Tackle those big projects!
I imagine we all have a long list of projects we would like to get done. It is easy to think that one day you will be able to dedicate an afternoon or an entire day to the knock all these projects out. An easy example of this would be cleaning your garage. I am definitely guilty of letting my garage turn into a mountain of stuff. It is easy to think that I will get a weekend with a free schedule that I can dedicate to organizing it. However, this almost NEVER happens! We almost never have a "free day" in our schedule where we have this extra time to get these projects done!
So, rather than waiting for this "extra' time to fall into your schedule, focus on dedicating 20 minutes to the project. I am sure you can force yourself to find 20 minutes in your day... get up an extra 20 minutes early, or stay up an extra 20 minutes late. If you can dedicate 20 minutes every day towards cleaning your garage, after a month it should be clean! Which, is much better than continuing to wait for that "free day" to get it all done.
This same process can be used for any project or goal!
4 tips to get anything done in 20 minutes
1. Don't focus on how you will finish, focus on how you will start
Lots of times the reason we don't ever start on a project is because we are unsure of how we will finish it. Maybe there are some details that we are not 100% sure on that's keeping us from starting. However, more times than not, these small details are not relevant to the entire project... I am sure there are many other aspects to the project that we can get started on!
Stop asking yourself, "how will I finish this project?" And start asking yourself, "what can I do right now for 20 minutes that will move me closer to my goal?" or "What is the next step?"
They say you can drive from Maine to California in the dark only seeing as far as your headlights. Use this same concept for accomplishing your project. You do NOT have to know how to complete the entire project to get started! Focus on what you can do now, and worry about those future details when they arrive. Most of the time, you will learn to handle those other challenges along the process. Just get started!
2. Focus on small behaviors
With any goal you set, try to break it down into its simplest behavior. Your goals will be a result of your actions. So, what are the actions you need to be doing that will get you to your goal? For example, if your goal is to close more sales (result), the action that will get you there is by making more prospecting calls (behavior).
For each of your goals, come up with a specific behavior... such as making 10 prospecting calls, or for our example, dedicating 20 minutes to cleaning your garage. Having a behavior that you can do each day will guarantee that each day you are moving closer to your goal. Your successful behaviors will lead to your successes.
To start, make this behavior relatively easy to accomplish. Maybe, you want to start with cleaning your garage for 10 minutes each day. Start with a task that you can commit to. When you do something every day, that is when the real power begins to start.
3. Use time blocking
Having a set consistent length of time to work towards a project can be a gamechanger. Every morning, I dedicate the first hour of work to working on "new" projects. (basically, the random ideas I have, that I wouldn't want to spend my normal workday on) By doing this, I have created TONS of new aspects to my business that otherwise would have been written down and saved for "once I'm caught up."
Try setting a timer on your phone for 20 minutes and start working on a project. During this time DO NOT check your email, respond to texts, or go refill your coffee. Without blocking your time, it will be too easy to get distracted!
Also, when your timer goes off, STOP WORKING ON THAT PROJECT. One of the easy traps to fall into is getting very wrapped up in one of these projects that you spend your entire day on it.... while the other parts of your life or business suffer. Don't stay up till 1 in the morning cleaning your garage because you were "in the zone." This will through off your next day and prevent you from wanting to work in the garage again. Or you will justify not working in the garage tomorrow because you "put in extra time" yesterday.
Stopping while you are "in the zone" is good! It will make you excited to get back to the project the next day.
4. Record your accomplishments
One of the most common reasons people stop working towards a goal is because they do not see progress. It is way to easy to focus on all the tasks we didn’t get done, rather than acknowledging everything we DID get done. To help with this, each night before going to bed, write down at least 3 things you accomplished. Even if they are small tasks, like taking out the trash... write it down!
Shift your mind to focus on what you DID accomplish rather than what you didn’t.
So, what will you do for 20 minutes today?
What can you start doing for 20 minutes every day that will change the way your life looks in 6 months? Or what do you wish you started doing 6 months ago that would have changed your life right now?
If you need help getting started and holding yourself accountable, checkout the GoalCrazy 90 day planner. It will help you discover what your goals are, break them down into small steps, and then track your progress daily (to make sure you actually do it).
Check it out below.