Patterns of Success: How To Become an Achiever

become an achiever
Author: Steve Pavlina

People usually succeed in the long run.

This is the pattern I see in my long-term readers. They may take a while to get moving on their goals at first. They may endure some false starts and setbacks. They may procrastinate now and then. But if a goal is important to them, such as creating passive income streams or finding a fulfilling relationship, they do eventually succeed.

Not all of them succeed of course. Some give up. Some get sucked back into social groups that influence them to fall off track. Some drift aimlessly without finding their focus.

But by and large, the people who persist do eventually succeed. If they keep working towards their goals, keep learning and growing, and stay conscious, they do make progress, and they do achieve their goals.

Here are some of the patterns I see in readers who succeed in achieving their long-term goals.

Take Goals Seriously

People who succeed take their goals seriously. They move their goals out of the realm of fantasy and turn them into practical objectives to be achieved.

One of the simplest ways to take your goals seriously is to turn them into mental pictures and movies that you can describe visually. If you can’t tell me what you’re seeing on the movie screen, it’s a safe bet that your goal is just a fuzzy fantasy.

Usually when people tell me about their goals the first time, it’s a fuzzy fantasy. They list things like: make more money, have more friends, and travel more. Does this tell you what you’re seeing on the movie screen? Nope. Is it clear if you’ve accomplished these goals or not? Nope. Do these pseudo-goals let you off the hook and pretend you’re making progress? Yup.

It’s okay to begin with a fuzzy fantasy, but don’t get stuck there. Move your goal out of the realm of fantasy, and turn it into a real-world experience. Frame your future experiences the same way you frame your past memories. Memories are events that happened. So turn your goals into similar events that can and will happen.

A real goal will eventually be achieved, and then it will become a memory. Memories involve sense perceptions, and they’re mostly visual. So if you want to set a clear goal, then describe the future memory. Traveling more or making more money isn’t a memory.

If I asked you what you did yesterday, would you say, “I made more money, had more friends, and traveled more”? If you said something like that, I’d wonder that you might have some brain damage. Don’t describe your goals like that either. State your goals and intentions like you’re describing a future memory. What are the actual events that you’d like to experience?

A memory is something like going to the top of the Eiffel Tower, enjoying the view of Paris, and taking a bunch of photos while you’re up there. That’s a goal that can be accomplished or not. It’s a goal that encourages real-world planning and action steps. It’s achievable.

Start Modestly

People who succeed tend to begin with modest goals and build up to larger goals when they get some success going. Those who fail often bite off more than they can chew.

For instance, instead of trying to earn $10,000 per month immediately, successful people usually start with a modest goal like creating a passive income stream of $100 per month. They work on that goal first and do what it takes to achieve it. Then they can apply what they learned to parlay that small success into a bigger success.

The failure stories often inject neediness into their goals. I get emails from such people frantically telling me how they need to make an extra $1000 to $3000 this month in order to pay their rent or bills. In 12+ years of blogging, I can’t recall a single case of one of these people ever emailing me back to say that they succeeded.

Neediness will only get in your way, create extra stress, and delay real progress. If you need to let the old world collapse while you work on your long-term goals at a realistic and intelligent pace, so be it.

Bite off a modest piece of your goal, work on it, and achieve it. This will do more to move you towards a long-term pattern of success than frantic scrambling.

Have Compassion for Your Future Self

Have some compassion for your future self. At some point you’re going to be 5, 10, or 20 years older, and that future you will have to endure the consequences of what you’re creating now. If you’re wallowing in neediness or drifting aimlessly, you’re sentencing your future self to a crappy outcome, and that future you may blame you for it.

Instead of screwing over your future self, take a more sensible and compassionate approach. Work to create a better reality for your future self. That future self is going to be you someday.

People who succeed look to give their future selves an edge. They seek to put themselves in a more advantaged position down the road. They make small sacrifices today to alleviate stress and enjoy more fulfillment tomorrow.

Don’t Go Dark

Almost everyone goes dark at some point, sinking into aimless drifting for a while and losing sight of their goals. Those who succeed tend to bounce back quickly though. They recognize when they’re going dark and even give themselves permission to temporarily wallow in this state if they need a break. They know they’ll get back to working on their goals soon enough.

