Today we’re going to be talking about how you can make your impact with a high-performance framework that keeps you both productive, and accountable. Next Practice is here to help you on every step of your journey to business progression and the fulfillment of your goals; to find out more about Next Practice, click here.
Everyone is a periodic procrastinator. Twenty percent of people are chronic procrastinators.
We all have something we want to do, or know we need to do, but it seems difficult, so we avoid it.
In this article we tackle that first step to support your planning processes – tackling that inertia by starting to move in the direction you want to go. We see this in our quarterly strategic planning session with clients and it is often the hardest step to begin, but once underway, your momentum will set you and your business up for success! Here are a few tips and tricks to kick start that momentum.
Often, there is that seemingly difficult task, the same activity that would provide you the greatest feeling of accomplishment, productivity, and return on your efforts. It’s your Greatest Impact Activity.
Greatest Impact Activity (GIA): The one activity that, should you do it consistently at high quality, will get you the greatest eventual return on your time investment.
Sure, completing another smaller task or two might give you a short-term reward. Focusing on your GIA, however, will help you achieve the most success long-term.
Getting started on hard tasks is tough, but once you start, it’s much easier to keep going.
To ignite your high-performance proactivity, we’ve identified three catalysts that can help you get started on your GIA, even when it’s difficult:
3 Ways to Get Started on Your Greatest Impact Activity (GIA) High-Performance Framework
Begin Your Day with Your GIA and Calendar It
It’s great to talk about the activities that will have the biggest impact on your success, but how can you ensure you’ll really work on them?
Put them in your calendar.
When you put something on your calendar, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable and get it done.
Calendar these and put your GIA first. Plan to work on it first thing in the morning. In fact, doing so is one of the 5 steps to a successful morning routine.
As your day moves on, your energy lessens. Focusing becomes more problematic. It’s easier to delay working on your more difficult—yet often most impactful—tasks until “later.” When your GIA is difficult, attending to it first thing allows you to expend energy on it when energy is strongest.
Use Positive Self-Talk to Reinforce the High-Performance Framework
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford
People often associate activities that will create the biggest impact as the most difficult to accomplish.
Fear of failure and self-doubt wreak havoc on your brain. Fear instantly sabotages your motivation, focus, and productivity.
When your goals don’t seem attainable, working towards them can seem pointless. If you think you can’t do something, you won’t want to even bother starting.
We refer to these negative thoughts as self-limiting beliefs: anything you say to yourself that places limitations upon yourself.
For example, you might say to yourself:
- I can’t get up early to exercise.
- I’m terrible at leading sales meetings.
- I’m not good at big picture strategy and I won’t be.
- I can’t concentrate with all the distractions.
- If I try it, it won’t work.
- I’ll never dig out of the pile, so I can’t be proactive.
To counteract negative self-talk and its detriment to your productivity, talk to yourself positively. If you think you can do something, you are more likely to do it.
|Negative self-talk||Positive self-talk|
|I cannot get up early to exercise||I can set my alarm tonight one hour earlier to exercise|
|I am terrible at leading sales meetings||I need to learn what a great sales meeting looks like, then I can learn to lead one|
|I am not good at big picture strategy and I won’t be||I am not good at it yet, but I will learn to get there|
|I cannot concentrate with all the distractions||If other people can tune out distractions, so can I; I must research how|
|If I try it, it will not work||I tried it and it has not worked, but I can learn to make it work|
|I will never dig out of the pile so I can’t be proactive||I have not been able to dig out, but I can do it if I get help to manage my time and learn to be proactive on a daily basis|
People tell themselves they should do certain things all the time, then don’t. They even put them in their calendar and…still don’t do them. That’s because the thinking part of the brain quickly becomes overruled by the feeling part of the brain.
Neurological studies on the impact of rational and emotional decision making on people’s behaviour found that the “gut reaction” part of your brain must be activated in the right way if you want to do something that would otherwise seem emotionally difficult.
Logic isn’t enough. You must have the right emotions to get started.
To get started on your GIA, or anything you want to get started on but find yourself procrastinating, practice Rapid Activation Talk.
You only have a few seconds to prevent the emotional part of the brain from shutting you (and therefore your attempt to be proactive) down. Rapid Activation Talk is the solution.
How do you use Rapid Activation Talk?
Simple. All you need to do is say, “3…2…1…Go!” and immediately get started.
You have a short amount of time to get started on a task before your brain tells you “that’s too hard.”
When you think you should take an action, immediately Count 3 and Go!
It’s not easy to get started on difficult tasks, but there are things you can do to combat your procrastination and consistently complete your Greatest Impact Activities. Calendar your activities, start your day with your GIA, use positive self-talk, and say “3…2…1…Go!” to immediately get started on anything.
These are the keys to setting up your high-performance framework – it’s that simple!
You can message me with any questions that you might have, and I can show you some examples of how we have coached teams to focus their efforts to set themselves and their teams up for success.
Remember, you can do this! Keep on scaling up, folks.