You can get more done with more ease by building seven effectiveness habits. Build them one at a time over the next several weeks and months. You need not, for the most part, build them in the order I present them.
Here’s today’s habit…
Effectiveness Habit #2: Feel good. Then act.
When we feel bad–stressed, worried, anxious, angry, etc.—about a situation, we usually respond in one of two ways: we push into action or try to avoid. These are such a natural responses that we might not recognize that we do them. Example: you decided a while back that you need to build a new marketing piece for your company. And you just remembered it again today, just before a big event where you could really use the new piece. You feel stressed. If you tend to push in situations like this, you may get angry and say, “I have to get this done today!” If you tend to avoid, you may say, “Oh, well. I’m too busy anyway.”
Pushing into action or avoiding limit our effectiveness for three reasons. First, the personal energy and resources we spend on pushing or avoiding take away from our abilities; we drain our batteries. Second, others pick up on our push or avoid attitude and react. Though they may not be aware of it, they really don’t like the feeling we put out and will pull back. Thus it’s harder to get stuff done without their full support. Third, it feels bad! Who wants to feel bad, really?
Solution: Stop and feel better. Then act.
The solution is to feel better. (NB: look for specific physical sensations to tell you how well or poorly you feel.) You don’t have to feel great, just a bit better. There are many ways to do this. Here are a few.
- Catch yourself pushing or avoiding. If you can say to yourself, “Oh, this is me trying to push (or avoiding) to get something done,” you can often get enough awareness to relax just a bit an feel better.
- Flip to an ever so slightly better feeling thought. Say to yourself, “This doesn’t feel good. What one thought can I think that will feel even the slightest bit better?”
When you can feel better–even getting just a bit of relief–you’ll have more personal resources available to act well and you’ll feel better! Once you feel better, act. In fact, you might notice that, by feeling better, your actions and the results you want come with much more ease. And that always feels great.