Those who don’t succeed tend to spend a lot of time drifting unconsciously. For such people the experience of setting and working on goal is just a temporary blip against a background of aimlessness. The lights go on occasionally when they get a burst of inspiration (usually from an external source), but most of the time, the lights stay off.

Those who succeed keep the lights on most of the time. They do their best to stay conscious. They keep moving the needle forward, little by little, tackling one small milestone at a time. They aren’t so easily discouraged by setbacks.

Be Flexible

People who get sidetracked often have a very rigid approach to success. When their initial plans don’t work in the real world, they keep repeating the same ineffective strategies, stubbornly expecting that something new will happen each time.

Those who succeed understand and accept that their initial plans may not work. Each failure becomes a learning experience. Successful people surrender their ineffective approaches, so they can pivot towards new possible solutions.

Those who fail usually explore very little of the solution space. They hide out in a comfortable corner where there are few results to be had. Those who succeed almost invariably explore more of the solution space. Even after they get some success going, they keep exploring to further optimize their approaches, especially to improve overall lifestyle balance.

Embrace the Growth Journey

It usually takes people longer than they expect to achieve their goals, regardless of what types of goals they set. When we set a goal, we can’t accurately envision all the micro-steps it will take to achieve it. We oversimplify the journey. We overlook many details, and those details will take time.

People who give up often succumb to impatience. They go dark when the path becomes longer than expected, even if they were making modest progress. Sometimes they pressure themselves to meet unreasonable deadlines and then burn out after a while.

Those who succeed may succumb to the previous pattern too, but eventually they get past it. These people progress to a more mature, more balanced, and less frantic approach to growth and achievement. Short-term scrambling gives way to long-term patience.

The key is to embrace the overall growth journey. See the benefits not just in the goal to be achieved but in the person you’re becoming along the way. The inner benefits are more secure anyway. You can strip a growth-oriented person of their external accomplishments and resources, and their well-developed inner resources will help them bounce back to their previous position and beyond.

Discover What Works and Repeat

Successful people sometimes find just one or two patterns that work, and then they repeat. For instance, they may create a $100 passive income stream and then repeat the process dozens or hundreds of times. They also refine the process as they go along, so each stream may be 10x more effective after a few years of refinement.

Earlier this year I met a guy who keeps renting more apartments in different cities and turning them into AirBnB properties for a profit. He reinvests the profits in securing more properties to create more revenue streams. I believe he expects to make seven figures from his operation this year, and he gains the added bonus of being able to stay in any of his properties for free when he travels.

* * *

Every month I meet new readers in person and hear their stories, especially with respect to the goals they’ve set, the lessons they’ve learned, and the pivots they’ve made. One thing is clear: In the long run, people usually do achieve their goals if they persist, stay flexible, and don’t give up. The biggest challenge for most people is persisting long enough to win the mental game.

4 Tips to Make Better Time Estimates and Get Things Done in Record Time

make accurate time estimates
Do you ever plan for a task to take an hour, but it takes four hours? Or maybe you allotted an hour to finish a job that only took 10 minutes.

Estimating the amount of time a task will take can be very important, especially at work. How can you get better at making time estimates?

Like anything else, there are several ways to improve. Use these four tips and you’ll be well on your way to mastering your time.

  1. Measure where you are right now. Start by estimating how long you think it will take you to complete various tasks every day. Then record how long it actually takes. Finally, to get your “time factor,” or how much difference there was between the two, divide your estimate by the actual amount of time used.
  • Say you decide to change the oil in your car. You believe that the oil change will take 45 minutes, but it requires 60 minutes. Your time factor would be 1.33 (the task took you 33% longer than planned).
  • You’re likely to see a wide variety of time factors. But if you total everything over a week (such as 55 hours actual versus 38 hours planned), you’re likely to see similar time factor numbers from week to week.
  • You can then apply that time factor to large groups of tasks, such as all those you’d do in a day or a week. And although your time factor won’t be accurate for single tasks, it does provide a good starting point. You get a better idea of whether you usually overestimate or underestimate time.
  1. Recognize the level of detail. Break down tasks to appropriate levels. Tasks that are too big will result in overlooking too many details, which each take time. On the other hand, if you break things down too far, you’ll get swallowed up in the minutiae. Experience and practice will help you determine an accurate level of detail.
  • For more accurate estimating, avoid letting your blocks of time be too big. For most people, a task that takes one to two hours is about right. Also keep in mind that if you’re off by 25% for a one-hour task, you’re only 15 minutes off your schedule. If you’re off by 25% for an 8-hour task, you’re 2 hours off schedule.
  1. Set specific goals. If you can’t be certain of the point at which the task is complete, you can’t expect to make a good time estimate.
  • Some examples:

