What was it like for you to get out of bed this morning?
How about making breakfast?
How about getting dressed?
How about starting your first task at work?
We START things all the time: conversations, projects, movements, etc. Starting never really stops...
But even though it is constant and universal, it does not mean that we enjoy starting things.
For instance, starting that first task at work is often really difficult until you have your first cup of coffee.
There is always a mental hump that we must ascend in order to get into flow and feel successful. A cognitive obstacle made up of our motivation (or lack of) and self-talk about whatever it is we have to start.
If you don't like your job, your motivation will be low and your self-talk will be poor, making the hump a whole lot bigger to climb.
If you were on a vacation to Hawaii instead, your motivation to go for a walk or something will be much higher and your self-talk with kinder because you are more relaxed.
Our ability to start new things is proportional to our relationship with the context of that thing being started.
In other words, you hate your cubicle? It is going to be hard to get anything started.
If we do not start what needs to be started, we are not productive. If we are not as productive, our performance slips and we do not make as much money as we could…
The problem is that we lump ourselves in to the group of coworkers around us in the same setting and believe that we must operate the same way that it seems they do...
This is how we lose sight of what makes us unique and the fact that each of us has a unique way of getting started.
For example, I work from home and I do not have any trouble getting started in the morning with work. I get stuck starting SPECIFIC TASKS that either I am not excited about or require a steep learning curve (or both) because I know the process will take longer than I want it to. In those cases, my motivation is low and my self-talk is all about how unexciting the task is going to be.
Serious procrastination has set in so many times...
I now practice an awareness technique of "measuring the mountain" and then figuring out the teeny tiny first step I can make to get some momentum moving on the task. Slowly but surely, it has been working.
But that is my unique experience. Others put on their jet pack and blast up that mountain no matter the size or indifference as soon as the task is presented. Some need another cup of coffee before they tackle it. Some have to walk around the office and say hello to everyone like in a college library before the muster the courage to sit down and start.
I can teach you the Mountain-Measuring awareness technique, but first I want you to reflect on your own process:
How do you react when you have to start something?
What things are easier and harder to get started in your life? Be specific.
Why are those things easier and harder? Do they follow the motivation + self-talk formula I presented?
What must you do personally to get over the hump of starting the difficult things? What has worked in the past?
If nothing has worked in the past, what have you done to procrastinate, avoid, or pass the task off?
I repeat: everyone starts things differently. A future post will illustrate how resourceful we are, but the point is that we get in our heads when we face a challenging task.
It is all just mental.
Step One: Answer those five questions thoughtfully and honestly to identify your unique process of dealing with new tasks.
Step Two: Click the button below to design and practice your own version of the Mountain-Measuring awareness technique for FREE:
Just imagine how productive you could be if you didn’t get stuck starting new things…