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beat procrastination in 2 minutes

It’s easy to put things off. It’s easy to find reasons to NOT do things. Many of us fill our lives with excuses, opting to skip the gym, delay starting a difficult project, or avoid having tough conversations.

What holds you back from moving forward? Do certain tasks or activities seem daunting? Are you afraid of failure? Or are you simply having trouble rallying your motivation?

Step forward with excuse-free living (a concept I address in my book, The Ten-Minute Leadership Challenge) and take ownership of your future. You can do it in TWO MINUTES.

How? One of the most important steps you can take is simply starting a project. Put on your gym shoes. Set up a meeting time to have a difficult conversation. Write the first paragraph of a novel.

Starting is symbolic. It signals that you’ve put aside your fear and trepidation and are ready to move forward. Amazing things happen if you start something. You’ll likely find that the first steps aren’t so bad and you may even gain motivation to move forward and keep the momentum going. If you’re tackling a large project, create milestone markers for yourself along the way and once you pass each marker, treat it like having a fresh start, a new beginning.

If you fill your tasks with many new beginnings, they are less likely to feel old, stale, overwhelming, or unmanageable.

James Clear, expert on behavioral psychology, was my inspiration for writing about beating procrastination in two minutes. He asserts that, “Most of the tasks that you procrastinate on aren’t actually difficult to do — you have the talent and skills to accomplish them — you just avoid starting them for one reason or another.” He advises a two-fold approach for dealing with this reluctance to start something.

1. If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it now.

Clear says, “It’s surprising how many things we put off that we could get done in two minutes or less. For example, washing your dishes immediately after your meal, tossing the laundry in the washing machine, taking out the garbage, cleaning up clutter, sending that email, and so on.”

2. When you start a new habit, it should take less than 2 minutes to do.

This idea goes back to my “just start” philosophy. Although you certainly can’t complete a major assignment in two minutes, you can get it started. Use that kick start to motivate you into action.

 

What will you accomplish TODAY?


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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Find your spark.UXL blog

I hope you had a chance to watch the fireworks over this past Independence Day weekend. I know I always find inspiration and awe when I’m watching the bright colors burst across the sky. It makes me think of possibilities and all the wonder we can find in the world if we just take the time to look.

What sparks your imagination? If you’re feeling a little lackluster lately, maybe it’s time to find inspiration in the world around you. Try a few of the following activities in the next couple weeks and reclaim your imagination and motivation!

1. Take a walk WITHOUT your cell phone. Observe the world around you and notice the different colors, shapes, types of people, houses, and landscapes.

2. Visit an art gallery and really take the time to immerse yourself in the paintings and sculptures. Get up close and look at the brush strokes or the texture of the bronze/wood/metal.

3. If you’re able, work in a new location today. Bring your laptop to a coffee shop, library, or other public area and notice how you work differently in the new environment.

4. Add some spice to your life by taking a cooking class! Enroll in a class that teaches you how to cook a brand new dish or uses a technique with which you’re unfamiliar.

5. Call an old friend. Talking with someone who you haven’t spoken with in a while can spark old memories and get your mind churning.

6. Attend a concert. Whether it’s a rock show, a piano recital, or the symphony, music can tickle parts of your brain that you don’t often use and give you a healthy dose of inspiration.

7. Talk with a child. If you’re not often around small children, the complicated and insightful things they say might take you by surprise.

8. Learn a new skill. Be it wood working, stained glass-making, or Microsoft Excel, it’s a good idea to stretch your brain and get inspired by something new.

9. Travel! Get outside your comfort zone AND your zip code. Learn about new cultures, foods, and ways of living by traveling somewhere brand new. Challenge yourself to venture outside the tourist zones and mingle with the locals.

10. Join a meet-up group with the intention of making a new friend. When we become completely entrenched in our routines, it’s hard to find room (or motivation!) for making new acquaintances. Facilitate a new friendship by joining a local meet-up group that interests you and start talking with the other attendees. Check out Meetup.com for a long lists of clubs and meet-ups.

11. Open yourself. At the core of this list is YOU. Your attitude, your outlook on life, your optimism—those are the driving forces of a truly inspired life. If you open yourself to new experiences and new ways of thinking, you’ll surely find your own personal spark of inspiration.

 

Good luck on your search.

 

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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