I took the kids on a canoe trip a few years ago…
We paddled downstream and when we got to our destination they wanted to paddle back up (just for the fun of it).
To humour them I turned the canoe around and started to paddle upstream. Of course I got no help from the back there – the kids were just dead weight, dragging their paddle in the water, hanging their legs over the side, jumping off the back and then hanging on the handle at the back and expecting me to drag them along.
Going with the flow was much easier.
It was an interesting lesson through – looking upstream, the water rushing toward me and the little trouble makers in the back jumping playing and shouting instructions at me I realised how it is often like that in life.
You try and get stuff done but the flow of life and the burdens you carry (as much as you love them) can often get in the way of achieving what you set out to achieve.
The thing is, I realised, that often all we do is look upstream.
Let me ask you this:
Let's say you;re starting your online business, what's the first thing you are most likely to do?
Make a list of all the bits and pieces you have to do to start making some money from it… right?
You make a list… then you look at it… it gives you a place to start but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.
I was talking to a mate last week who teaches people how to start an online business. One of his students was excited to have sold 3 or 4 copies of her book in the last 6 months.
I said to him surely they can do better than that – why's she so excited
He told me most people he deals with never even get to that stage – nowhere near it. To them, it's a huge achievement to have got that far.
Again – overwhelm. You look at your list, which tends to grow over time and it's like you're standing at the bottom of Mount Everest – it's all uphill before you can get to point where you can cruise.
But here's what people forget – and I believe that this is one of the most important keys to being about to take your new business to fruition…
They don't look down!
They rarely, if ever, look to see how far they've come.
Cross something off your list and it's gone, complete; forgotten about.
You move onto the next thing… but that still means you are looking uphill.
Looking back over what you've achieved is one of the best things you can do to motivate yourself.
Spending time writing a list of all the things you've done… say… for the day, or for the week can be hugely motivating.
You get a far better sense of achievement than looking at a list with half of it crossed out and a bunch of other things you've still got to do.
The latest studies show that this strategy vastly increases the chances of getting more done and being much happier and much more likely to tackle new tasks.
Companies like American Express, Mozilla, Reddit and many others are using apps like idonethis as a team management tool and are raving about the results.
“idonethis” send you an email at specified times and asks you “what have you done?”
You can look back at what you've done, but you can also share it with others, which leads into one of the most productivity-enhancing tools you could ever have… someone to be accountable to.
Finding and regularly communicating with an accountability partner is incredibly powerful for making sure you get things done.
Having an accountability partner and being able to look back (with some satisfaction) on what's you've done this week will take you a lot further than simply making up a to-do list that you never get to the bottom of.
Thanks to 8020.tips for this article