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Stuff That Gets in the Way

Executing is not difficult if there are no obstacles. Just like moving great distances isn’t tricky if you don’t have gravity or things in the way.

So let’s look at the obstacles before we look at how to get good at the skills.

These are the most common obstacles to Getting Stuff Done (with some recommended fixes):

The habit of putting off starting because it’s uncomfortable. Here is procrastination — you putting off starting a task because it’s hard or you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about the task.

The solution: make a start as small as possible, create conditions that make you more likely to start, and then to practice starting over and over until you get good.

The switching habit. Maybe you get started, but then constantly switch to other tasks. This is for the same reasons as procrastination — discomfort and uncertainty make you want to do something else, so you go to an easier task or your favourite distractions. Switching, switching, switching, leads to a lack of focus and constant busyness.

The solution: create focus sessions, where you practice staying focused on one task for a short period (10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc.) until you get better at staying, at least for a little while.

Perfectionism. You put off starting (or finishing) because conditions aren’t perfect, or the work isn’t perfect.

For example, you want to start a blog but can’t until you find the perfect platform, perfect theme, perfect schedule, and have all the time you want, a list of great ideas, and a perfect understanding of how to be a great blogger. Good luck with that! Or you write a blog post or article but don’t publish it because it’s not perfect yet (hint: you’re just experiencing uncertainty).

The solution: commit to starting imperfectly, just starting even if things are messy, creating that shitty first draft, and cleaning things up later. You might need some accountability to commit to this.

Other people. Other people frustrate you, holding things up with their delays, making things more complicated, complaining, messing things up, being irritating. In truth, it can be hard to get things done when you rely on other people. But this is often a rationalization.

The solution: take complete responsibility for your part, get good at doing your part, and step into a bigger leadership role where you help the whole team succeed, stretching yourself to be positive and whole-hearted with other people despite their shortcomings.

Distractions & interruptions. You get pulled away by constant distractions and interruptions. Some of those are under your control, and others aren’t.

The solution: create focus sessions of distraction-free time, where you turn off the Internet or get a site blocker and commit to just focusing on one thing for a short while. Talk to others about interruptions during this time (tell them if you have headphones on, they shouldn’t interrupt you).

Turn off notifications during this time (it might only be for 20 minutes at a time).

Finally, practice dealing with interruptions (that you can’t control) by letting go of what you were doing, turning mindfully and gratefully to the person interrupting you and giving them your full attention, then returning to your task and giving it your full attention again. This takes practice.

Being tired. You’re tired, hungry, low on energy, frustrated, lonely. These kinds of difficulties can make it hard to focus and get things done.

The solution: Recognize when you’re in one of these states, and do what you need to get recharged (a short nap, walk, or meditation might help). Or do tasks that don’t require great energy and focus (answering emails, doing routine admin tasks, etc.). If it’s a long-term problem, fix your sleep and eating.

Fear, uncertainty, feeling overwhelmed & self-doubt. Lying at the heart of most of the obstacles above are these mental conditions — fear and uncertainty, which are the same thing.

The solution: Getting good at staying in fear and uncertainty without needing to shut down, run, avoid, get in control or lash out (the usual responses), is a key skill. More on this below.

This might feel like an overwhelming list of obstacles. But the fixes are relatively simple, and I’ll talk more about how to put together a simple program for getting good at overcoming these obstacles, and getting good at Getting Stuff Done in the process.

DELIVERING WHAT YOU PROMISE
and getting your team to do the same


Do what you say you are going to do. Do you meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to yourself and to others?

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study in 2010 on accountability and found out that the probability of completing a goal is:

  • 10% – If you have an idea or a goal actually.
  • 25% – If you consciously decide you will do it.
  • 40% – If you decide when you will do it.
  • 50% – If you plan how you will do it.
  • 65% – If you commit to someone, you will do it.
  • 95% – If you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.

Question – After reading this and my blog post, how likely are you really to achieve your goals, promises, obligations and commitments that you’ve made to others and importantly to yourself, alone and without support?

No way, I don’t think so, and the research study supports my assessment.

My name is Darren Finkelstein, I’m a very successful Accountability Coach, Business Advisor and Presenter. Email me: df@tickthoseboxes.com.au

Book your FREE Unboxing Session, and we’ll examine exactly where you’re at, what’s worked and what has not, and we’ll take a look at your priorities to set the path moving forward. 

Each Unboxing Session includes:

  1. 60-90min obligation-free Zoom chat about your goals, promises and commitments
  2. Examine your priorities
  3. Review your ‘To-Do List’ and we’ll dig-in to how you will implement
  4. Together, we will create a plan and set timelines

Click here to book your free ‘Unboxing Session’

For more information visit: https://tickthoseboxes.com.au  or call me directly: +61 418-379 369.