Like me, there are things you have to do that you don’t enjoy.
You know – go on a diet, exercise, that sort of thing!
But you know you have to do it, and the consequences are clear, so you do them! I’m sure you have your ways to discipline yourself and to turn the mind from “have to” to “get to do!”
But what about in your business?
Sometimes in your business, you have to do things that, not only do you not enjoy but that you might actually hate to do!
These are situations where you have to cold-call a new customer (I know I hate that), or you have to discipline staff for some inappropriate behaviour; or perhaps even having to learn new skills that you just know you can't do.
In these situations it’s not about not having the time, or feeling uncomfortable – it’s about actually hating to have to do it! That negativity causes procrastination and delay, you put it off, plans stall, your to-do list piles up, and perhaps your business even suffers.
These are not things that would be nice to do and which you don’t enjoy – these are things you hate doing but you absolutely must do because if you don’t your business really suffers!
How do you do those things in your business?
In working with successful business people throughout my career, I have found that they employ three actions.
These three actions are:
- They decide to do it;
- They understand the true value of getting it done; and
- They make it fun.
The first thing I have seen successful business people use when they have to do something they don't enjoy is to make a conscious decision that they will do it.
Making a decision is separate from liking or hating something. Making a decision precludes all other options. Successful business people don't wonder if they can do something or might do something. They decide they will do it.
Think about past clear decisions you have made. When you decided to do something, your mind stops playing tricks about procrastination, and your mind starts to think about when and how. In making a decision no other choices remain possible.
Once they have made a decision, successful business people get to understand the value of what that decision will bring to them.
They look to the future and see how doing something they hate will bring them benefits. They list all the benefits that will flow from their decision and the value of those benefits. They think of as many positive repercussions as possible and store them in their memory.
This act of understanding value and seeing benefits cement their decision to do it and stop them from back-tracking.
The most common cause of procrastination is that the avoidance of the pain of doing something you hate outweighs the pleasure of receiving the benefits from that action. In understanding and rehearsing the benefits the action will bring, and in feeling the pleasure that those benefits will give them, successful business people stack the odds against procrastination.
The third thing that successful business people do when they have to do something they hate is they make the doing of it fun.
This can be as simple as creating a valued reward for doing it, perhaps a dinner out or a holiday somewhere out of the ordinary. It could also be about involving others so that the company makes the task fun, or it could be doing other things alongside the thing you hate. For example, if you really have to cold-call a new customer, why not do it by inviting them to a great lunch?
So there you go! Try those three actions when you have to do something you hate doing and put them into practice today!
There’s nothing like building up a head of steam so today, right now, choose something you have been putting off and:
- Decide! That’s all it takes for the first step, to decide you will do it. Make yourself absolutely understand that you will do it. Understand the dire consequences if you don’t, list all the things that will go wrong, that you will never enjoy if you don’t do it, and then decide that you will.
- Make yourself want to do it because of the value of what you will get. Envision clearly, in pictures or emotions or in words, what you want to achieve at the end of doing this thing. How many new customers will you have? What will that mean to your finances and your happiness? How much stress will it alleviate? How will you and your family feel about the value that you get? Ask yourself “once I get there, what value have I added to my business and my life, and the life of those who love me and depend on me?”
- Turn the doing into a game and make it enjoyable. Gameify the situation by setting up rewards for doing it, as well as small rewards for getting to milestones on the way. Ask yourself how you can make the process of doing it enjoyable? Should you chunk it into small pieces, and gain a reward for yourself each time one of those pieces is done? Would it help if you combined doing that thing with doing something you do enjoy, like talking to your staff over a coffee outside? Could you break it down into steps and award yourself points for how quickly and how well each step is done and if you get over a certain number of points at the end, you get a big reward? Ask yourself “how can I get to the outcome and enjoy myself while I am doing it?”
Do something today, then, tomorrow choose something else you have been putting off and do that, and on the third day, do two other things you have been putting off.
Build momentum and make the chores part of a game, and in no time at all, you’ll be forging ahead, accumulating points in your private game!
I can’t guarantee that you will get to like to do those things, but you will get them done and even if you don’t like doing them you’ll get to enjoy the process.