When You Too Busy For Everything
Stalker Roof Are you looking at the world through “victim-colored glasses?” If you’re telling yourself that you just don’t have time to do something (or to start something), you may be playing the victim card once again.
It’s easy to see external problems everywhere we look – “Work is keeping me too busy,” “There’s just so much going on with the kids,” “I’m running behind in everything …” But when we reinforce the habit of shifting responsibility for our circumstances to something external, we learn to blame everyone and everything … rather than looking inward to what needs to change in ourselves. Sooner or later you’re going to end up hitting the roof … or seeing things that aren’t there.
Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly true that external people and things shape your circumstances, but you shape them a hell of a lot more by how you react to them – by what choices you make in spite of them. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, a lot of the time, that “choice” is to let the external factors bully us. We don’t do it consciously, we just think that we have no power to change them (or to get ourselves motivated).
One Dead-Simple Strategy For Fitting Something In Or Jumpstarting Your Drive
Think back to a day when you had a bunch of stuff to do that had to be done that day – no excuses, no extensions. You had 3 or 4 things that just had to be completed by the end of the day. You knew you could do it, as long as you kept focused.
Then BAM! – some emergency happened. Maybe your kid broke his arm at school and needed to go to the doctor. Maybe the power went out for a while. Maybe some emergency project or urgency came to you via telephone, email, or screaming person. An hour or two of your day just went up in smoke.
What did you do? You got mega-focused, handled the emergency, and rushed like hell to get the other stuff done because it HAD TO BE DONE. And ta-da, you finish the day a badass high achiever.
How did you do it? By tapping into the focus-creating adrenaline that comes when you have to handle a whole lot of tasks in a short amount of time. You went into emergency mode: Get it done, don’t stop slamming, jump from one thing to the next. Badda-BOOM.
To Get More Done, Learn To Shift Into Emergency Mode
Let’s say you have a hella busy workday and you have tons to do. Fair enough. You don’t think you have time to go to the gym, or write that blog post, or do X, Y or Z. You have 2 choices:
Blame something external (like Stalker Roof) for screwing up your schedule
Flip the Emergency Switch and do all your other tasks faster.
Simply put, you can pull a fast one on your brain by telling yourself you have an emergency appointment – you have to do X / Y/ Z for an hour – you have to – and so you’ve got to truck like crazy to get all your other stuff done today to fit it in. Mentally pretend it’s as important as an emergency room visit and you’ll sense a shift going on in your brain – the shift that makes you stop wasting time, losing focus and working at a fraction of your potential.
It sounds goofy, but it works. When you tell yourself you want to do things, you can afford to be slack, and push it to tomorrow. But if you tell yourself you have to do something, you can tap into the juicy adrenaline goodness that helps you get more done.
And if you don’t believe you can muster up the mental psych-out? Make it real. Do that thing you’ve been putting off first thing that day, and then – uh oh – you’ve truly got less time to work on all your other have-to tasks. And that will get your adrenaline in gear for real.
The Moral Of The Story
You can push yourself harder than you think. You do it all the time when you live reactively. Now do it on purpose.
Reframe your ‘to-do’ list for today into a ‘must-do-by-3pm’ (or something similar) and surprise yourself with how much faster you can get things done.