“The beginning is the most important part of any work” – Plato
How can you and I possibly use this leadership quote?
Like many great leadership quotes, this one applies to areas other than work and business.
In classical physics, there are two types of friction. There is static friction, when two objects are motionless and there is dynamic friction – when they are in motion. Static friction is greater than dynamic friction. This means more energy is needed to start moving something that it is to keep it moving. This is a great analogy for getting things done. You cannot achieve your goal unless you take that first step. And once you are moving, you will have inertia which keeps you moving, helping you to move onwards.
You can find so many ways to put things off. Sometimes, it’s because you find it easier to do the trivial things. Sometimes it might be lack of confidence in your ability to accomplish the job in hand. It could be the distractions provided by our wonderful modern technology like e-mails, social networks, smartphones or catch-up TV.
Quotes on Leadership and Goal Setting
Whatever it is that’s holding you back, you know that unless you make a start, you will go through the day and at the end of it, you will feel worn out. And you will also feel that you have not made the progress you want. You will not have moved in the direction of your goal. The goal will still be sitting there as far away as it was before and you will feel that sense of frustration in not having achieved as much as you wanted in the day. Maybe you will feel you haven’t achieve anything at all.
Psychologists have investigated the phenomenon of procrastination, putting off the start and have come up with many explanations for it. There is the fear of failure and the fear of success, for example. When you put off doing important things, you try to deal with the disappointment by jumping on the hamster wheel and running a bit, doing those things which you know won’t move you forward in the direction of your goals. You know that you must actually do the task in the end and this is gives you a guilty conscience, which makes you feel worse. Then you are even less likely to make a start!.
The good news is that all this is very common! You are not a defective human being because you want to do mundane tasks rather than those critically important ones.
You can find many ways of giving yourself a kick-start. Clear your work area (but don’t make it the main task of the day!). Fetch out the things you need to do the work. Promise yourself a little reward after you have accomplished a certain amount of completely on-task activity.
Sometimes, there are several ways to do a certain important task and rather than choose one, we spend for ever deciding on which one is the best. You can be sure that there are often are several ways to arrive at your goal. Most of them will be fine. Just pick one!
At the end of that day when you have ticked a few of those boxes on the really important tasks which will move you toward your goal, you will feel on top of the world. You will know that you can do it again. You can make a habit of using those simple techniques which work for you.
A Simple Technique
I am going to give you a simple technique which will help you make that start.
Take your “to do” list. Write the number 1 against the most important thing on that list, the one which will move you towards one of your main goals. Decide that you will work on it for 25 minutes and at the end of that time you will give yourself a 10 minute break.
Turn off your e-mails, switch your phone on silent and put it away. Note the time, start the task and work on it solidly until the 25 minutes is up. Stop and take that 10 min. Now go back to your work, if the task is still not complete, work on it for another 25 minutes. If the task is complete, go back to your list and pick the next most important item on it, using your overall priorities to decide. Repeat and at the end of the day you will have moved on massively with your important goal.
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