Just Touch It! A Productivity Hack from Marina Darlow

With thanks to productivity expert Marina Darlow.  A simple reminder, but one we often forget:
When we procrastinate, sometimes the hardest thing is to start.

A good friend and an ADHD Coach Jennie Friedman teaches this fun and useful strategy. It’s called:
Just touch it!

You had to pay bills three weeks ago, but the dishes, the new article, that microscopic spot on your nose felt way more urgent? Just touch it! “It” being your favorite Bill Pay app, or the top of that stack of paperwork, shooting you resentful looks from the coffee table. Paying an Everest of bills is understandably scary. Touching the top envelop? Do-able.

Packing your entire house for a move? – God-awful. Can you touch that a flat cardboard box for me? Of course you can. And just like that you fold and tape it. And then put a few books in it. See how you get into flow?

This Just-touch-It hack is no less effective for work-related tasks.

Making outreach calls can be paralyzing. But if you just touch. your. phone – your brain will slide more naturally into making that first call. And then maybe the second.

Writing a book? Forget it. Even writing a chapter is daunting. But just-touching a mouse, double-clicking and writing a few characters of abracadabra is… silly. Way to gain momentum!

I could get into a lengthy scientific explanation why “Just Touch It” works, but it’s beautiful outside, so here’s the TL;DR version: When you touch something, you crush the barrier to start telling your brain “I’m in the middle of this task, catch up!” And your brain dutifully begins working at solving the problem at hand.

(If you want more detailed information on the topic – here’s a good book)

That’s it for today
Let me know what helps you start a big, daunting task!

 

Thanks, Marina! We’ll see you on May 17 at our upcoming AE Networking Seminar!

Do You Carry “I Should Do It MYSELF!” Shame?

Vector-graphic-design

Reposted from Marina Darlow of Vision-Framework email, May 2017.

Here’s some great advice about our tendency to try to do everything ourselves. Marina has this to say:

Let’s talk for a sec about a particular kind of shame. The “I should be able to do it myself!” feeling. It can keep you stuck for ages – you should be able to do it yourself, but you don’t. And you won’t outsource or delegate, because you should be able to do it yourself. Welcome to a vicious circle.

I should be able to make scrambled eggs without burning the skillet.
I should be able to update my website without crashing it half the time.
I should be able to know how much I made last month.

Well, no.
No, you shouldn’t.
We aren’t in the Dark Ages anymore.

You don’t have to chop wood to heat your house. You won’t stay an old maid if you can’t cook. You don’t even have to be good at math, whatever they said in grade school.
Same is true for a business owner who cannot do her social media, or keep his books, or organize her schedule. You don’t have to be able to do all-the-things, all by yourself.

 For some reason (natural harmony? universal justice?) people with brilliant strengths, those with some unusual genius, tend to lack “basic skills”. And very often they are ashamed to admit it. Ashamed that their handwriting in school was so illegible, they were never given an A. Ashamed they can’t add seven and six and conclude to 13. Ashamed they avoid phone calls to service providers (the person in the last example one of the most successful people I’m friends with).

It’s a destructive and paralyzing kind of shame (wait, is there another kind? I’m trying to think up a action-spurring kind of shame. Help me out here, I’m coming up empty).

Well, as you can imagine, I call B.S. Let me illuminate my viewpoint with a few examples of true, recognized geniuses that are known for lacking some “really basic” skills:

  • J.K. Rowling admits she’s bad at math

  • Bruce Willis was stuttering(!) for the first twenty years of his life

  • Napoleon Hill couldn’t work in an office

  • Sir Richard Branson is famously dyslexic. Do you really think he did the proof-reading for Student magazine he started at 16?

 What’s NOT destructive and paralyzing?

Zero on a skill that you are really good at. Maybe you’re an incredible saleswoman (Hi Jennifer!). Maybe you create inspiring content at a breakneck pace, leaving the rest of us jealous and amazed. Maybe your coaching skills are so rare, they are life-changing.

Once you shine a light on your genius, it’s much easier to admit you are a sorry proof-reader. And then – let go.

Automate, delegate, or outsource.
Focus on the stuff that makes you feel powerful. The stuff that makes you happy. The very thing that made you start your own venture.

That’s it for today.
Go do amazing things!
Marina (Darlow)

Thanks, Marina! Now, all of you get out there and do amazing things. Actually, you’re already doing amazing things – bravo!

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