“Make sales calls.” – Too non-specific.
 “Make five sales calls.” – Now you’re very clear about when the task is complete.

  • One trick to know you’re on the right track: you should be able to easily verbalize the first and last actions that need to be taken. If you know exactly how to start and how to finish, you’ll know exactly when you’ve completed the task.
  • Remember to include any clean-up time. It might only take you 15 minutes to change the oil in your car, but what about putting everything away, disposing of the used oil, and washing up?
  1. Keep track of past results. If you vacuumed the entire house last week and it took 72 minutes, then that’s probably a pretty good estimate to use the next time you do it. Much of our lives consist of tasks that we do over and over. If you measure yourself, you can use that information in the future.
  • Having this information also makes it a lot easier to plan for the day. You’ll be far less likely to over-plan or under-plan.

Making more accurate time estimates is a valuable skill. With this skill, you can be much more productive and reliable. Plus, your boss will be thrilled if you start getting everything done when you claim it will be done! Although effective time management takes some practice, it’s certainly worth the effort.

How To Change Your Life in 30 Days: A Process That Really Works

30 Day Challege to Change Your Life

Significantly changing your life in 30 days really is possible, although not always easy. But even though this adventure is often a big challenge, the payoffs can be enormous.

 

We’ve all taken on challenges of one sort or another for 30 days. Maybe you tried a diet or an exercise program. Perhaps you decided to give up TV for 30 days. Even if you didn’t stick with the program long-term, the results were great, weren’t they? Now imagine if you expanded that idea to incorporate many areas of your life.

 

This program includes implementing several 30-day challenges simultaneously. You can use these suggestions or develop your own. Try creating a 30-day challenge from each category, and see where your new adventures lead you.

  1. Adjust your finances. Making more money or spending less is always a good financial theme. Alternatively, you might try balancing your accounts each day.
  2. Kick start your physical health. Diet, exercise, or combinations of both are great places to start. You could begin with something as simple as the doing the 20-minute yoga program that’s on TV every morning or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  3. Eliminate a time waster. Think about the amount of time you spend watching TV, surfing the Internet, window-shopping, playing video games, or lurking on Facebook. We all know the activities we tend to engage in when we’re bored or trying to avoid dealing with life’s challenges. Try getting rid of just one, and see how much more time you have!
  4. Add in another positive activity. Come up with something more enriching or satisfying than the time waster you’re eliminating. Maybe reading or taking a class would be in order. Perhaps you’ll spend all your newly found time playing a musical instrument.

 

  1. Commit to something else that appeals to you. Perhaps checking your email only 3 times a week or going to bed by 11:00 every night would be a beneficial habit you’d enjoy.

Tips for Success in Your Program

 

Now that you have some idea of changes you might want to make, how can you stick to them?

 

Try these simple but effective ideas:

 

  1. Get enough sleep. If you set a challenge of cutting two hours of sleep each night (or even just one hour!), it’s going to make everything else more difficult. Regardless of whatever time-related goals you may set, allow yourself the 7-8 hours a night that you deserve.

 

  1. Set goals that you can do daily, seven days a week. Creating a new habit with an activity you only do 3 times a week is often much harder. Try to keep all new activities limited to ones you can do every day.
  2. Prepare ahead of time. Have everything you need in advance. Eliminate anything that might get in the way. For example, if you’re trying to follow a specific diet, buy the food you’ll need beforehand and get rid of food you want to avoid. You can’t break down and eat that bag of chips if there aren’t any chips in the house!
  3. Plan on social support. Tell your goals to your friends or family members that will support you in your efforts. Be careful in whom you confide. Changing is a challenge in itself. Success is harder if others are making unsupportive comments.

