In This Episode…
Today’s episode is a bit of a download on areas where I am struggling right now. Now I might be just a little bit hard on myself here as I am making lots of progress. However I know there are things I could do a lot better and lots of things I should not be doing at all.
Listen to my confessional and let me know what you think!
Episode Show Notes…
I Am Doing Too Much
I was going to start this section with the question “am I doing too much?”. But I already know the answer to that. I have got a lot of projects on the go right now and I seem to be slipping into the habits I spend most of my professional time telling others NOT to do.
I am definitely making process, but I am nudging a number of projects forward in small steps instead of taking one at a time and making that one work.
I thought I had got control of that a few weeks ago when I decided to focus on this podcast. But I have drifted back into old habits again.
Having set an intention and started out on it, I haven’t followed through properly and kept track of progress against that intention. I seem to just be throwing myself at whatever comes along…but in a structured and process way of course!
There’s A Deep Reluctance – I Wonder What It Is?
In his excellent book The War Of Art, Steven Pressfield talks about resistance. It’s that feeling of NOT wanting to do something. I get that a lot. I don’t think I am going through the normal procrastination experience. There is a genuine, deep felt reluctance to dive in to a task.
It’s as though committing to doing something might prevent me from doing something else that might just be round the corner. It isn’t necessarily about big tasks. I find that reluctance taking hold even I am considering doing smaller tasks.
It doesn’t happen all the time, because there are occasions when I power through big meaty tasks and get them done. This morning was a perfect example of that. I had to work on some sales material for a programme I am running with a fellow speaker. I worked on it non stop from 0900 until 1300 today. I got the task done as far as I could take it.
So what is it that is getting in the way.
I am not even sure I need to know the answer to that question. In The War of Art, Pressfield recommends turning Pro is the answer.
…and I know that to be true.
Time for a(nother) kick up the arse!
Tapping Into The Best Of Me When The Best Of Me Can Be Tapped
I keep thinking about how I structure my day and when I choose to do the work I do. I keep having to remind myself that my work should be mainly big meaty jobs done first thing every morning before doing anything else.
That works really well for me. It did this morning. In fact there is a sense of completion and control and satisfaction from doing that for me today.
So why do I try and schedule 3 or 4 big meaty projects throughout the day, knowing that doesn’t work for me?
I think this is linked to my Rhythm of My Work musings from a week or so ago.
That alignment between task significance and magnitude and the time when I am at my best to do those sorts of task has to improve.
Otherwise I might as well just give up this quest to improve my productivity.
I keep telling myself:
“Do more important work in a more focused way, more often and for longer”
Focusing On One Project At A Time
I spend a good 15 minutes explaining people why they shouldn’t multi-task when I am running my Productivity Masterclasses.
So why do I keep finding myself doing it.
At the moment I have 9 projects on the go….9 Projects!!!!
And I’m supposed to be the advocate of single handling!
Well to be fair, some of them are client delivery projects so they will run concurrently.
But the others could be prioritised and ordered so I complete one, then the next and then the next.
A couple of questions I’d ask myself if I was my coaching client:
Q1 – Why do you keep letting yourself get into this state if you know it is not productive?
Q2 – If you had to choose one do do first, which would it be and why haven’t you started on it yet?
Terminator 2 – The T1000
The T1000 was the shape shifting android assassin in the second terminator movie. I keep thinking about the scene where it is blown to smithereens and all that’s left are little droplets of liquid metal. On their own, these droplets are useless, but when they reform into one, they are deadly…. Quite a good analogy for my focus I think!
Getting Clarity – Know My Outcome
I had a bit of a sharp intake of breath realisation moment this morning.
Just recently I have set my goals for the next 90 days and drawn out a model of what I want to have achieved by the end of the year.
But it is at a high level.
It’s a picture.
It gives the headings of the things I want to have put in place in the next 3 months but there is very little detail.
I have no real idea of what “done” for each of the blocks actually looks like.
Well that’s not strictly true because I could probably reel off what I want if you asked me now. But that’d be the first time I’d have done it if I did.
So I don’t really know what I am aiming for.
It reminds me of my favourite quote – “Resistance is often the lack of clarity” (Chip & Dan Heath).
My Consistency Near Miss
I have a goal.
Well I have a number of goals.
But there is one specific goal I am referring to. And that is to do 10,000 steps every day.
At the moment I am on a run of 62 days continuously walking 10,000 steps. My goal is to hit 100 days. That is 1,000,0000 steps. I’ve had that goal all year. The best so far was 89 days and then I missed a day.
So I am quite keen to hit it this time.
I woke up this morning in a bit of a cold sweat.
I didn’t remember actually seeing whether I’d done 10,000 steps last night before I went to sleep.
I went out for a long walk last night to make up the steps but knew I still hadn’t quite hit the 10,000 when I got back. I usually make them up before I go to bed.
However last night I did the first interview for my new podcast I mentioned yesterday. It was late because of the time zone difference with New Zealand. And then I went to bed.
So it was with a lot of trepidation that I checked the Garmin this morning.
Phew – 10,130 steps. I’d just sneaked in!
I’ve still got them.