Last time around, we talked about productivity and how some simple changes in the way you view things can make a world of difference in your success.
We learned that action oriented self-talk is one of the best ways to get yourself out of a procrastination hump and starting to take action consistently.
Let’s jump right into today’s post.
Fear Of Failure
We discussed Self-Discipline in 10 Days, the remarkable book by Theodore Bryant, in the last post about productivity. We learnt from that we have metaphorical Jekyll and Hyde in our minds that both want different things for us – Jekyll to get us taking action and Hyde to keep us stuck in procrastination doldrums. And I showed you how to tackle Hyde and get more Jekyll in your life.
In his book, Bryant points out that numerous studies have shown that the greatest obstacle to personal success is fear of failure. Our past failures hold a strange power over us – the stench of them thwarting attempts to try something again.
It’s almost like the negative self-talk voice is saying, “Why would you want to feel like that again? Wouldn’t a new goal just bring back that feeling? Just chill out and enjoy your TV show. Go ahead, relax – you could even grab that big bag of potato chips you been tempted by since you bought them last week. Feels nice and safe, doesn’t it?”
As we discovered in previous posts, we’ve been trained by society to believe that failing is somehow real – that it’s a sickening end to our dreams of success.
It’s all garbage. We already know that failure is, in fact, feedback. As Bryant says, failure is not a tombstone, but a stepping stone to success.
But here’s what happens: if part of you wants to do something, but another part of you is dragging it’s feet because it’s scared of failing, it’s like trying to drive a car with the handbrake on.
If you want to achieve success, you have to be fully invested. You have to play for keeps. Everything on the table.
Roll the dice.
You’ve known for some time now that you have a Hyde lurking inside, haven’t you? I mean, how many times have you started something with the best intentions and just not following through?
How many times have you followed Hyde’s easy way out at the expense of Jekyll’s proactive advice?
How many times have you finished a day feeling tired out and frustrated, but with nothing to show for it?
How many times? How many times more?
It ends now.
Here are some productivity tips that are sure to help you blast through procrastination and aid in your success with business and life in general:
1. Get Up Early – Yes, the early bird catches the worm. But, don’t forget, in getting up early, you also have more time to catch more worms during the rest of the day. 🙂
2. Work On Things Without Interruption – Work in blocks of time and focus intently on that task and nothing else.
Turn off cell phones, TVs, disconnect the internet; whatever it is you need to do in order to completely engross yourself in the task. Engage in the awesome Pomodoro Technique. I’m going to go through this in a future post, btw.
3. Avoid multitasking. Focus on one task and one task only and complete that task before moving onto the next one.
4. Learn To Love Routine. In The War Of Art, Steven Pressfield talks about creating routines. Routines are powerful.
Pressfield advises writers to write at a certain time, in a certain place and for a certain amount of time every day. We can get into routines that help us achieve success more readily in filmmaking and business. For instance, every day that you know you need to be editing, get into the routine of sitting down at the computer at the same time every morning.
Stick to your routine.
5. Do Something Big (Early) Everyday – Self help impresario Brian Tracy told us to “eat that frog.” He wasn’t endorsing Chinese cuisine, but espousing a tried and tested productivity secret.
When you “eat that frog” you get up early and complete your most difficult task first. Eating the frog is biting off the task you’re most likely to put off throughout the rest of the day.
Do It Now and everything is plain sailing for the rest of the day.
6. Break Big Tasks Up Into Little Bitesized Chunks – Breaking goals up into their smaller components in a great way to learn. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew!
You can learn to break up complex business tasks into note sized tasks. For instance, if you need to get new business for your videography business, you can:
- First, search the internet for a list of potential prospects. For this example, we’d be looking to sell corporate video production to a prospect.
- Now, design a short email pitch that is designed to sell your services and sets up an Initial Meeting with the prospect to discuss your services in more detail.
- Make a spreadsheet of the names of the prospect businesses and their contact details.
- Next, go through the spreadsheet and email each prospect with your pitch.
In the same way, you can learn to break up other goals into daily, weekly or monthly tasks in order to achieve your outcome. Yes, the To-Do List is not dead!
I hope this post and the six huge Action Steps at the end was of some help. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!