In my last two blogs, I wrote about time management techniques that I have found effective.
Shred that To Do list! encouraged you to get rid of To Do lists, and instead schedule your tasks, just as dentists schedule their appointments.
All things urgent are not necessarily important. detailed a useful decision-making matrix that Former U.S. President Eisenhower developed. I have always used this matrix to ensure I am only ever tackling important tasks.
When I consider what the driving force behind my most productive periods has been, it is ENTHUSIASM.
A lack of enthusiasm means you will be uninterested in the project and will quickly become bored with the process. You will be unlikely to go to any extra effort to ensure you are happy with the result of your work. It is easy to delay starting the project by allowing yourself to become distracted by other minor tasks, and there is a tendency to waste time.
Enthusiasm is energy and focus. It is excitement about the process. You are interested in the project, and eager to get to work on it. You easily overcome any setbacks and obstacles. When you are working on something enthusiastically, you are working from the peak of your abilities.
Enthusiasm is a mindset. It comes from you. It is like happiness. One of the important lessons we learn in life is that no-one makes you happy. Your degree of happiness is completely and solely up to you. JPPS Co-Founder Charles Kovess describes this using the Zen quote, “Before enlightenment chop wood cart water. After enlightenment, chop wood cart water.”
The etymology of ‘enthusiasm’ is most instructive: it derives from the Greek words – ‘en’, meaning ‘inside’, and ‘theos’, meaning ‘God’!
In other words, being enthusiastic is like having the mindset of God. That wouldn’t be a bad way to be most of the time, would it?
Enthusiasm and passion are different, and these differences will be the subject of a later blog, but both of them are powerful resources that are available to you to use.
You can manifest enthusiasm and inject it into your work and life every day.
- Start Early
Use the few minutes you have after the alarm goes off and before you rise to get enthusiastic. Think of what you want to tackle for the day and get excited by it. Imagine how you will feel by the end of the day, knowing you performed at your best and generated great results.
- Fake It ‘Till You Make It
If you struggle to spark your enthusiasm, fake it! If you force yourself to be enthusiastic, you will become enthusiastic.
- Do Something Physical
Changing your physiology is an effective way to shift your mindset. Go for a brisk walk, put stock away, sweep the front entrance…even do some star-jumps or have a dance! Then bounce into your office chair with a fresh mindset.
- Talk Yourself Up
Negative self-talk is the killer of all enthusiasm. Your subconscious mind believes what you tell it, so remind yourself how awesome you are. “I got this!”, “I love these types of projects”, “I always surprise myself with how successfully I manage my work.” Make sure the dominant thought you have in your mind is how effective and capable you are.
- Avoid Energy Drainers
Misery loves company and many workplaces have someone who is a bit of a complainer and whiner. Don’t engage with these team members when you are in the process of boosting your enthusiasm. Instead, gravitate to team members who really enjoy their work and life. Feed off their energy to boost yours.
No matter what your job or project is, an injection of enthusiasm will increase your productivity and your results.