your purpose, itâs not too late. Itâs worth your time to figure it out. Each day of living your purpose is an enjoyable and worthwhile day.
Follow these steps to determine your purpose:
- Believe that you have a meaningful purpose. If you believe that life has no meaning and that you have no purpose, youâll never find your purpose. The first step is always belief. Be positive that you have a purpose, and that youâre going to discover it.
- Know your values. Your values can provide significant clues to your purpose. If your most important values are contribution, kindness, and honesty, your purpose will be very different than if your most important values are success, popularity, and money.
- Make a list of your values and prioritize them according to whatâs most important to you.
- What gives you energy? Ask yourself these questions:
- What activities give you the most energy?
- What are those things that you love to talk and learn about?
- What do you love to do that allows the hours to just fly by?
- What makes you feel alive?
- What excites you?
- What and whom do you admire? Consider:
- What achievements do you admire? Is it building a successful business?
- What qualities do you admire? Mental toughness? Contribution?
- Who do you admire the most? Is it a historical figure? Your neighbor? Why do you admire these people?
- Consider the end of your life. Imagine youâre at the end of your life:
- What are you likely to regret?
- What would make you happy about the life youâve lived?
- What would make you feel the most regret?
- Now is the time to create and live a life that will maximize your happiness and minimize your regret.
- Describe your ideal life. What is your ideal life? What would be your ideal day? Your purpose in life will mesh well with your ideal life. When you know one, the other becomes more obvious.
- When were you the happiest? Think back on your life to this point. When did you experience the greatest amount of happiness? How can you use that information to find your purpose?
- What makes you cry? Is it watching someone overcome great adversity? Is it one of those commercials with the abused cats and dogs? Anything that brings about strong emotions can provide a clue to your purpose.
- Which of the following feels most relevant to you? Read this list and see which resonates the most with you.
- Maximizing the happiness of others
- Minimizing the pain and discomfort of others
- Maximizing your expertise at a particular skill or in a particular field
- Maximizing your experiences
- Maximizing your resources
- Being famous
- Which of these feels the best to you? Weâre not talking about which one sounds the most proper or ethical to you, but which one feels really good when you think about it? This can provide a huge clue about the nature of your purpose.
If you donât know your purpose in life, now is the time to figure it out. The recent pandemic has only driven home the fact that life is short. Why live another day without a well-defined direction? This is a great opportunity to reorient your life and your priorities.
Discover your purpose today. Your life can be different.
5 Strategies for Dealing With Weaknesses
5 Effective Strategies for Dealing With Your Weaknesses
Do you have any weaknesses? We all do, but some of us do a poor job of dealing with them. Others appear to have no weaknesses, because their weaknesses are never exposed. Your weaknesses can be a big drag on your life, or they can have minimal impact. It depends on the weakness and how you address it.
A weakness doesnât have to be a hindrance! Use these techniques to deal with weaknesses strategically:
- Decide if your weakness is relevant. Not all weaknesses are worthy of addressing. If youâre a terrible athlete, but have no interest in playing sports, why work on your athleticism? Everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone has weaknesses that matter to them.
- Consider your life and your goals. Do your weaknesses get in the way of either? If not, donât worry about them! You are very fortunate!
- Work around your weakness. In many cases, itâs possible to work around your weaknesses. If youâre terrible on the phone, utilize email. Are you someone that canât think on your feet while giving a speech? Be over-prepared and use extensive visual aids. If youâre too short to reach the top shelf, buy a ladder or put everything you need on the lower shelves.
- Adjust the situation or environment to avoid your weaknesses.
- Focus on your strength. The most successful people are great at working around their weaknesses and maximizing their strengths. If you can build a life that relies heavily on your strengths, youâre going to be a very successful person.
- Build your strengths. If youâre going to get the most out of this strategy, you canât just rely on your strengths. You have to take the next step to develop your strengths even further. Develop a plan for becoming even better at the things you already do well.
- Delegate. There might be things that youâre not good at, but you probably know people that are good at those things. Is there some task at work youâre terrible at performing? Find someone else to do it for you.
- Are you terrible at cleaning your house? Hire a cleaning service.
- Canât do your taxes well? Hire an accountant.
- Canât stand to wash the dishes? Get your kids to do it.
- Terrible at dealing with strangers? Have your coworker give tours to the visitors.
- Think about the people that are great in the areas in which you struggle. Utilize them.
- Strengthen your area of weakness. This is the last resort. If your weakness is standing in your way and thereâs no other way to address the issue, then youâll have to get busy. This isnât an optimal situation. Itâs very challenging to become great at something you lack talent for and/or despise doing.
- Focus on being good enough. Avoid trying to be in the top 1% at this skill. Decide how good you need to be and make a plan for reaching that level of expertise.
