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February 2013

Tipster: Just Get Going

By Jeff Davidson, The 60-Second Self-Starter: Sixty Solid Techniques for Motivating Yourself at Work

For whatever you're trying to tackle, find some element of it that you can complete quickly and easily, and get an immediate “win.” Even if it's an itsy, bitsy, tiny win. For most career professionals, that's a far easier method of getting started than tackling a difficult portion of it first. If you can tackle several small tasks, all the better.

Using a method espoused by time-management guru Alan Lakein, ask yourself, “What are three to five things I could do to progress toward the final objective, without actually tackling a project head-on?” Then initiate these “easy entry” activities. Often, they are enough to get your motor running, and head out on the highway.

As an example, suppose you're facing a difficult project. How could you get an easy win right off the bat? Open up the file folder, visually scan the contents, and look for something that's familiar to you. Often, that represents an easy entry point.

Conversely, sometimes simply organizing materials, putting them into smaller file folders, stapling items, bookmarking websites, or rearranging the order of things represents a good, early win. Now at least you have a better handle on the project, the supporting items are arranged in their order of importance, and the probability that you'll continue on is reasonably assured.

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