Yesterday I had an incredible insight into how to become great and love life. I know that sounds incredibly lofty and intense, but stay with me here. I figured this out while shoveling snow! What I figured out while doing this manual labor I instantly translated into the other aspects of my life. Use this simple technique and you can dominate any area you are struggling with.
Make a goal you know you can accomplish in the next couple hours, commit fully to doing that and only that, don’t stop until the task is completed.
Last week I was in Delaware at my girlfriend’s house. It happened to snow about 10 inches the night before and before stopping, started to sleet/rain. This makes the snow wet and heavy, and if you don’t get it out of the way before dark, it turns into ice and you are stuck. My girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend (who happens to be the man) cleared off his car and his spot early on. After I finally woke up he told me I was stuck and everything was freezing. I got up and got ready, went outside and saw a rediculous amount of snow waiting for me.
I started to shovel my car out and multiple times while doing so I was thinking about going inside to get warm again. I was also thinking about just stopping and waiting until the next day to get my car out. Then something snapped inside of me and I said to myself, “fuck it, I’m doing the whole driveway.” I decided right then and there to not stop until not only my car was out, but also my girlfriend’s sister’s as well, along with the rest of the snow on the driveway.
I went into beast mode and started shoveling like a champion. This snow was wet and heavy, and I had to move it so that it wasn’t in the way of the neighbor’s house, which meant picking up the snow and carrying it to a pile a good distance away. I finally finished after about an hour later. I was cold, tired, and worn out from carrying so much snow. I also got such a rush from doing the whole job that I immediately went inside, raised my hands, and just yelled, “we’re going clubbing!”
The point of all this is that I felt incredible after committing to something and not stopping until the task was done. The implications to this are easy to understand. If you set out to do something, just set a task and don’t stop or get interrupted until you are finished. Really strive to not stop until you are finished and you’ll feel so much better.
Happiness comes from doing your work, striving to become better, and creating, not from relaxation. Stop distracting yourself and get the work done.
Are you starting a blog? Then give yourself an hour, and sit down and pump out that next blog post for the day.
Doing SEO? Grab a coffee, and give yourself an hour of outreach work. Just sit down and do it and you’ll feel so much better.
Freelance work your game? Find a list of contacts and email your pitches to the right people. Focus on how much work you will get in return for an hour of gathering data on potential clients.
This really applies to anything. The name of the game is an intense desire to complete the work before you do anything else. Think of it this way, if you can’t even get a task done before getting distracted, how will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror?
The hardest part of doing important but tedious tasks is starting. With that in mind, you want to limit your exposure to having to start by just getting going without much thought.
Consider that every time you stop, you’ll have to start again, which like we just discussed is the hardest part. So to limit having to start again, just don’t stop once you start in the first place. This works best with small achievable goals that can be done in an hour or so. If you find your tasks that you are assigning yourself are too big, just break them up into smaller tasks. Obviously if you are writing a novel it may be a good idea to stop before writing the whole book. So just break the task up, in this case into chapters or sub chapters to complete.
This is the formula to actually completing a long term goal that seems impossible. Add up short term goals that you complete every day until it turns into a long term goal completed.
So to sum up:
-Figure out a task to complete that you can do in about an hour’s time.
-Sit down and do it.
-Strive to complete the task without distraction.
-Commit to not doing anything else before the task is completed