Some activities that are good for us are a real drag to actually do. You know what I’m talking about. Like working in the yard, exercising, making sales calls for your business, cleaning out the garage, studying for a test, and several other just-as-exciting activities. Getting started on tasks like these can be extremely difficult. Since we don’t really want to do them, it becomes very easy to procrastinate. We may be able to get started, only to punch out well before these tasks are completed. Regardless, we are eager to put off doing these tasks as long as possible, or avoid doing them altogether.
What’s interesting though, is that all of these tasks have something in common. They make us feel good… when we’re done with them.
Take exercising, for example. We all know it’s good for us and we should be doing it. However, I’m sure we can all think of several other things we’d rather be doing than exercising, and come up with several reasons why we should skip exercising today and do it “another day”.
But here’s the thing, when we do decide to exercise and actually see it through to completion, don’t we usually feel better having completed our workout? Don’t we feel good knowing that we’ve put in the effort to cause something to happen that is good for us? We may even feel proud of our accomplishment and think, “That wasn’t so bad”.
Just this morning I needed to make some sales calls, but I didn’t feel like doing it. It’s certainly not my favorite thing to do, so I had to work really hard to keep from talking myself out of making them. I did, in fact make my calls, and when I was done, I felt GREAT! It was nice to have that big task checked off my list so early. In fact, those calls didn’t take nearly as long as I thought they would and there is possibility that they will bear fruit in the future. I’m glad I made those calls.
So what activity, that you know is beneficial, are you struggling to complete because it isn’t fun to do? Once you have this activity in mind, think about how good it would feel to actually complete it. Then, use the anticipation of that feeling to get started on that activity. Remind yourself how good it will feel when you’re finished. My guess is that, once you’re finished, you’ll feel better than you thought you would.