When you’re in your business, either whilst you’re out with the products, at events, networking, or even just sitting thinking and planning, do you find that that terrible word creeps into your head?
I should be doing this, I should be doing that, I should do that bunch of things on my list that I keep trying to ignore.
Such a little word, but it comes with so much baggage. In fact, it’s a crappy word. And each and everytime it mentally crosses your thoughts it brings with it a whole wheelbarrow of guilt. “Yes, you should have done that thing. Why haven’t you done it! You should have done it yesterday!! Why didn’t you do it then?”
So, the quick step to guilt free thinking is to change one letter. Change that “S” to a “C”, and then have a little word with yourself.
- Have the thought, eg I should make that telephone call to the Brownie Leader.
- Rephrase it, eg, I could make that telephone call to the Brownie Leader.
- Ask yourself the question, Am I going to do it?
- Answer yourself; Yes or No.
- If Yes; Commit to it. Set a date to do it, and do it then.
- If No; Ditch it and don’t think of it again.
How does this process help your business?
Sometimes, we are so busy keeping big long lists in our heads of the things that we should be doing that we don’t actually get around to doing anything. The procrastination gives us analysis paralysis. I should do A, I should do B, but if i’m going to B that then I should C, and D’s more important than C so I should do D first. You know the drill.
Turning the Should into Could puts you in a much more positive and productive mindset. You are taking action, making decisions and moving things forward. I could do A, am I going to do it, Yes, when am I going to do it, Today it’s important, right, that’s sorted then – get on and do it.
And by deciding to do something and importantly setting a “when” to the task, it also removes it from that short term thinking that we churn over again and again.
For example, this is a very common “should”, that starts churning in the “should” pile in mid April, and tends to roll around in people’s heads for the next 8 months.
- I should do my tax return.
- I could do my tax return.
- Do I need to do it? – Yes, it’s required by law.
- When am I going to do it? – well its not urgent, but I want it out of the way early, so i’ll do it in September.
- Write it into the diary to do in September.
- Do it in September.
And now, you have no need to churn over that “I should do my tax return” niggle any more.
Clearing the Dead Wood.
By telling yourself that you “could” do something, and then instantly asking yourself “Do I need to do it?” you shine a different light on a lot of the tasks that we think that we should do, but don’t actually want or need to do.
And a lot of these things are frequently not tasks in your business, but the clutter that we add into our daily lives that make it all harder. For example, I ruthlessly apply the could thinking to my house “I should do the ironing” has turned into, “I could do the Ironing, but i’m not going to, I’m only going to iron shirts that need it, once a week” And instantly I have given myself another 2 hours of time to my week, whilst also evicting the “I should do the ironing” nag out of my head when I sit down to have a cup of tea and watch a film with the kids.
Turning the “should” into a “could” lets you take control.
The 3 AMs
If you are one of those people who wake up at 3am everynight with your head spinning through a list of everything that you “should” be doing. Then take a machete to that list by turning all those shoulds into coulds. It will make a world of difference.
And the To-do List…..
Your to-do list is now much shorter because it only now has the “could”s on it. You know what you’re going to do, why you’re doing it, and when you’re going to do it. And that is a guilt free to-do list.