 

Trying to change several aspects of your life simultaneously may require other changes as well, depending on your chosen goals. All of our behaviors tend to interact with other behaviors, which can make changing any of them a demanding task.

 

For example, if you give up TV and junk food, and those are your main coping mechanisms for life’s challenges, you’re going to have to deal with your negative feelings a new way. Or better yet, you can face your concerns head-on. The distractions you’re used to falling back on may have just been ways to avoid the issues at hand.

To work this program, choose the 30-day challenges you can implement and get started. Remember to adequately prepare. If you can create several new positive habits and get rid of a few bad ones, your life will change dramatically for the better.

Surefire Strategies to Follow Through With Your Intentions

take action on intentions

All throughout your life you’ve intended to do lots of things. You might have intended to go into a certain line of work, live in a certain area, or become involved in certain hobbies and activities. But everyday life just kind of intervened, distracted, occupied and prevented you from doing what you’d always thought you would do.

And you still haven’t done most of those things. You are still here wishing that you could fulfill some of those desires and accomplish goals that you had since long time ago. Many of these might even come up during conversation with your friends and family from time to time. And you always keep saying, “I’ve always wanted to this or that”, “wish I could do that”.

So, how can you stop talking and start doing what you intend to do? What does it take to follow through with your intentions?

These action strategies can help inspire you to begin fulfilling your life’s dreams:

  1. Pick your top 3 intentions/goals that you want to accomplish. Cutting down the number of goals to a minimum will help you accomplish these goals. Select those that are the most important for you.
  2. Stay focused on those top 3 goals and don’t allow any distractions or anything else to get in the way of accomplishing them. As you focus, you’ll keep those goals on your mind every single day. You might say you’ll eat, sleep, and drink with those few goals.
  3. Break each goal up into “chunks.” Divide it up into smaller mini-goals and enjoy one success after another as you attain these smaller goals and get closer to achieving your end goal. Breaking up each goal into do-able chunks will galvanize you to get started working toward the goal one bit at a time.
  • For example, if one of your goals is to travel to Japan, what is every aspect of the trip you must plan for? Your mini-goals might include setting a date, gathering finances, deciding where all you’ll go and what you want to do when you get there, and more.
  1. Commit yourself to do something that moves you closer toward each of your 3 goals every single day. For example, rather than spend 2 hours in the evening playing on your electronic tablet, spend one of those hours working towards one of your mini-goals.
  2. Be flexible. If focusing on 3 of your desires at once is too difficult for you to work toward, then choose just one at a time and work on it until you accomplish the goal. Also, be willing to switch from moving one goal ahead to working on another if you get stuck.
  3. Change your language. Rather than continuing to state you “always wanted to do” something, state what you’ve done recently to work toward accomplishing your goal. Use your discussions and language to remind yourself and others of what your intentions are. Now your talk and your actions are both consistent with attaining your goal.
  • For example, if you’ve always wanted to learn Tai Chi, tell what you’ve done to check into it. “I called the Y the other day to find out when the Tai Chi class starts and how much it costs.” What a thrill it will be when your next conversation includes, “At my Tai Chi class the other day…”

Imagine how wonderful it would be to start actively working on you dreams desires and goals and how good it would feel to accomplish them. You can start doing what you’ve always wanted to do and live the kind of life you’ve always wanted to live. There’s nothing stopping you. You’ve all the resources within your reach to start working towards achieving your goals. Choose right now to start doing what you’ve always intended to do and move a step closer towards your dreams.

Top Strategies to Enhance Your Quality of Life

tips to uplift the quality of life
Although life can have challenging and heartbreaking moments, it can still be pretty great. While you’re working your way through the struggles, what can you do to ensure you live a high quality existence?

