“Momentum solves 80% of your problems.”
— John C. Maxwell
We just finished a trilogy of blogs on building relationships and their importance to life and work. Relationships are essential in interviewing which is why we address rapport throughout the interview process. Now I want to engage in another trilogy addressing momentum, consistency, and eliminating procrastination. These issues creep in to negatively affect our work, home, and life balance. I’m not sure we will ever eliminate them, but it is good to have some tools to minimize their occurrence.
Habits. We all have them. Some are good. Probably a few are harmful. We forget to floss every day, but we’re great at brushing our teeth in the first place. We’re drinking plenty of water, but not getting to the gym as much as we want. We’re learning to say ‘no’ at work, but we’re really falling flat when it comes to networking. We intend to plan for that next interview, but never address it as much as we should. Why are habits so quick to push you into affirmative action and then equally fast (if not faster) at derailing you completely?
When you’re trying to accomplish something new, what we need is momentum. Momentum is the fuel in the engine driving change. Momentum is what keeps you going when you’d rather quit and go home. Momentum dissipates quickly when frustration enters the scene.
So now combine habits and momentum. Imagine a series of habits, good ones, designed to help you reach your ultimate goals. Put the momentum behind those habits. Now, what do you see? Good habits and momentum are a powerful combination to succeed in many areas. Likewise bad habits combined with momentum can destroy accomplishments quickly.
Linking these two is very important to do. Building momentum and getting started on a task or goal can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can make significant progress. Here are some tips to help you get started and maintain momentum:
Set Clear Goals
Define what you want to achieve. Having clear, specific goals gives you a sense of purpose and direction. If you don’t know where you are going you will never get there.
Create a Plan
Develop a detailed plan or schedule outlining when and how you’ll tackle each task. This helps you stay organized and ensures you have a roadmap to follow. We speak in every class about the importance of planning in the interview process, and it extends into establishing good habits in this arena.
Do Things Now
When you continuously jump in and get the next task done instead of putting it off, you keep the momentum going without allowing for a drop in speed. On the other hand, procrastination will cause everything to grind to a halt. Consistency linked to momentum is essential.
Break Down Tasks
To avoid being overwhelmed and allow momentum to build, break down big tasks into smaller ones, spread them out over time with a plan. The second momentum wanes, look at what you’re trying to do, as it might be time to break things down into smaller segments.
Give Time Value
The biggest mistake people make is to say yes to everything. While this practice might help someone else’s momentum, it absolutely kills yours. Start putting a value on your time. Say ‘no’ to projects that don’t support your momentum and accomplish your goals.
Focus on the most important and high-impact tasks first. Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to determine task priority.
Some things aren’t even worth doing. Momentum is quickly lost when you’re stuck in the mundane of the day-to-day. Why not keep working on what you need to realize your goals? To do this, give simple tasks to others to do. Do this often.
Learn From Setbacks
Instead of seeing setbacks as failures, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong and adjust your approach accordingly.
Do the Work
Shortcuts never fail to slow you down. Rather than fall for an unexpected detour, simply do the work every single day. That’s it. You’re not going to make progress any other way. Don’t procrastinate, don’t sleaze out of it, don’t make excuses, how does Nike say it, “Just do it.”
Don’t Get Comfortable
Complacency is the end of momentum. The moment things get comfortable, stuff stops happening. Constantly look for new challenges. We are always looking to be comfortable. We need to become comfortable in our discomfort.
Don’t hesitate to seek help or advice from others who have experience in your area of interest. Learning from others can accelerate your progress.
Be open to adapting your plan if necessary. Sometimes, unexpected opportunities or challenges arise, and flexibility is key to maintaining momentum. Adequate planning accommodates for this.
Above all, take action! Make doing stuff your first and foremost habit. Nothing in your life is going to change if you’re standing still. Momentum starts with you!
Remember that building momentum and getting started is often the most challenging part. Once you begin and make progress, it becomes easier to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Start small, stay consistent, and use these strategies to help you build and maintain momentum in your pursuits.
“Keep moving ahead because action creates momentum, which in turn creates unanticipated opportunities.”
— Nick Vujicic
Take this list and reflect on each one and grade your performance in each area. Pick a couple and begin addressing them this week. Over the course of the next month imagine how much change you can make to your momentum and performance. Fixing several of these will make a huge change in your production and results. This is not a complete list. I could list another ten. So, as you evaluate your performance see if there are others that should take a higher priority for addressing.
Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom-tailor training to your specific needs. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the above issues of momentum and good habits or any training need, please reach out. Additional issues pertaining to interviewing, auditing, and investigations can be found in other blogs and videos that I have produced and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.
If you have additional questions, comments, or have an interviewing topic you would like me to address, give me a shout. In the meantime, be well, stay safe out there, and get busy focusing on issues that are messing with your momentum and get them fixed….it will change many aspects of your life.
Mark A. Anderson
Director of Training and Development
Anderson Investigative Associates, llc
114 Loucks Avenue
Scottdale, PA 15683