Recently I wrote about needing to master the art of self-discipline when it comes to being my own boss.
Consequently, since writing that post I have been thinking a lot about ways to set up work parameters, improve my productivity and be more self-disciplined.
With all of this self-examination, one mindset jumped out at me as a major issue. More so, because it seemed to be something I was doing unconsciously. You may even be doing it yourself.
I noticed, when I thought about a particular task that needed completing, the very next thought to pop into my brain was:
I’LL DO IT TOMORROW.
Without even realizing, I had picked up a nasty case of tomorrowitis.
Obviously not every task on your to-do list can be done today. Some work will need to be designated to tomorrow. That’s simply the natural order of things.
However, I was delegating important tasks that needed to be done today, to tomorrow (which I should mention has a habit of never coming, if this particular way of thinking continues day after day).
It is a rather vicious form of procrastination, which can come back to bite you. In our minds there is always a tomorrow, meaning the task may never get done at all or more likely be completed well after your self-imposed due date. This can affect your business, not to mention your frustration levels.
Ultimately, it comes down to prioritizing and self-discipline.
So what should you do if you hear this destructive little phrase playing in your head?
Here are my tips. I should mention here that I don’t claim to have all of the answers. I’m simply trying to find a method that works for me and will hopefully work for you too.
The first step is to be aware of your thoughts. I know it sounds strange but I didn’t notice this bad behaviour straight away, it took a couple of times before I picked up on it.
Once I realized the negative soundtrack that was playing in my head, I could do something about stopping it and changing the situation. You can’t change what you are not aware of.
Related post – 3 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Positive Self-Talk
This is where you work out how important the task is.
Does it need to be done today? Will the task greatly impact your business in a negative or positive way if not completed today? Will you still reach your goals and targets if this task is not completed today? Will you feel frustrated, overwhelmed or could your self-esteem be affected by this task not at least being started today?
If it is a priority, then schedule it in for the day. This could easily mean working longer hours or sacrificing another project. It goes without saying if the project is a large one, you may need to complete it over a longer time frame, but you at least have to start it today.
As I am typing this, I can’t help but reflect back onto my personal assistant days, trying to manage a busy manager’s calendar. And I mean busy. Back to back meetings booked all day, where you could not possibly squeeze another meeting in. I was often told how important a particular meeting was.
I remember once, I sent my boss to the wrong meeting by mistake. Guess what, the world didn’t fall apart, the business didn’t go belly up. Turns out, him missing that meeting had no impact at all (which of course begs the question, how important was his attendance at the meeting in the first place?)
Do your best to prioritize.
Related post – The Importance of Hitting Deadlines
Reprogram your thoughts
You have decided the task needs doing today. You have decided it is a priority.
If you can delegate the task out to someone else, this is a perfect time to do so. If you are a solo business owner, that may not be an option.
Schedule the work into your day at a specific time slot.
Replay the tape in your head. This time it will be saying, ‘I will do the task at 3 pm today’.
Related post – When Do You Let Your Mind Wander?
Get it done
For some reason, this can sometimes be that hardest part. We know what to do, we know we have to do it and yet we don’t.
This is where the extra dose of self-discipline needs to kick in.
Get the job done today, you will feel so much better for it. Besides there will be a whole new batch of tasks that need to be done tomorrow.
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