Try these strategies to enhance the quality of your life:

  1. Take your time. Have you ever felt so rushed that you couldn’t stop to enjoy the moment? Allow yourself a proper period of time to complete a task.
  • You’ll discover you’re breathing more deeply when you allow yourself the time required to enjoy the moment.
  1. Concentrate on living consciously. Living in the moment helps you stay connected to what you’re doing. If you’re washing the windows, do the best job you can. If you’re repairing your lawn mower, stay on task.
  • Truly experiencing each moment helps make your life more fulfilling.
  1. Spend time doing what you love. Take that morning walk you treasure, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Figure out ways to find an hour a day to work on your favorite hobby. When you do what you love, you feel content.
  2. Put aside time to spend with loved ones. How and with whom we spend our time expresses to the world the things that are most important to us. If you cherish someone, spend time with them to show you care. Plan to do something you both love.
  3. Approach your social life with honesty. If you are spending time with people who you don’t enjoy being around, then it’s time to make a change.
  • Consider your routine social activities. Are they enjoyable? Do you care about those you’re socializing with?
  • Alter your social calendar to include more desirable social activities. Recognize that you can choose to socialize with those who are more interesting and bring you happiness.
  1. Make money doing what you love. Develop a deep passion for your work to enhance the quality of your life. If you can get paid while doing something that brings you happiness and keeps your interest, then you are certainly on the right track. It’s like icing on the cake!
  1. Decorate your home to reflect your personality. Think about what brings you inner peace. Whether you believe your home is your castle or your cave, it should truly represent you.
  • It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to ensure your home is reflective of all you adore in life.
  • If you love the color blue because it reminds you of the ocean, paint your living room in that hue and decorate with seashells. Hang photographs of a sandy beach or a lighthouse.
  • When you can open you door upon arriving home and say, “Ah, it’s so good to be home,” you’ll recognize your high quality life.

Thankfully, you can live whatever type of life you choose. Applying these strategies to your life will ensure that you find quality, peace, and comfort. That wonderful life you desire can be yours, starting right now.

3 Steps to Bounce Back from Disappointment

become resilient

Disappointment is a consistent part of life. Very rarely do things always go as you want them to. Even so, you’d likely prefer to avoid having to deal with it. It puts you in a sour mood and ruins your motivation

It’s easy to let your disappointments crush your spirit, but the good news is that you don’t have to! It’s possible to recover from disappointment and be in a much better place afterwards.

Find it easier to cope, learn, and grow from disappointment with this 3-step process:

  1. Identify the lesson learned. Despite how rotten you’re feeling, this is the first and most important step. Force yourself to identify the lesson in your disappointment. What can you take away from every unfavorable situation?
  • If you’re strong enough, take some time and reflect on the situation. Be honest with yourself and try to find the lesson.
  • Sometimes this step involves talking to someone else. Choose somebody you trust to confide in. Relay the details of the disappointing situation and ask for feedback.
  • In most cases, a neutral person can help you see things that your emotions are blocking. Just be ready to accept their point of view.
  1. Release your emotions. When you’re facing disappointment, it’s okay to bring your emotions to the fore. The best way to get over the hurt of disappointment is to confront it.
  • Maybe you’re a crier, maybe you’re not. Either way, it’s okay to let go for a while. It helps to release the negative energy that’s keeping you from moving on.
  • Talk it out. In many cases, healing begins when you express your feelings. The listener doesn’t need to have a response. It’s quite enough to allow you to just talk.
  • Sometimes it helps to extend a hand to someone else who’s suffering. You can easily turn your own negative energy into positive energy this way. There’s no greater feeling than seeing someone’s darkness turn to light.
  1. Reflect on past successes. This achievement passing you by doesn’t discount past successes! Remember that there was life before this particular disappointment. There’s so much more that you can be happy about.
  • Have there been times when you felt tremendous pride? Think back to those times. Remind yourself what a star you are!
  • Memories are helpful in getting you out of the rut. When you look back at the positive times in your life, you’ll start to feel motivated to persevere.
  • Are there people you shared past successes with? Call them up and reminisce on those experiences. Sometimes a familiar voice can help to ease the hurt. It certainly helps in re-strengthening your self-confidence.

After a great disappointment, life goes on, and so will you if you allow yourself to. Pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off, and move on. Start along your next path to success.

What’s important is what you’re able to take away from it. Remember to look at each situation as a learning experience. The more you learn, the better equipped you become to handle future challenges. Good luck!

Secret of “The Secret”: Making The Law of Attraction Work For You

make the law of attraction work for you
Perhaps you’re familiar with the book and the movie, The Secret, which is basically about the law of attraction. If you’ve tried the book’s recommendations on LOA, but didn’t have great results, that doesn’t mean that the book is without merit. To benefit from it, it’s important to understand what it actually provides you.

