[BLOG] Motivating Yourself to Accomplish Work You Don't Like

I have found that writing is the most difficult part of my job. I don’t like writing. I’d rather clean the bathrooms and watch chick flicks all day than write. Writing is such a crucial part of my business, though. I write blog posts, I write scripts for videos and e-courses and I write emails. Some days, I do nothing but write! It’s the main form of communication with my clients and followers.

Back when I operated my technology company, the only writing I had to do was a few emails a day. Laying out website pages was my enemy, though. I objected to doing that almost as much as I do writing now. Do you see a pattern?

I bet there’s some part of your business that you extremely dislike to a point where you put it off as long as you can. No matter what business or career you’re in, there’s always going to be work that doesn’t fancy your excitement. Often, it’s work that is crucial to the success of your business.

Why do we dislike doing certain types of work so much? I’ve found in most cases there’s only two reasons:

  1. We aren’t very good at it.
  2. It’s tedious or requires a lot of time.

Does that sound right? Putting off the work we don’t like brings about anxiety and keeps us from moving forward in our business. It’s best to “take the bull by the horns” and get these things done. But, how do we get motivated to do the work we don’t like and stop putting it off? I’ve got a few suggestions for you to try.

Focus on the Process.

This seems counterintuitive. Most people will tell you to focus on the result. I’ve found, though, that by focusing on the process of getting things done actually helps us see that “it’s not so bad after all.” Plus, the more we focus on the process of how we’re going to do a task, the more apt we are to find ways of doing that work better and more efficiently. Over time, you’ll get better at doing that type of work, making it more enjoyable and less strenuous.

Do the tasks you hate first.

Generally, the worst part of anything we don’t like doing is the “waiting.” It’s not the task itself that will kill us; it’s the anxiety leading up to the big moment.

Calling on a customer made me incredibly nervous when I first started my own company. I’d always put it on my calendar for mid-afternoon, “that way I wasn’t bothering them first thing in the morning and so that I’d have more time to prepare what I was going to say.” What a load of crap! It was so I could put it off a little bit longer.

Begin your day by handling the work you don’t like to do. You won’t have time to build up that anxiety and it will clear your mind to focus on being more productive the rest of the day.

Get an accountability partner.

Whenever I have a deadline that involves work I don’t want to do, I tell my wife about it. She works from home with me all day and consequently, knows what I’m working on most of the time. If she knows that I’m putting off work that I don’t like doing, I’ll get some friendly reminders throughout the day that help me get back on track.

Tell a coworker, friend or family member what you need to accomplish and when you’re going to accomplish it. You’ll feel more accountable yourself for getting it done and you’ll also have an accountability partner to remind you!

This Friday, February 17th, I will be starting a weekly “Friday Hustle” challenge. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card each Friday for the next month! This “Friday Hustle” challenge will be:

What’s one thing you’ve accomplished this week that you’ve been putting off for a long time?

My top 2 favorite responses will win Starbucks gift cards! Don’t miss it this Friday on my Instagram and Facebook!

 

 

 

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Self Mastery is Key to Achievement - Blog - Andrew Heim - Professional Development Coaching

I have BIG goals. Short and long-term financial goals, family goals, spiritual goals, and career goals. My tagline, “I take business personally” reflects my desire to help others grow their businesses and change their lives so that they are serving others in an authentic way. In order to live by this, it’s not enough to simply tell others how they should go about their business. I’m a firm believer that you should practice what you preach. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant where the chef won’t eat their own cooking, would you? That’s why I’ve spent years studying and implementing the habits and strategies that I now coach my clients on. I want to be sure that my clients are going to grow as individuals, grow their business or career, and achieve the results they want.

One of my favorite authors and experts on self-development, specifically in selling, is Brian Tracy. If you haven’t read his book “The Psychology of Selling,” it’s definitely worth a read! Brian says, “The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves.” Powerful words! It doesn’t matter if you own a business, freelance, or work for someone else: your accomplishments and lifestyle are almost entirely determined by internal factors inside yourself, and not external factors of your environment. It’s when we work harder on ourselves than we do anything else that we start to see incredible results. As we improve our own lives, we also become more capable of helping others in a greater capacity.

