American writer Mark Twain once said that “The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started.” Small business owners and entrepreneurs are usually very familiar with planning and organization because, in order to start any business or project, there are a lot of steps you must do. But sometimes you put your effort into the planning stage, and by the time you need to execute, you freeze.
Well, some people may call it procrastination, but the real problem is a very useful skill called Task Initiation. As part of the Executive Functioning Skills, task initiation enables you to not only start a task but also see it to completion.
In my experience, when struggling with initiating a task, you may always have the perfect excuse to take the first or next step. “The time is not right, maybe you need more research, and change the plan. You start asking around family and friends, perhaps looking for someone to talk you out of things. Or maybe what you need is a different project altogether”.
Oftentimes you aim for perfection and for everything being in order before you truly feel ready to get started. But the secret is, to just get started! Here are a few tips to put your mind at ease, and take the first step:
- Reframe the way you think of yourself: You are capable, you can do it, be confident, and you are prepared for this. YOU ARE READY!
- Trick your mind into making the tasks small: Break them into smaller steps and tackle them one at a time.
- Set up a reward for yourself: Celebrate once the task is done and finished.
- Commit publicly to your task: Instead of asking more people for their opinions, tell them you are doing it, and when you’re doing it.
The longer you put off a task or project, the more likely it’ll be done in a hurry and you’ll not give it your 100%. It will make you anxious and nervous, and negatively impact your work and mental health.
Once you take the next step and get started on a task, your perception of it changes immediately and in the best way possible. Why is that? Because you realize the task is less stressful or difficult than you originally thought.
Finally, starting on a task will also shift your perceptions of yourself. If you do it, you will feel good about not only starting but also about the progress you make. You gain confidence in yourself and create the momentum that will lead you to better things.
As simple as it may sound, you just need to start. Push yourself to do whatever it is that is in front of you right now. Take the next step and just get started because that is the secret. Keep that phrase in your mind when you find yourself struggling to start a task or a project.
Three tips to help you get started
The Pomodoro Method is when you use a timer to break down work into intervals. You can set whatever length of time you want, but it is typically 25 minutes per session, then allow yourself a 5-minute break. This method can also help you get started, while making yourself work for 25 minutes, then taking a break.
Make a list of the most important tasks and schedule those tasks for a specific time. No matter what happens in the day, those tasks must get done.
Ask someone to check up on you (or a Business Coach) to hold you accountable for your progress. Like a buddy system, having someone regularly asking about your progress can make you feel motivated and keep you moving forward.
Think about one tiny action you can make to get the ball rolling and move that foot forward. Get started now! I promise you, that you will feel the energy boost and cash in the benefits because as soon as you get started you are one step closer to achieving more of your goals. You’ll tap into your potential, and increase your self-control. You’ll miss fewer opportunities and show your trustworthiness. You won’t regret it.
I invite you to schedule a free 20-minute call to talk about where you are at right now. Let’s talk about the projects you want to achieve and let’s figure out a way for you to get started on what is most important for your business now.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. I am taking 1:1 coaching sessions at the moment and I assure you this is a safe space for you to unload. I have a judgment-free zone here for you to process this or any other topic you wish to share with me.
Feel free to schedule a 20-minute call and let’s get started! And when you do, if you have not taken the Core Value Index, you will get a copy of the CVI. I will go through it with you and you’ll learn things about yourself and the results will push you to work on the tasks that are in your zone of genius. Again, here’s the link to book your call.
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About Annette Walter
Much like Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” who lends his expertise to struggling businesses, Annette analyzes businesses, supports them with the right resources, and designs the plan they need to go from surviving to thriving.
Annette Walter has started, acquired, owned, and operated more than 15 companies in her lifetime. As a wife, mother of two young boys, and owner of a national company, Timber Industries, that was included on last year’s Inc. 5000 list, she can serve her true purpose and passion in coaching and consulting entrepreneurs through her business coaching company, iEvolve Consulting. Annette works with business owners across the globe in various industries to support their overall well-being, teams, and operations. As an operations expert and strategist, she works with business owners to help them identify organizational gaps and opportunities in their companies. She works with businesses to help make their finances, marketing efforts, technology solutions, and sales more efficient and effective.
If you would like to know more about iEvolve Consulting, visit: http://www.ievolveconsulting.com, or send an email to YouRock@iEvolveConsulting.com.
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