Who The Secret Automatically Works For:

Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to win all the time? Whether they’re vying for a promotion or competing in the weight loss challenge at work, they always seem to come out ahead. For these people, The Secret, Law of Attraction works great automatically. Why is this?

These people are very good at taking action and don’t have a lot of mental garbage in their way. Mere visualization is enough to get them charging full-steam ahead, and they can’t be stopped once they start.

For the Rest of Us:

If you don’t fall into the “automatic” category above, you may want to take some extra steps to enable the strategies in The Secret work for you.

Imagine you decide you want to lose 50 lbs. When you think about losing that weight, you’re probably torn. On the one hand, it would be great to be so much lighter. You know you’d look better and feel better. You’re sure you’d be healthier too.

On the other hand, you feel a sense of dread. You think about how you’re going to be hungry and probably have to eat stuff you don’t really like. You agonize over all the other times you’ve tried to diet and it hasn’t worked out. You can’t stand exercise, and health food just doesn’t taste good!

Does that sound like you? If so, you’re not alone. Most of us go through this inner conflict when contemplating making major changes.

If your goal doesn’t make you feel 100% positive, you’ll have challenges achieving it without a tremendous amount of motivation and willpower.

So your strategy should start with identifying your beliefs that are stopping you and work on replacing them with thoughts that better serve you. This will help you clarify your goal into one that is 100% in line with what you really want.

You can use visualizing as a tool with this step, too. Keep tweaking your goal until you feel great – through and through – when you imagine it. Then you’ll be ready to take advantage of the power of The Secret.

Make The Law of Attraction Work for You

Outside of The Secret, one common exercise you may have heard of is manifesting a blue feather. You’re supposed to simply go about your day with the intention of bringing a blue feather into your life within 48 hours to a week, depending on who gives you the exercise.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons.

Have you ever purchased a car, and then noticed that car everywhere? It never fails. You go out and buy a used Jeep Cherokee, and suddenly it’s as if the whole world has bought one too. You see them parked on your street. You notice one at every stoplight.

This is your reticular activating system (RAS) at work. Each day, you’re exposed to so many stimuli that you can’t pay attention to all of it. Your RAS decides what’s important enough to bring to your attention and what can be allowed to slide by unnoticed.

This is why you suddenly see your new car everywhere – it’s not because you created a bunch of Jeep Cherokees all over the place. The feather exercise is the same idea. If you’re focused on finding a blue feather, you’re sure to notice one when one actually comes into your life.

In the same way, abundance and the path to your other goals are already here. There’s nothing magical about it. You just pay attention.

So here is what The Secret really gives you: It focuses your attention so you can spot situations that are conducive to helping you achieve your goals. The visualizing you learn in The Secret will attune your mind to moving you toward your goal – or manifesting your desires.

Then, however, your responsibility is to follow through on those opportunities. Being 100% aligned with your goal helps you follow through with conviction.

With a little practice, you will work magic in your life. And your well-deserved dreams will be at your fingertips.

Being Comfortable With Your Achievements and Increasing Your Self Esteem

tips to increase self esteem
Everyone wants to be the best at what they do regardless of what that activity might be. You’ve likely had experiences when you felt disappointed about your performance or actions.

Perhaps you felt you missed the mark or wished you would’ve done better. Yet, if you spend too much time beating yourself up, you’ll probably miss other opportunities to soar. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to move on and see how you do in the next trying situation.

Although it’s important to reach for the stars, it’s also necessary to be comfortable with your level of achievement.

