It’s hip to focus on getting things done; check marking and scratching things off the proverbial “To Do” list. Often times, the biggest challenge is deciding which task to tackle first. Even more often, we find ourselves either accomplishing nothing or only a little bit of everything.
As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results; so, why not try something different this year. If you have trouble deciding on what to do, try focusing on what not to do. This list of 10 things not to do can help you get closer to successfully attaining your goals.
DO NOT get caught up in resolution overload
Don’t try to change all of your unhealthy habits at the same time. Replace one unhealthy habit with a healthy choice before moving onto the next. Set small, measurable, and attainable goals that will yield feedback and results within a few weeks. Break your goals down into daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly milestones.
DO NOT be owned by possessions
De-clutter. You may find that much of your brain activity is being run by stress, commitments, and money that was put into vehicles, vices, up-grades, and space to keep stuff working or just maintained. Once you look at what you truly need, you will no longer need to tolerate all of the additional vacuums for your thoughts and moods.
DO NOT check e-mail constantly
E-mails can certainly be an important and valuable tool, but the sad fact is people let their inbox rule their day. Set time aside to respond to e-mails later in the day. Focus on things early in the day that move your business and daily goals forward. E-mail can wait until you’ve completed at least one of your critical to do items.
DO NOT promise to multi-task
The truth is, there is great power in single tasking. If you multi-task, you tend to switch gears between what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t – the important vs. the useless tasks. Every time you shift gears to work on something else, you are not giving your priorities your full attention. Studies on multi-tasking have reported that it reduces productivity by nearly 40 percent. It is very important to absorb yourself in one thing at a time, give it your full attention, and complete it before moving on.
DO NOT carry your cell phone 24/7
Take a break from daily digital leashes at least one day per week. Turn off your mobile device or, better still, leave in the garage or in the car. Choose one day a week to leave your cell phone turned off and consider leaving it at home if you go out for dinner.
DO NOT let work become your life
Work cannot fill the void of non-work relationships and activities. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule non-work life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting.
DO NOT work more to fix overwhelm
If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important. The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates — or doing more — it’s prioritizing and defining the few things that can fundamentally change your business and life.
DO NOT allow yourself to work while hungry
If you work while you are hungry, you will be less efficient, bring a negative energy to the things you do, and become agitated and ineffective. The key is to eat small meals with a balance of protein, healthy fats, and high fiber every two to three hours. These small meals should sustain you until your next main meal. This kind of eating strategy will help you feel good, give you energy, and will help keep you focused.
DO NOT focus on “lack”
You are who you are and you have what you have, RIGHT NOW! Hold on to this strongly and focus on it. Remember that like begets like and so lack begets lack. The energy you spend on what you don’t have can more effectively be spent on finding ways of getting what you want. It is important to find POSITIVE thoughts/things/actions that inspire and help you move forward.
… and last but not least…
DO NOT stop making fun of yourself
People who take themselves too seriously miss out on a whole lot of fun.
The preliminary step of prioritizing tasks is much easier once you remove the constant static and distractions that keep you from succeeding. The important and attainable goals will reveal themselves by eliminating your clutter-generating habits. Once you have clarity on the tasks at hand, you can start setting goals that are not only SMART, but SMARTER…
The foundation of our Performance Coaching and Consulting Programs are based on Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, which is essential to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid trial and error; shifting your mindset to launch your process of intentional change. [LEARN MORE]
Photo credit: ©iStock/Getty Images