The problem with talking about productivity and time management is that we don’t have the fundamentals in order. We think the thing we’re doing is just a task. We think that we just need to get it done. What we forget is why this matters. Why are you doing this in the first place?
The other day I had 2 larger projects I was trying to accomplish and I was feeling some stagnation – I didn’t want to put it into motion. I would see the time block in my schedule and I didn’t want to do it. So I went back through this process that I’m going to show you now that allowed me to unblock, get excited and get into the process of creating.
What’s your goal?
When you set a goal, something interesting happens. You say to yourself consciously and subconsciously that where you want to be is not what you want. You become dissatisfied. You think, I’m motivated to do something because I want to move away from this. I want to remove the tension of not having it done. It creates a drive. Welcome this discomfort and see the pressure and tension as a tool for influencing yourself to take action. Consistent action. Remember that pressure is how diamonds are created. So think to yourself, why do I want to do this? Why is this important? I had created multiple goals across all the different areas in my life and I linked those 2 projects to one of my professional goals. Why did I want to have these projects done? The positive why was that I wanted to make it easy because that’s what it takes to play at a higher level professionally. Turning what can be a difficult task into something easy. The negative why is that it would cost me money not to have it done. We want to associate pain and pleasure with our goal. So go ahead and do this now. Where in your life are you dissatisfied and what changes do you want to make in your life? What do you want to accomplish? Why are you trying to accomplish this? What is your positive why? What is your negative why?
What beliefs do you have?
I started then to look at my thoughts behind the stagnation of these two projects. The first thought and belief was that this was boring and not interesting. I realized then that I wouldn’t get excited about it if I had that kind of belief in my mind. So I began to ask myself, “what would get me excited about this?” I began to see that if I had a clear visual of what it would end up looking like and envisioning this in the hands of hundreds of folks I began to see that it would be exciting if I could start with the visual of what I wanted to see at the end. I asked myself, what would be another thought that would help me get this done. It was “that this is actually really easy”.
Ask yourself, What beliefs would you need to have in order for you to create the change you want to see in your life? If you want to have more time and energy, you’d have to believe that “I have control over my time”, “this is possible”, and that “you can do it”. Write this down – what beliefs do you need to have to get to the place you want to in your life. Also think to yourself, what beliefs do you have that don’t help you get this done? Mine was that “this wasn’t exciting or interesting work”. You have some limiting beliefs too. If you didn’t, you’d be flying through all your to-do’s with a sense of passion and fervor that’s unmatched by anyone around you.
I want you now to do a hard look at what’s in your schedule today and whether it aligns with your bigger overall goals. We let our days get filled with things that don’t actually move the needle. We need to get so specific, so laser-focused on the most important thing you need to do today. For me, it was to get my mind unstuck around these tasks. Once I did that, I could see a clear road map to getting both projects done, done well, and quickly. I want you to notice that the task for that day wasn’t to get it done, it was to get the inner work of my mindset corrected. See that the mental work of training and honing and refining your mind is as important if not more than the actual activity you’re trying to accomplish. Without the right mindset, it takes us twice as long and a much worse attitude and sub-par results. Inventory your day, your week, your month and see how much time you’re investing into activities that are working for you and your goals.
Now, you can start to create your massive action plan. What are the small things that add up to the bigger ones? What are the first, second, third steps you need to take? What does it look like to get from here to there? Then put it in your calendar. Schedule it, time block it, and let yourself be reminded daily that you get to create your goals. You get to change them, you get to understand how you can use pain and pleasure associations to get yourself into action. See that as you begin to put these activities together into your calendar that you’ll need to batch them. Put like items together so that you’re not multitasking. Every piece of research shows that multitasking is a waste of time. You don’t need to respond to every notification that comes through immediately so create the time and space to address things in the way where you can get the most done.
Creating a schedule is so important for your ability to create space. I don’t mean a schedule that is so detailed that you feel restricted, but a schedule that allows you to feel like you have time to do the work you want to do. It can be a different schedule every single day, but what matters is that it works for you and that you have created time and space for the things that are important to you. Put these big rocks into your bucket first. These important things like spending time with family and friends or exercising. They don’t get done because they’re not on the schedule. What’s on your schedule? Work – what other people decide. So think about your schedule as a place for you to build your future. Make it full of the activities that would allow you to achieve your goals.
Why We Don’t Just Do it
We often get to the time in our schedule for doing the activity we set out to do and we still feel stuck. This is when you realize that the mindset work hasn’t been done or you need to bring it back to the forefront. This is the time you remind yourself why this is important. What are your goals? Why are they so compelling? So desirable? So painful? Remember that feeling of wanting to create something in your life that is different from what you see today and use that discomfort as leverage to start. Count down if you need to and just begin. Realize that if you can just get this one thing done, you’re answering a promise to yourself. You’re developing trust in your abilities to take action. You then start to see the actions adding up each and every single day. Small actions like getting your mindset straight can be big. Big actions like getting the task done may become small. Play with the idea that you are more powerful a creator than you have ever realized and you can start seeing life come into form from your thoughts.
You are more powerful than you realize. Your thoughts are truly more than just fantasies – they are energy and form. Knowing that’s the case, your ability to believe in your goals and your dreams are everything. Start with the why, the desire, and then hone into the discipline of doing and creating. Make time and space for both the doing and the mindset work. It’s important to remember that life is about unwinding our understanding of how things work so that we can start to create a life from the inside out. Start to see that even if you don’t know how you’ll achieve this giant, compelling goal of yours that all you need to do is to start with the vision and the beliefs that will allow you to figure out the how in time.
I love you my friends. I hope this served you well in a time when I know we have so much on our plates. Anytime you are creating your goals, feel free to listen back to this to get your mindset straight and remember why you’re doing this in the first place.
If you liked this and want to learn more about a new program I’m launching called Intuitive Leadership, go to www.mayempson.com/intuitiveleadership and sign up for the free Becoming Intuitive Livestream where I’ll share more details about the program, what living with intuition is, how to connect to yourself and others more deeply, and how to connect with spiritual truths to create more in your life.