Nike and the F word: How to motivate yourself into action
Warning! This post contains a naughty word. This one starts with F, and ends with K. But it’s a relevant story- one I only recently heard, and one which has had an immediate, dramatic and positive impact on my effectiveness and productivity.
Productive, successful executives are those able to consistently tackle and get done difficult and big challenges. It’s a constant struggle for me. How do they do it?
Frankly- I don’t know, but I do know how I get more of the important things done, and recently learnt a great additional tip from a book by fitness guru Michelle Bridges, who made her name as the fitness coach on the TV show, ‘Australia’s Biggest Loser.’
Michelle’s tip is to J.F.D.I. – Just Fucking Do It! But there’s a twist.
In motivating her clients to exercise, her approach goes something like this: when you wake up at 6 am for your run, and it’s dark and cold and you’re convincing yourself to get back into bed, don’t. Instead, J.F.D.I., and make this deal with yourself. Just commit to exercising for 10 minutes. If after that time you still don’t feel like doing it, then return home and put the kettle on. That’s the deal. J.F.D.I. … and just fucking do it for 10 minutes.
Michelle reports she has had some of her best workouts ever when she’s J.F.D.I. with a deal with herself that if after 10 minutes she still wants to go back to bed, she can. Once you start, and get 10 minutes under the belt, you’re on a roll, and you’ll keep going.
The Lesson for Each Of Us
Got a big proposal to write? Client meeting your team wants you to go to but you really, really don’t feel like it? 20 media calls to make to set up the media conference and you know it’s going to be a hard sell? A stack of staff appraisal forms to complete? Often it seems like the more important the task, the harder is it to get started. So, to get more of the difficult and big challenges done, faster:
- Identify your BIG ROCK: Identify your most critical, ‘must do’ task every day: I call this my Big Rock.
- Start the day with it: Plan so you are able to make a start on your Big Rock first thing, or as soon as possible, the next day.
- Prepare the night before: If possible, get ready whatever you will need to make a start on your Big Rock: documents, research reports, phone numbers. Clear your desk except for these items.
- And then J.F.D.I… make a start as soon as you get to work, and if you’re really, really not in the mood, just commit to doing it for 10 minutes.
SURPRISE! You got it done- again! I am using J.F.D.I. several times a day now – every time that voice says “Nah- do it later”. “Nah, says the other voice, I’ll J.F.D.I instead.” Give it a go. It works!