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How to Finally Get Out of Your Own Way

How to Finally Get Out of Your Own Way

When we fall short of accomplishing a goal, fail to achieve a dream, or have a hard time tackling a life pursuit, it may all lead back to one culprit: ourselves. We can’t seem to get out of our own way.

How do we come to this realization and step aside? It’s learning to be decisive with our decision-making and becoming deliberate with our time. It isn’t solely found in our business decisions, either. Our personal habits, actions, and even our lunch choices can affect our daily success. The next time you find yourself obstructing your own path, incorporate these five strategies into your daily routine.

1) Less talk, more action.

If you want success, you need to be willing to put in the work. Sounds elementary, right? Yet, how many times do you say you’re going to do something and then fail to do it? The wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson remind us:

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

If we want to achieve growth and success, we need to stop making excuses, start setting goals, and have a well-thought-out action plan. Waking up and thinking that things in life are going to magically happen or evolve is irrational thinking. Ask any successful person and they will tell you that their dream or their vision had to start with goal-setting and a plan.

[Related: Building the Mindset to Thrive in the New Normal]

2) Put your phone away.

One of the biggest interruptions these days is your cell phone. If you have created the habit of making your cell phone an appendage, you may just want to give it a rest, or at least have it put away during a task that needs all of your attention.

While phones can be a great tool to stay connected and in-the-know, you may have an excessive number of alerts, pop-ups, and notifications in your face at all times preventing you from being “all in.”

If you think sliding into airplane mode can come to your rescue, know that a 2017 study in The Journal of the Association of Consumer Research found that even if your phone is turned off, the sheer presence of it “reduces available cognitive capacity,” which the study’s authors call “brain drain.” Learn to place all distractions aside until you have finished your most important tasks.

3) Feed your success.

There are external barriers that sneak in every day to prevent us from performing at our highest capability. A lack of sleep, dehydration, and fatty foods can hinder us from reaching our highest level of focus.

The food choices we make can disturb our energy levels and production output. A study published in the British Journal Health Psychology discovered how the food we eat can affect us. The study had each of the 405 participants provide feedback for thirteen days in a daily diary, recording their food consumption, mood, and behaviors. As a result of the study, there is growing evidence that consumption of fruits and vegetables enables greater well-being, curiosity, and creativity.

The next time you are contemplating an afternoon snack, skip the sugar rush of candy or chocolate and grab an apple, nuts, or seeds. While you’re at it, go for a power walk to get those endorphins flowing and think with intention about all of those things that are standing in your way.

[Related: How to Seize the Driver Seat of Your Career]

4) Get laser-focused.

Trying to simultaneously check e-mails, read text messages, and chat with a coworker may make us feel that we are busy, but busy does not always mean being productive. Learning to become laser-focused means all of your attention is placed on one and only one thing at a time.

One of the easiest ways to become laser-focused is to prioritize and get organized so that you can reach your optimal level of focus. A time management tool that may help you buckle up for success is time blocking.

This process helps to divide your day, or parts of your day, into chunks of time. For example, from 9:00 to 9:30, you only check e-mail. From 9:30 to 10:30, you make calls to clients. From 10:30 to 11:00, you work on a report.

This crystal-clear plan helps set your intentions with your time and lets nothing come in between you and your schedule. In the simplest terms, you are proactive, not reactive, when it comes to your day.

5) Do an end-of-day debrief.

Have you ever started the work day, only to ask yourself one of the following questions:

Ok, where should I start?

Where did I leave off yesterday?

Where am I on that?

One way to alleviate this challenge is to plan the next day’s work the night before. As each day comes to a close, take time to debrief on pending items that you did not finish or get a chance to work on.

This helps to lay the groundwork for how you will begin the next day. The process allows you to hit the ground running first thing in the morning, setting your day up for success.

[Related: What Do You Do Brilliantly?]

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Tiffany Hoxie began her career as a childhood education teacher in a small town in Upstate, NY. In her late 20s she pivoted her life’s path, landing a career in the Financial Services industry in New York City. Now, as a full-time writer, she has combined those professional skills to educate individuals to break down life’s barriers to achieve their goals and aspirations in life.


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