Over the past few months, I have invested a considerable amount of time and energy doing more of what I love and less of what I don’t. While I am pleased with the baby steps I have taken toward a new career and financial freedom, I dream of expediting my progress.
The biggest problem I have? ME! I am constantly getting in my own way. There is no other person slowing my journey down.
It is ironic that things we want the most are made more difficult by our own patterns of thinking and illogical habits.
Do you recognize any of my mistakes in your own life?
- Losing focus on what God (or the universe) has planned for you by spending hours trying to figure out what YOU want to do.
- Spending hours looking for productivity hacks and trying to design a system that helps you create better routines (but not doing the work your routines are built to support).
- Listening to negative soundtracks that are not true, helpful, or kind (thanks Jon Acuff). These are the product of our inner critic.
- Spending more time on consuming content than developing your ideas, because you think you need to know more before you share anything.
- Allowing to-do lists and should-dos to keep you from getting out in the world talking to people, generating new ideas, and physically making things happen.
- Failing to ask for help even though you know your work benefits from the valuable input and insight of others.
So, how can you and I fix these problems? The answers are not hard to figure out, they just take discipline to implement. Here are the solutions as I see it:
- Make spiritual time the first and last thing you do each day. Instead of asking yourself what to do, ask God (or the higher force you subscribe to as a compass). If you already know the answer, quit fighting it!
- Limit the time spent designing a productivity system. Pick one and use it for 30 days, then tweak if needed. The system is not as important as the work it enables.
- Rewrite negative soundtracks with positive ones. Speak to yourself the way you would when encouraging a friend.
- Set a timer for periods of learning and exploration. Make this a focused time. Commit another measured period of time to synthesize and share ideas and information. Learning can be an enjoyable endeavor but the greater good is to apply what you have learned to help others. This is truly a case of “you can’t take it with you when you go”!
- Get out of your home or office every day. Take breaks outside. Have new experiences and engage with the world outside to spark creativity and amp up the energy.
- Make a point to reach out to the right people and ask for their input. Look for opportunities to collaborate. View other people as a resource rather than an obstacle.
If you are on a similar journey this year, what has slowed down your progress? How are you fixing yourself?