Apply these strategies to learn to accept your performance level:

  1. Know yourself. When you know what’s important to you, you can better make the connection between how badly you want something and how hard you’re willing to work in order to achieve it.
  • Understanding what motivates you is another aspect of knowing yourself. It might be verbal recognition, money, or even love.
  1. Reflect on a situation in which you showed high achievement. For example, if you worked on a project last year and your boss gave you specific feedback about what you did that he really liked, you can reach back to those moments to remind yourself of your real accomplishments. You know for certain that you can achieve.
  2. Recognize your limits. We all have limits in specific areas of our lives. For example, maybe math has consistently been a tough subject for you. So, if a specific project includes a lot of math, it makes it easier on you to be realistic about your ability to achieve with the project.
  3. Obtain training. Perhaps a particular talent or skill eludes you. If it’s important for you to do better, figure out a way to learn more about topic or skill.
  • When you study or complete training, you’re increasing your chances of achieving success.
  1. Realize you’ll have other times to shine. There will be times when you wish that you would have done better. Remind yourself that you’ve done well before and will do so again.
  • Take the time to survey the recent events and try to learn from them. What are the reasons that you missed the mark?
  • Could your level of effort be the issue or is it simply that this particular activity wasn’t your forte? File that information away for future reference.
  1. Strive to achieve because you want to. When you can truly connect with the feeling inside that you want to perform your best, you’ll find yourself putting forth greater effort. In addition, when it’s all over, you’ll discover that you’re feeling more confident and more accepting of your achievement.
  • After all, when you see that you endeavored to do your best, you’ll be more comfortable with the results, regardless of what they are.
  1. Spend time doing what you want. Ask yourself if you’re spending time doing the activities you truly love.
  • When we spend more time doing what we enjoy, we put our hearts and souls into whatever we’re working on.
  • Strengthen your motivation to achieve by staying involved with activities, people, and work projects that have elements you love.

Getting comfortable with your level of achievement will enrich your life. You’ll feel more optimistic. Plus, you’ll aspire to accomplish even more. Rediscover your passion for life because when you do, you’ll be more accepting of your level of achievement.

Overcome Procrastination With Mini-Tasks

become more productive
Do you ever procrastinate? Would you like to put a stop to this time-wasting habit? You can make progress today by breaking your to-do list into mini-tasks.

Here’s how it works:

A mini-task is a task that is so small you couldn’t make it any smaller without being silly about it. Calling a supplier to ask a specific question would be a good example of a mini-task. In general, mini-tasks take 15 minutes or less to accomplish.

This time management technique addresses one of the most common causes of procrastination on larger projects: uncertainty about where to get started. For example, writing a book is a sequence of achievable tasks, but people frequently have a difficult time even getting started on such a seemingly huge project.

Ideally, you’d plan the entire process from beginning to end. This may not always be possible; some projects have too much uncertainty to be able to predict the entire process from the beginning. But you could still develop a task list for as far as you’re able to see. At some point, you’ll be able to see further down the path and can develop new mini-tasks.

Let’s use a simple example: holiday shopping. Here’s a sample of what your mini-task list might look like:

  1. Make a budget for all holiday shopping.
  2. Make a list of everyone to shop for.
  3. Decide which stores would be best for each item.
  4. Organize all items by store so I only have to go to each store one time.
  5. Develop a shopping schedule.
  6. On 12/1 I will go to Wal-Mart and Best Buy and purchase those items.
  7. On 12/8 I will go to the mall and get all the applicable items on the list.

Driving to the store and shopping will likely take more than 15 minutes, so you’re welcome to break down the tasks as much as you like.

A good rule of is that if the thought of completing the task fills you with dread, you might feel less daunted if you break your process down into smaller tasks.

More Benefits of Mini-Task Lists

A list of mini-tasks is like a recipe; all you have to do is move down the list. When you get to the end, you’re done. None of the tasks should take a lot of time or be so complex that you’re hesitant to complete the step.

An added benefit of making such a list is that you’ll have an excellent idea of how long the overall project will take. Assigning an accurate time estimate without having really considered all the tasks involved can feel challenging.

Making a list of mini-tasks can also be an effective way to plan your day. Even if you don’t think this will work for you, give it a try for a few days and see.

The evening before, make a list of all the tasks you need to do for the following day. This likely means a list of 50 or so items. This might very well be overkill, but try it anyway. You can always scale back as needed. If you often feel like you never get anything done, this might be a great tool to apply daily.

Mini-tasks are a viable way of completing large or complex projects.

By breaking everything down into simple, small, and manageable components, you’re much less likely to procrastinate. For a lot of people, this is a very effective way to consistently get a lot done. Try mini-tasking instead of multi-tasking and watch your efficiency soar!