- Get expert advice. Read books. Hire a coach. Take a class. Whatever the issue is, youâre going to be better off with some expert help!
Not all weaknesses need to be addressed. If you suffer from sea sickness, but have no desire to be on a boat, why spend time dealing with it? Many weaknesses can be avoided with some planning. Others can be managed through delegation.
Ideally, youâd be able to leverage your strengths and simply avoid your weaknesses altogether. However, this isnât always possible. There are times that itâs necessary to work on your weaknesses, but you can avoid doing more work than necessary. Weaknesses are extremely difficult to transform into strengths.
Focus on building your strengths, design your life around those, and enjoy the success you deserve!
The Advantages of Becoming More Open-Minded
The Advantages of Becoming More Open-Minded
The world becomes more interesting and far vaster when youâre open-minded. However, it can be challenging to keep an open mind.
We all have our beliefs, values, preferences, and prejudices that blind us to the truth and to new experiences. Our view of the world is tainted in ways we donât even recognize. Itâs a significant challenge to be open-minded.
Consider these advantages of becoming a more open-minded person:
- You learn more. Open-minded people are much more interested in learning about different ideas, people, places, and cultures. Close-minded people think they already know everything. They arenât open to learning something new.
- You experience fewer negative emotions. Close-minded people are more easily annoyed and offended than are open-mind people. Open-minded people tend to have fewer negative emotions and more positive and neutral emotions.
- They more often give someone the benefit of the doubt, figuring that they might have good reasons for their actions.
- You get along better with others. Open-minded people like a greater variety of people. They are also more likeable in general and are less likely to get into disagreements and arguments.
- You have a broader range of experiences. When your mind is open to more possibilities, youâll enthusiastically engage in new experiences. Close-minded people have much more limited lives.
- Youâll be wrong less frequently. The more open you are, the less likely you are to come to an incorrect conclusion. Youâll consider all the possibilities. Youâll also have a greater range of experiences and have learned more. All of these things will result in you being right more often!
- You have the opportunity to learn more from your mistakes. When an open-minded person makes a mistake, they can think about what went wrong on a deep level. Theyâll consider that maybe they made an error in judgement, their knowledge is incorrect, or they just need more practice.
- A close-minded person, on the other hand, is less likely to consider all the possibilities for their failures, so itâs harder for them to benefit from the lesson.
- You are less limited. Anything is possible if you can only open your mind wide enough. When you have a very limited scope, you and your life are very limited, too.
- Youâll love more people, and more people will love you. Open-minded people are more accepting of others, are less likely to offend or to be offended, are potentially more interesting, and are more interested in others. All of these qualities add up to a person that has the potential to be more loving.
You can train yourself to be more open-minded with these strategies:
- Avoid reacting reflexively to the opinions of others. Rather than leap to a conclusion of the opinion of someone else, stop and think. Ask questions. Inquire why they believe that. You might learn something you either didnât know or never considered.
- Read books on topics that are counter to your opinion. For example, if you prefer liberal ideas, read a book written by a conservative. Are you certain that global warming doesnât exist? Read a book by a climate scientist that strongly supports the theory of global warming.
- Expose yourself to new people. We tend to hang out with people that are like ourselves. However, there are plenty of other people in the world that have something to offer thatâs new for you.
- Travel. Explore new places and things. The most open-minded people tend to be those that also travel extensively. Have you ever been to a third-world country or to a place where no one looks like you? Different cultures value different things. Enjoy the adventure of traveling!
Itâs challenging to become more open-minded. Close-minded people tend to find comfort in the fact that their beliefs are certainties to them. Many of them would rather not consider any other alternative. But there are so many advantages to being open-minded that itâs well worth the effort.
Try it! You might like it!
Pareto Principle at Work and at Home
How to Apply the Pareto Principle at Work and at Home
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is the idea that 20% of your efforts bring 80% of your results. The idea applies to many things in life.
- You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
- 20% of your customers make 80% of the complaints.
- 20% of your customers are 80% of your revenue.
- 20% of the exercises you do give 80% of the results you receive.
It only makes sense to focus your attention on these most critical tasks at work and at home.
You can save a lot of time and make much faster progress by focusing on the most effective tasks.
Follow this process:
- Identify your work goals. What are you trying to accomplish at work? You may have more than one goal, and thatâs fine. However, itâs imperative to be aware of your goals. If you donât have goals that were provided by your boss, create your own. What are your goals?
- Get a raise or a promotion?
- Ultimately find a job with a new company?
- Increase sales by 15%?
- Decrease complaints by 10%?
- Reduce payroll by 10%?
- Get your quarterly report completed on time?
- Pick the most important goals. Not all goals are created equal. Think about which goals are most important to you, your boss, and your company. Maybe you can achieve all of your goals, but maybe you canât. Which of your identified goals are most important?