Taking on the job of “self mastery” may seem a little overwhelming. In the dictionary, mastery is defined as “control or superiority over someone or something.” That doesn’t mean you have to have complete control over every aspect of your life, but rather overall control of your actions and thoughts. How can we get started on the road to self mastery?

Know what it is you want.

“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We become what we think about all day, every day. If we spend most of our days in panic mode, our life becomes a series of stressful and unfulfilling days. Likewise, if we constantly focus on our goals, the world makes way for us. The trouble is, most people can’t specifically state what they want in life. They have a general idea, but thinking about general ideas won’t do any good. It’s too easy to lose focus and too difficult to make plans for general ideas.

Those who practice self mastery are laser focused on what they want in life. They have written down all of their goals: financial, career, spiritual, family. Their goals aren’t generalized, either. They are specific and definable, and always have deadlines. Knowing what it is that you want to accomplish is the starting place for all achievement.

Develop habits that align with your goals.

Once we know exactly what it is we want to accomplish, we then need to focus our efforts on becoming the type of person that is capable of achieving those results. They way we do that is by developing habits. For example, if your goal is to sell $5 million of real estate a year, some habits you’d want to develop would be:

  • a pleasing personality – to gain clients, gain trust and be able to express your enthusiasm for real estate
  • constant learning – to continuously improve your knowledge of the local real estate market and effective advertising techniques
  • personal interaction and networking – to stay in front of potential clients and others who may be able to refer business to you

Of course, these aren’t the only qualities you would need to achieve the results you want, but the point is to develop yourself into someone who is able to reach your goals. It helps to study the habits and strategies of others in your industry who have already achieved the results you’re seeking, and try to implement them in your own life.

Stay focused on your own development.

It’s fun working on self mastery when things are going well, but tough to keep improving when you don’t see results right away. If you’re struggling to make progress toward your goals, it’s common to examine someone else’s life who has already achieved those results and think, “They made it look so easy. What am I doing wrong?” What you don’t see are the weeks and years those people spent mastering themselves, long before they reached the results you see.

Staying focused on your own development is the secret to making continuous progress toward your goals, even if it appears to be slow progress. Don’t distract yourself by focusing on what others have, or worrying about what others think about you. It won’t help you get any closer to your goals.

“Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do.” – Dale Carnegie

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Five Morning Habits to Improve Your Day

The older I get, the more of a morning person I become. The first hour of my day is often the best; I have quiet time to reflect, enjoy my morning cup of Joe, and prep myself mentally for the day. When I don’t have this time to myself, it makes my day feel unorganized or incomplete. Over the years, I have developed a routine of activities I like to do before I start my workday – they have helped me become energized.

Hint: it doesn’t involve checking my email!

#1. Cold Shower

Ok, so I don’t take a cold shower the entire time. But before I get out of the shower, I turn it on cold (not sub-zero) for a few seconds. This helps to wake up my body and mind. It seems a little harsh the first couple of times you do it, but make it a habit and you’ll begin to enjoy the wakeful feeling you get every morning!

#2. Five Minutes of Sunshine

If you live in Seattle or somewhere else that is frequently cloudy, the five minutes of sunshine may not apply. It definitely doesn’t apply during a Kansas winter, either. However, when you spend your entire day indoors, your mind becomes “stuffy.” I’ve found that stepping outside for five minutes, sun or no sun, for a breath of fresh air helps to get the mind flowing. Why not do this first thing in the morning, before you start your day? A little Vitamin D can go a long way to increasing your productivity and happiness.

