you like more energy to get more done?
this a rhetorical question?
on how much exercise I have to do.
it’s fun, count me in.
I keep a running list of 50 energy-building tips that help me get
done faster and with more fun.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
is not just about getting things done; it’s also about the
you want to leave behind when you’ve moved on to that grand hotel
the sky. It’s about eliminating resistance to doing what is difficult
to be done. It is about increasing joy while doing your tasks. It’s also
reaching for your goals and dreams, including exercising, paying
cleaning, going back to school, getting married (or remarried), or
Many of us are so busy procrastinating or fixating on the uncomfortable
stuff, we never get around to planning or living the good big
Today we’re going to focus on getting the small stuff done so when
reach Day 15 – Know What’s Important – you’ll have a sky full of
to expand the big picture of your life.
Moving past your resistance to accomplishing what you consider important
be easier than you think if you put your enthusiasm to work. Enthusiasm
“I have to” into “I want to” and “I don’t want to” into
anyway” and “It’s not fun” into “I’ll make this fun.” And
the trick is learning
to connect your enthusiasm to whatever you want to accomplish.
Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and
many people, Sandy admits that she procrastinates getting certain
done until the lastminute, or not at all. In particular, she hates paying
bills, especially reconciling credit card statements. She wants to use her
Internet bill-paying service but hasn’t had the desire to do all the
work on the computer to set it up or download the monthly statements.
thinking about my bills,” she sighs, “makes me comatose.”
When the bills come in, she puts them in a pile on top of the corner
in the kitchen next to the computer, the phone, and a dying plant
Aunt Gretchen. Her three children’s school notes, the rest of the
and the morning newspaper also reside on this desk. The cat regularly
in the morning for a little digging exercise in the plant. And
school, the children use the computer nonstop – doing homework,
games, or instant messaging with friends until their bedtime.
promises herself, “Tonight I’ll get to those bills after I put the
to bed and finish writing my report for my committee meeting
After she tucks in the children, she tells herself that she’ll get
early to finish the report because what she really wants to do tonight is
on the Internet and research her new business idea. She and a friend
to start a mentoring program that connects “latchkey” children with
grandparents” from local Senior Center residents.
Like many women, Sandy is over-committed and undersupported.
talk more about support systems and asking for help (great tools for
more done) on Day 20, but there’s another element in Sandy’s life
undermines her enthusiasm and ultimately her success – energy.
energy is depleted after her kids are in bed. There’s no creative
left just for her. She tells herself, “I think I’ll take a little
you and I call out, just like the robot cautioned the adventurous
Will in the TV show Lost
in Space (one of my favorites as a
You and I both know where this “nap” is going to lead – or at
we know. She’ll sleep straight
through the night without
I asked Rita Emmett, procrastination expert and author of The
to help Sandy stop putting off her bill-paying tasks so
could direct that resistance into enthusiasm to further her business
what Rita said:
has a case of the dreads, which slows down or stops many people
achieving their goals. So the first thing she needs to do is acknowledge
dislike for paying bills and decide to do it anyway. The pleasure
outweigh the pain when she’s finished.
A second procrastination buster is to take one hour to focus only on
task at hand and push away any distractions – nothing but cleaning
the desk, paying bills, and getting the bill-paying service set up.
will probably find it takes less than a half hour to do all that if she
tightly focused. As well, her enthusiasm for getting the job done
flow over into other aspects of her life.
A third tip is to determine if she’s a morning or evening person. If
morning person, she may need to go to bed earlier and get up earlier to
bills. If she’s an evening person, she should take her nap at lunch or
after she gets home for 20 minutes, then do her creative work later
the evening. Her kids, like most others, will adjust to reasonable time
if she is firm and consistent about setting boundaries.
Fourth, she needs to create more rewards for herself. She could use her
as a reward for keeping the bill station and desk organized.
tell herself she can’t use the Internet for anything else until she sets
the bill-payment service. Sandy has to act as her own wise parent.
Sandy is sitting – or rather sleeping – on a hidden goldmine that will
her realize her dream of opening her own business and her goal of
her finances better – her nap. Yes, her nap! Used creatively, a
easily restores energy. We’ll explore the art and power of napping on
8 – Radiating Energy. In the meantime, don’t procrastinate as you
these two questions:
one project or task do you put off that you’d like to do with
commitment and enthusiasm?
one action will you take to move that project or task
Yourself a Goal Tape to Keep Yourself on Track
sister Eileen wanted to be a nurse from the time she was a little girl.
she reached college and discovered running, she also decided she
to compete in an Ironman Triathlon – a 2.5-mile swim in
ocean, 112-mile bike ride, and 26-mile marathon completed
17 hours – by the time she reached age 40.
became a nurse at age 22 and competed in her first Ironman
at age 35. Receiving a nursing degree is a feat in itself (God bless
nurses; I opted out of nursing school when I heard bedpans and catheters
part of the program). Getting to that first Ironman is also a
To qualify for the Ironman, participants must either be selected in a
thousands of entrants or prequalify in a prior triathlon and come
first in their age group. Eileen trained daily with a friend for the year
to the race and received coaching from an exercise physiologist.
Because she didn’t win the lottery, she competed in the prequalifying
the five-hour drive to the race’s starting point, she listened to
positive goal audiotape she made for herself a month earlier. In fact,
had listened to it every day to keep herself motivated. The tape
her favorite music and a script she had written and read into a
recorder. She wrote the script in first person as if she were running
race and doing it perfectly – “I am running at my best, I overcome all
I finish first in my age group…”
I race I’m full of doubts...
who will be second, who will be third?
~ Nourreddine Morceli
She did it! Eileen qualified for the Ironman! The evening after the race I
her to ask how she did and she said, “Mary, the most incredible
happened. During that entire race, whenever I felt myself slowing
I heard the tape in the back of my mind saying, ‘You can do it. Keep
just another ten feet.’ So I did and I came in first! I can’t believe
And more amazing is that generally there are about 15 to 20 seconds
each person at the finish line. But the person who finished second
my age group was 18 minutes behind me!”
Fast-forward 12 years. Eileen has accomplished these two goals and gone
to expand them. She is now a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital
Wisconsin. She is also a volunteer women’s running coach for
Olympics and an accomplished triathlete, having completed eight
Ironman triathlons and five World Championship triathlons.
Like Eileen, you have the capacity to accomplish whatever you set out
do. Make a commitment to your goal and recommit to it on a daily
Not easy, but definitely worth it.
I’ve learned in my years
as a competitive wheelchair athlete is this
what separates a winner from the rest of the pack
is not raw talent or
instead, it is the drive and dedication
to work hard every
and the heart to go after your dream,
no matter how unattainable
think it is.
a list of five things you’ve been procrastinating about. Rate them in
of importance. Cross off #5 (this is called professionally putting off
is least important) and circle #1 (this gets you focused). Write down
things you can do to move that project or task forward. Do one
the end of the day today.
for Creating More Enthusiasm
for help. Find a friend to do your task with you. (See Day 20.)
sing, hum, or dance while you’re working. It makes your
think it’s happy.
the END method for any task – eliminate, negotiate, or delegate.
a “positive goals” tape and listen to it in the morning and
and during times when you need a burst of energy.
a list of ten small “accomplishment” rewards that can be
in five minutes or less. Choose from the list each time you
step of your task or goal.
to Ask Yourself
is your most productive time of day?
are your most productive places?
is one of your favorite daily tasks to do at home?
is one of your proudest accomplishments?
is one of your favorite ways to reward yourself?
here to buy your gift copies now and I will
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2003 Mary Marcdante