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In this article, I’m going to reveal a brain secret to help you crush it!
We’ve all been there, trying to tackle a mammoth task and feeling overwhelmed while we try to make sense of it… Then failing to start because it all looks to hard and we can’t find the motivation to move.
The problem is that the longer you avoid it, the more heads that monster sprouts.
Well, at least that is how it feels.
But don’t lose hope because, there is a quick way to get started, build momentum and crush it.
It’s all to do with your brain chemistry and breaking down tasks.
Science tells us that every time you finish something you get a little dopamine surge, which is the body’s natural reward for having finished. When you get this surge, you feel good and have a natural inclination to take more action.
So, if you have a big project that’s very daunting and you’re having a hard time tackling it, the best way to get started is to advantage of your own brain chemistry.
Break up what your doing into smaller pieces, so every time you finish one, you get that feel good dopamine surge that you want that will spur you on to take more action and keep you moving forward.
Of course once you’re going its easier to keep going. But what about get this process started?
Now, you can ask yourself all kinds of questions, and plan things out in detail but this can also lead to procrastination. Because planning is not doing and without actually completing any steps you won’t get the dopamine surge that will keep you moving and onto more success.
So rather than begin with planning just get the ball by using these 3 simple steps I use to crush mammoth tasks:
I find this a great question to ask myself.
This helps me, remove overwhelm and gets my brain looking at a much small problem where I can easily find an answer
But the key to this question, is to add ‘NOW’… as the action needs to be something you can do immediately.
"What is the smallest thing I can do NOW to move this task forward?
I’ll tell you why this is important at step 3.
This is really important because it’s not just about clarity or adding something to your to do list.
By writing it down, you have the ability to cross it off when complete and that creates a better trigger for your brain, increasing satisfaction and giving you greater motivation to move forward.
So the reason NOW is added back in step ones question is because you need to identify something you can do immediately.
I think we’ve all had the experience of thinking too long about something and that just makes it harder to start.
Resistance in our minds tends to build up the more, the longer you think about it. By taking immediate action you circumvent your brains opportunity to resist.
And as an added tip, this is something I do myself and find effective… I play a little game.
Where I know I am likely to really resist a task, not only will I take action immediately but I see how quickly I can get it done. I find when I play this speed game I can only focus on the task and cannot be thinking up reasons why I shouldn’t get started.
Now, you want to challenge yourself to speed up but not too fast that you do a bad job! I find adding the challenge of speed is a great way to keep my brain away from any negative or derailing thoughts.
Once you’re done, cross off the action taken where you wrote it down, and let your brain do the rest. You will be pleasantly surprised how good you’ll feel.
And in that feel good mode, that’s the perfect time to start planning the rest of what you need to do. Don’t forget to break down each step small enough to get that regular hit of good feelings.
This is a really simple but effective technique that you can use straight away.
So, if you have a big project you’re having a hard time with, break it up into smaller chunks and be rewarded by your brains natural chemistry.
Listen to the podcast version on the run - available on:
Andrew is a strategist, career performance expert and mindset master. A qualified Chartered Accountant and former CFO, he has a variety of experience in top 100 corporates, professional services and building businesses. His passion is ‘results driven education’ and maximising experiential learning to rapidly develop individuals for real results.
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