#3. Reflection Time/Prayer

Nothing is more important than setting aside time each morning for reflection and prayer. I know many people who want to get a jump-start on their day by diving into their work or responding to emails. That may work for some time, but eventually you’ll get burnt out. Instead, start your day by emptying your mind. I enjoy reading the daily scriptures, devotionals, and reflecting on what’s important. It’s easy to get lost in the details of your job or your business, but spending a few moments each morning remembering WHY you chose the path you’re on helps to keep you focused on the right priorities.

#4. 20 Minutes of an Audiobook

For those of us that read at a pace slower than a year on Neptune (Neptune circles the sun once every 164.8 years, BTW), audiobooks are lifesavers. Whether you’d prefer to read or listen to audiobooks, I’d highly encourage you to do so for 20 minutes every morning. Here’s what will happen: your brain gathers that information, stores it, and spends the rest of the day processing it in your subconscious mind. As long as you’re feeding your mind good, useful information, it will help you develop a plan for what you want in life … without you even realizing it. If you’re looking for a good recommendation of a book to get started with, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is one of my favorites.

#5. Reviewing Your Schedule

The last thing I do every morning before I begin work is review my schedule. (In order to review your schedule, you have to have one first!) I would encourage you to set your daily task list the evening before. If you do have a schedule, or at least a list of things you need to get done, take a few seconds to read it through. This will wire your brain to understand what its mission is for the day. When your mind understands what you need to get done, it goes to work finding ways to get it all done. If you don’t practice this habit, your mind won’t be prepped, and you’ll be disappointed with your productivity at the end of the day.

A good morning routine is vital to preparing your body and mind. Your morning habits may not align exactly with these five suggestions, but I would advise you to develop your own system of activities.  Give yourself enough time to relax and refocus before work, and you’ll be amazed at the results that come from it!

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2016 goals for business owners, business professionals

Goodbye 2015, hello, 2016! The New Year is here, and it’s time to stop and reflect, as well as think about the future. Very rarely do people do both at the same time. How was your 2015? Mine was chalked full of trials, uncertainty and busyness, but also some good moments squeezed in between. For one, I started my new Professional Development Coaching business, while trying to wind down my technology business. An incredibly difficult journey that I’m still working on! I’ve found though that I learn more from the problems and hardships than I do from successes. I’m sure you feel the same.

If your 2015 wasn’t the most memorable (in a positive way) either, you’re probably spending more time focusing on your 2016. I hope you’re getting as excited about starting a new year as I am! I’m planning my 2016 goals, how I want to develop my Professional Development Coaching business, and making a list of things I want to do during the year on a personal level. While my list contains financial goals and personal feats to accomplish, it also consists of doing things for others. I want to share a few goals off of my 2016 list that I know will help impact your business or professional career in a positive way.

#1. Make someone smile and/or laugh every day.

This seems silly (literally!), but I enjoy making people laugh and smile. I’m happier when other people around me are happy, and I’m sure others feel the same. Happiness is contagious, just as grumpiness is as well. When I get too busy or focused on work, I forget about making people smile and laugh. That’s probably why stress sets in! So this year, I’m making it a goal to make someone smile or laugh every day.

#2. Take time for others, without your own agenda.

I’ve given a LOT of free advice throughout my career, especially in my previous technology business. I would often walk people through solutions to their computer problems on the phone, or not charge them if I showed up at their business and was able to fix their problems in a few short minutes. While those aren’t the most sound business practices, I feel that taking time for others, just to be helpful, has made a world of difference.

It doesn’t even have to be giving away your services or advice. Often, people just want someone to talk with who will listen to them. Taking time for others, without having your own “agenda” is part of giving back to the people and community that support you. That’s why, this year, I’m going to continue to make time to do so!

#3. Set a normal schedule, and stick to it.

If you’re a business owner, self-employed or work on commission, you know the value of time. If you’re not working, you’re not making a living! I like the quote by Lori Greiner from Shark Tank, “Entrepreneurs: The only people who work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” We often brag about how many hours we work or how hard we work.