- Identify all of the tasks that will help to achieve those goals. Think of every single task that can be done to achieve your goals. Write down every idea you can think of. For example:
- What is every single thing you could do to reduce the payroll in your department?
- What is every single thing you could do to boost sales?
- Be open minded and creative. The best idea might be something you normally wouldnât consider.
- Prioritize those tasks. Every action has a different effect. Some actions accomplish a lot more than others. For example, making 500 cold calls each week will do more to boost your sales than giving yourself a morning pep talk.
- Look at the goal and look at the proposed action. Which action will have the greatest impact on achieving that goal?
- Put all the actions in order from most effective to least.
- Put your focus on those most important tasks. In theory, the top 20% of the actions youâve identified are worth your time and effort. Most of the remaining 80% should be ignored.
- Remember that in your situation, it might not be 80-20. It might be 90-10. Or it might be 85-15. Itâs simply a ratio of options to results. The point is that a few options matter much more than the others.
- Outsource what you can. The more time and effort that can be applied toward those tasks in the top 20%, the more successful youâll be. Success will come quicker, too.
- One person can do a lot, but five people can do a lot more. Look for help. In fact, sometimes the best help is outside the company. It might be worthwhile to hire additional help temporarily or permanently.
- Stay the course. The less important actions you can take are tempting because theyâre often less uncomfortable to perform and still give the illusion of making progress. Focus on those critical tasks and youâll see great progress.
What about other areas of your life? Think about how you can apply the same 80/20 principle to other aspects of your life:
- Intimate relationship
- Keeping your house in order
- Building your fortune
- Having the best lawn in the neighborhood
- Mastering the violin
- Being a good neighbor
What part of your life do you most want to change for the better? What are the most important actions you can take in each area of your life?
You can be pretty successful at many things if you identify the most important tasks and avoid wasting your time on anything else. Look for ways to apply the Pareto Principle to your life.
Why You Procrastinate and How to Overcome It
Why You Procrastinate and How to Overcome It
You procrastinate because the thought of taking a certain action makes you feel bad. There are lots of actions that give us that âUghâ feeling when we even think about doing them. The unpleasant action could be going to the gym, doing your taxes, making an unpleasant phone call, or scrubbing the toilet.
So, procrastination isnât really an issue of laziness. Itâs an emotional issue. Your brain predicts that youâre going to experience a negative emotion and does its best to help you avoid it.
However, you donât have to allow your emotions to guide you. Theyâre merely suggestions you can choose to follow or reject. Itâs not easy to take an action that feels uncomfortable, but it can be done.
Even if you procrastinate, youâll eventually feel even worse about not taking the appropriate action! Why not save yourself some time and drama and just do it now?
Sometimes itâs okay to procrastinate, but there are other times that it would be best to take action immediately.
So, what can you do to mitigate procrastination?
Try these tips to overcome procrastination:
- Focus on the physical sensation. When you think about doing the thing you donât want to do, it creates a feeling in your body. Notice where you feel that negative sensation. How would you describe it?
- Focus on the area of your body where you feel the sensation and see what happens to that physical sensation. See how long that feeling lasts.
- Once you see how this feeling dissipates in a short time, it will be easier to handle it or even disregard it in the future.
- Find an easier way to do the task. Maybe thereâs a better or easier way to do what needs to be done. Some tasks are just so big theyâre intimidating to even consider.
- Can you do a little each day until itâs done?
- Is there a special tool you can rent?
- Rent a dumpster?
- Hire someone else to do it?
- Promise yourself a reward after the task is complete. Maybe all you need is an ice cream cone, a massage, or a new book to inspire you to get busy and take action. A reward can be a powerful motivator.
- Think of how great youâll feel after completing the task. There are few feelings better than completing a dreaded task. Itâs such a relief to put it behind you.
- Instead of focusing on how awful it will be to do it, focus on how awesome youâll feel when itâs done.
- Start small. Plan to work on it for just five minutes. Promise yourself thatâs all you have to do and then youâll give yourself a break. You might find that itâs easy to continue after you get started.
- Getting started can be the most challenging part of accomplishing just about anything.
- Get help. Do you know someone that can help you? Having some company can make unpleasant tasks more tolerable. Find a friend to help, and youâll get done twice as fast. Better yet, find five friends and make a party out of it! Unpleasant tasks are less miserable when you have company.
- Be tough. There are some tasks that simply have to be done even if you donât want to do them. Summon your inner gladiator and overcome your resistance. Just get it done.
Everyone has the urge to procrastinate. One thing that separates successful people from the masses is the ability to overcome this urge.
We procrastinate because the thought of doing the task is unpleasant. There are ways to minimize the discomfort of performing a task. Seek out these ways.
Focus on the benefits of taking action, get your work done, and give yourself a little reward. Youâll feel great when itâs over.