Are you Stuck in a Rut?
We are all familiar with that awful feeling that drops by for a visit, every now and then.
No one likes being stuck in a rut, and we all know the feeling. It’s like the common cold, or the flu, or even something like the CoronaVirus. We lay in bed, planning to get up later, or sit slumped over in chair, in front of “the box of horrors”, waiting for a magical savior to appear out of the blue.
Well don’t sit there waiting for too long, because no one’s coming. No one’s coming, and perhaps even worse, you’re going to have to get your butt out of there, all by yourself. You cannot be faulted for getting there, and the reasons we get in a rut are pretty much the same for everyone, but you’re not getting any sympathy for staying in your rut.
You’re stuck in a rut because you’re not moving forward, or even backwards, … you’re stuck! So, what can you do about it.
Here are are 8 simple steps, I use, to get my butt, unstuck, and never get it stuck again!
1) I have a plan
Without a plan, I have no direction to move towards. I am the proverbial ship without a rudder. I wander about aimlessly, often blown off course, in every direction that the wind blows.
Every ship that leaves a port, has a port to sail to. It has an exact destination to head to, otherwise, its just floating on the ocean, at the mercy of the tide and the winds, until it founders, or the crew runs out of food and supplies. It is essential that you formulate a detailed plan of how to reach your goal. Look at your plan often, perhaps every day, and fine tune it, based, on what you’ve learned from yesterday’s experience.
Follow your plan! No one’s going to die if you don’t follow every single step. A plan is a starting point, and being flexible is sometimes necessary. Making elaborate plans, and not following them, is just a waste of your precious time.
It is almost impossible to achieve anything of substance, without a plan. Whether life moves forward by fate, or design, is a long philosophical discussion, best left for another day. Do not wander about aimlessly. This plan is your map. You know where you are on the map, and you know where you want to go.
Set your bearing, … and … get going!
2) I keep my goal in sight, and in mind
To keep my goal in sight, I need a bearing. I need a direction of travel to follow. I plan my day the night before. In this way, my subconscious mind will be coming up with new and better ideas, while I rest and sleep.
Set daily goals that support your weekly goals. These weekly goals add up to monthly and yearly goals. This type of focused effort will bring results beyond your wildest dreams. Imagine where you’ll be next year, if you spend the next 12 months focussed on YOUR goal!
Imagine where you will be next year at this time if you follow such a program. You will amaze yourself!
The beauty of it all is, … that it will have been designed by you, and for you!
3) learn as much as you can
Your body of Knowledge is so important to your success and advancement, that it does not need further explanation.
Without knowledge or skills, we get left behind. We are left in the dark. This is why I consider this one to be so important. Everyone who has achieved a higher standing than you have, in anything you can think of, has more knowledge than you have in that specific area.
Your level of knowledge is something YOU can control. It’s as easy as reading a book.
Begin by reading at least 1-hour per day. Readers are achievers. Attend seminars, and take courses in your field of endeavour.
There are thousands and thousands, of audio-visual courses, audio-books, and public libraries to take advantage of, oh! … and, by the way, did I mention the Internet, the world wide web, and the billions of pages of search engine results that are easily accessed with the click of a mouse.
No excuses accepted, most of this education repository is available for FREE!
4) maintain discipline
The easy way to build self-discipline is by developing proper habits. Wake up early, well rested from enough sleep, and have a good breakfast to begin your day. I exercise early, and before breakfast. Find out what works for you.
If you work shift-work or different hours, you have to adjust for this.
A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day, is a must, to compete in today’s world. Do not neglect your studies.
The more you read, the better you will be able to compete in the business world.
With proper habits, you will be amazed by what you can achieve.
5) avoid distractions
Distractions are the shiny objects that disrupt our focus, they are the people that want to go out for a few beers, and it is that new movie that’s on TV tonight.
They are everywhere, and they harbour no prejudice. They distract all participants equally.
SmartPhones and Social Media, Email and Television, have thrust the bar of distractions, into the stratosphere. This has produced an appetite for constant connection, and instant gratification.
This is how we are robbed of the precious little time we have in a day.
Setting goals and achieving them requires focus and application.
We all have family and friends, that need our attention and support, and the time we waste can be better spent with them.
6) manage your time
You have all heard the expression, … “Time waits for no-one”, … and … “Time flies”.
It sure does, and time cannot be captured or purchased, regardless of your wealth and power.
Once gone, … it is gone forever!
Manage your time with the four quadrants of time management.
- important and urgent
- important but not urgent
- not important and urgent
- not important and not urgent
Everything we do in life is either urgent, or not urgent, … and, … it is also important, or not important.
Once you sort out this concept and how it applies to your daily life, you are going to be in much better control of your time and your life.
7) do your most important task first
Simple and easy, this is a no-brainer. Always do your most difficult task first. This is when you are the strongest in your cycle. You are fresher and more focused when you are well rested and just getting started.
Take advantage of this opportunity.
Mark Twain is credited with the following quote, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first”.
Mark Twain is an American humorist and satirist, well-known for his sharp wit and satire.
Starting your day with your hardest task lets you know that this is probably the worst that will happen to you all day.
If you do not begin your day in this manner you tend to procrastinate and accomplish a lot less than if you “eat the biggest, ugliest frog, … first!
From there, your day should get a lot easier.
8) have a mentor
A mentor is a teacher.
Our first, and best teachers, are our parents. They have the greatest interest in our well being.
All great achievers have parents that have “shown them the ropes” early. I was very fortunate in this respect, and I give this concept a high priority, and keep it at the very top of my list. In addition to showing me the ropes, they “kept me in between the ropes”.
This made things a lot easier, and all that remained for me, was to provide the effort.
Mentors show us the way. They have been there, done that, … got the t-shirt!
They became mentors by learning from others, listening, and educating themselves to improve their condition.
Mentors can be found at school, at work, or at play, and also in the biographies of great men and women, both modern and historical.
They are probably more easily found in books, and this is an excellent resource for mentors, but a “live-in-the-flesh” mentor is more likely to be your best bet.
Seek a mentor early, make this an important part of your plan. Mentors will shine a light on your path, to make it easier to follow.
A New Path for your Future
Don’t sit and wait for your Prince or Princess to show up. Get off your butt and go find them!
Much of what happens to you today, is under your control. You can decide to go for a walk, or sit at home and do nothing. People who do nothing, or very little, never seem to be very happy. They are the “energy vampires”, that suck the life out of you, and your dreams. Stay away from them, as if they have the plague!
I enjoy reading your comments, questions, and suggestions. You can Contact Me at this link, with your ideas, and methods that you use to stay out of the ruts.
Don’t let life pass you by. Time lost can never be found again, … no matter how rich or poor you are.