Even though being a business owner or self-employed requires a lot of work, I’ve found that working too many hours is actually counterproductive. We need time to rest, time to relax and time to shut off work. That’s why this year, I’m going to do my best to set normal working hours, and “unplug” when I’m not working. I will also not brag about the number of hours or how hard I work, because NO ONE CARES! 😉

#4. Worry less about what others think.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in “keeping up appearances” and worrying about what others think of you. When we go to meetings or see someone in passing, we either morph into someone we are not, or we meekly keep to ourselves, in order to avoid saying something stupid. While you don’t want to be someone who is oblivious to how they impact others, you also can’t get too caught up in how others think of you. As long as you go about your affairs with integrity, you should be able to rest easy. That’s one of my 2016 goals!

**BONUS ITEM** #5. Drink more coffee.

Who wouldn’t want to drink more coffee in 2016?

Cheers to 2016! It’s going to be a good one!

I’d love to hear about your goals for 2016! Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your comments and stories!

 

 

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Developing routines for success

A routine life leads to success. I’m not talking about the definition of routine that is the equivalent of “ordinary”. I’m talking about having a style of repetitiveness in life that gets you closer to your goals each day.

We all have routines in our life; a morning routine, a workout routine, eating routines, etc. Routines are important because they provide the structure we need to do certain tasks efficiently on a daily basis. But, have you ever stopped to think about your routines? Probably not, which is why they are routine! Even if you don’t think about the routines themselves, have you thought about how your routines are effecting your ability to be successful?

Where we get in trouble is when our routines set us up for failure. For instance, if a person has a routine of drinking three cups of coffee in the morning followed by a large lunch, there’s a good chance that person will have a 2 o’clock crash each afternoon that prevents them from being productive the rest of the day. The key to success is to develop routines that help you get closer to your goals, not further away. So how can we analyze and develop routines that put us on the right path?

Take note of your current routines.

Some people have being doing the same activities the same way for so long that they don’t even take notice anymore! You can’t expect to change your current routines or develop new ones if you’re unaware of the routines you currently have. Start out by deliberately watching yourself for an entire week. Take notes of the the patterns, activities and habits that you perform each day.

One of the incredible things about people with deeply routed routines is that they often perform these routines at nearly the exact same time every day. Have you ever caught yourself looking at your watch at the same time each day? It’s not a coincidence. Our bodies have extremely accurate internal clocks, and our routines often revolve around them. When you’re noting your routines, also make notes of the times these routines are happening.

Determine which routines are having a negative impact.

Again, we all need routines in our lives to provide structure, and so that we don’t have to process each and every task. But we need to eliminate the routines that are negatively impacting our body, our productivity and and thoughts. Take a look at all the routines you have written down for yourself. Is there one or two that stick out that could be preventing you from reaching your goals or succeeding?

One of the negative routines I noticed about myself was the times and frequency with which I was checking my email. I had a routine of checking my email several times a day, and often during the middle of trying to focus on an important task. I would check my email when I first sat down at the desk, then again around 8:45, and again around 10 and so on. I was setting myself up for failure because not only was I interrupting my focus on a particular task, I would often shift my focus completely to something that came up in an email. I knew that I had to adjust my email routine in order to stay focused on my most important tasks without interruptions.

Modify and create routines.

Now that you’ve identified one or more routines that may be leading you down the wrong path, it’s time to change them! As per my email example, I had to consciously stop the urge to check my email so frequently. I also learned to check my email in between important tasks, such as at lunch time and during an afternoon break.  This helped me to stay focused on my highest priority projects and get them done faster.

You also need to create new routines that will help you form habits to be successful. One example may be blocking out the same time each week to send thank you notes. Another example of a routine I have been using for a couple of years now is making a point to not take appointments on Friday afternoons, leaving them open for me to plan and strategize on my business. Without implementing this routine, I would likely never find the time during a normal work week to focus solely on improving my business.

Getting rid of negative routines and building routines that will improve the way you live and do business is not easy, but it is certainly worth the investment you will make!

I’d like to hear about the routines in your day that have helped you become successful! Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your comments and stories!

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