In general, we avoid difficult jobs by deferring them while doing lighter chores or distracting ourselves. This is reasonable since a tough activity can be intimidating or overwhelming, yet allocating our time between urgent but simple chores and difficult but vital tasks is often an expensive decision.
So, for a moment, let’s speak about difficult chores. We may have a larger effect in a fraction of the time if we can focus on them and complete them.
We avoid difficult activities because they are intimidating – loaded with ambiguity and a plethora of sub-tasks to the point of becoming overwhelming. We are also afraid of failing at them.
Here are 3 helpful tips that most people are aware of yet typically dismiss:
- Do a modest portion of the larger work. People disregard it, but they underestimate its strength. Do you need to complete a lengthy report? Just complete the first two paragraphs. It multiplies your capacity to do the difficult work a hundredfold since you’re lot more inclined to begin, and once you begin, you’re much more likely to take on the next tiny amount.
- Get into the habit of selecting and trusting. If a decision causes you to get paralyzed, you will most likely abandon the difficult activity. So don’t freeze — simply select, and believe that you made a good choice, or that you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes your way. This becomes a liberating habit because you can just select, choose, choose, and trust yourself without overthinking things. Select swiftly, move on, and repeat.
- Consider “failure” to be “learning.” When we consider the prospect of failure at something, we normally interpret it negatively – we are incompetent, foolish, and unworthy. But what if we frame it as part of the learning process, implying that it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with what we could learn? Allow this to set us free.
These tips require time to master. Begin with the first item and get into the habit of focusing on difficult things in little chunks. The number of difficult but vital chores you will begin to smash will be mind-boggling.