Isn’t being successful about consistency, commitment, and canceling all social plans to meet deadlines?
For years, this was my mindset and my methodology. I would work 24/7 and pray that all the long hours would somehow pay off or give me enough time to catch 3 hours of sleep between the chaos.
But after almost killing my social life and sanity, I finally learned the key to success–and realized that I was a big part of the problem.
Things needed to change–including some of my habits.
Like many of you, I love to be organized. And being precise has paid off in amazing ways. It’s helped me accomplish a lot in my life.
I’ve traveled around the world, pretended to be Hermione Granger when I presented my PechaKucha at Christ Church, and completed a doctorate that’s built up my library with endless books. Being a perfectionist has its pros, but it also has its cons.
When I graduated, I was still stuck on the treadmill. I was running with all my strength, but I wasn’t going anywhere. And in many ways, my busyness was keeping me from being successful.
There’s something euphoric about cleaning out your email inbox, arranging your sock drawer with labels, or giving one-hundred percent to everything you do. But emotions can be tricky. Just because it feels good, doesn’t mean it is a positive choice.
If you’re tired of balancing multiple plates up in the air, check out these three tips. It’s not easy to change, but if you’re willing to shift your mindset a bit, you’ll be able to change your trajectory and reach your goals.
Here are the three habits that I adopted that made a lot of the difference.
I Stopped Multitasking
There’s a HUGE difference between working smart and working hard.
When I stopped trying to balance it all, I had more time to live balanced.
Each month had a theme and the weeks and days within the timeframe served to meet the same goal.
I didn’t try to throw all my plates up in the air. I stacked them one-by-one and made it through without having to purchase more dinnerware.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, you can get everything done without having to wear multiple hats. If anything, you can actually accomplish more on your list because you have the dedicated space to prepare, make mistakes, and produce results without being hurried.
Multitasking is dangerous. It ruins your ability to meet your objectives and actually be successful.
If you’re willing to sort through your list and break it down into manageable segments, you’ll have more freedom to accomplish your goals and achieve success. You’ll also have the ability to enjoy the journey to the destination.
I Threw Out My Task List
I have a love/hate relationship with task lists.
Covering my planner with highlighted bright yellow lines is like painting a new design on an old canvas. Even crossing off simplistic daily rituals feels like I’m conquering the world. But is feeding Fido really leading me to your quarterly goals? Not really.
Yes. It feels great to see so much finished each day, but there’s a huge difference between detailed journaling and intentional scheduling.
Look, I’m not knocking planners or trying to convince you to cancel your Asana account. But, I do want to challenge you to answer this question:
1) Is your task list keeping you safe or bringing you closer to success?
Task lists are safe. They keep you protected from failure because they keep you from moving forward.
If you want to succeed, you need to get to work and stop crossing off lists. It’s not about filling in your planner, but living your life and achieving your goals. That can only happen when you put down the highlighter and take action. It’s a risk. But it’s one you have to take.
I Started Working Towards Failure
The majority of us avoid failure. We do everything we can to overprepare, detail our every move, and dodge the traps of distraction.
When I stopped making lists, multitasking, and playing it safe, I realized that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to be willing to fail.
It was scary to venture out and purposely try to crash and burn. Think about it, how many of us genuinely wake up each morning hoping that someone stomps all over our dreams? I doubt that many of us would raise our hand.
You will never get to your goals unless you’re willing to journey through a lot of disappointment.
If you’re willing to change your habits and shift your mindset, I can guarantee you that you’ll be successful. But you might have a few bumps and bruises along the way and a few failures that brought you to your destination.
As a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Leadership Strategist, Dr. Colleen Batchelder helps leaders create companies where Millennials want to work. Her doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives gives her an added edge because she approaches generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens. Connect with Dr. Batchelder on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.