In life there are problems to solve, obstacles to overcome and issues to deal with. How we deal with these life occurrences makes all the difference.
Many times people will panic, procrastinate or completely ignore the issue at hand. However, these are not “practical solutions” but instead attempts at avoidance. We all know that avoidance of an issue cannot possibly bring about your desired outcome, unless the only outcome that you are looking for is a lack of confrontation and a repeat of the same problems, obstacles and issues.
Instead of practicing avoidance, we can work on using practical solutions to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
1. Understand the difference between avoidance and procrastination.
Avoidance, or avoidance coping, is not the same as procrastination. Avoidance coping can lead to depression, withdrawal and various personality disorders. According to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, the purpose of avoidance coping is to protect oneself from psychological damage. Dr Alice Boyes provides us with useful tips for overcoming avoidance coping.
2. Learn how not to be a procrastinator.
Procrastination is fueled by a desire to do more pleasurable things before less pleasurable things. It is quite logical that people will choose the fun task over the boring task. Procrastination is not a practical solution because it is self sabotaging. You are putting obstacles in your own path and the extra stress is often causes health problems.
Avoid procrastination by identifying your distractions (social media, email, television, children, etc) and consider how best to handle these distractions. It is possible that social media and email need specific time allotments, maybe television needs to be restricted and perhaps you need to discuss with your children what is needed from them so that you can get your work completed.
3. Create a timeline and keep a calendar.
Make a list of all of your deadlines, appointments, and goal dates and add them all to your calendar. This will help to bring clarity to the time schedule to which you need to adhere.
4. List actionable steps.
Look back at all of your deadlines and make a list of the actionable steps necessary to make sure that you reach these deadlines on time and to the best of your abilities.
5. Consider what help you need to achieve your goals.
Fill your “toolbox” with the help necessary by delegating tasks, asking for help and gaining any education needed.
6. Take this clarity you have developed in steps three, four and five to create a “To Do” list.
This should be a list of what needs to be taken care of today, not tomorrow or next week. Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Those other things are on your calendar and will be attended to. The list for today should include the most pressing items as well as some of the steps of action that you need to take.
This list should not scare you but rather make you feel in control. The “To Do” list should include ten items to which I refer to as “My Daily Top Ten.” Each night your list should be reviewed, any items left incomplete should be at the very top of the list for the next day and then you should fill in your to do list with the next most pressing items.
7. Rename your “To Do” list as your “To Accomplish” list.
This just sounds nicer and much of our outlook in life depends on how we view things.
8. If you have an issue with someone, set aside a time to sit down with them.
Discuss issues with relevant people and come up with practical solutions to deal with problems. Confront the problem and not the person. Confrontational behavior is hostile and antagonistic. A better way is to be open and accepting of the other person’s beliefs and ideas while staying true to your own core values.
9. Consider how you can change your own behavior to achieve your desired outcome.
Whether it’s in regard to a project or a person, how are you impacting the outcome? You can hope to change someone else’s behaviors, but you really only have control over your own.
10. Spend time with people who inspire you.
Communicate via social media with folks who make you want to achieve more. Read stories that make a fire burn deep in your belly. These simple steps will inspire you in ways that will allow you to achieve a level of drive and spirit that will make you motivated beyond belief.
I would love to hear about your goals, people that inspire you and the practical solutions that work for you. Please leave a comment below or send me an email at email@example.com
Elise Cohen Ho
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