Do you feel overwhelmed? Feel you never seem to get done what you need to get done on any given day?
And then do you have a friend or two who seems quite “together,” who always is cool, calm and collected and who — amazingly it seems — appears to get done all the important things he or she needs to?
Is your friend a superman or -woman? Hardly. In fact, according to business analyst Tony Schwartz, people who get things done have no more energy, no more “smarts” than anyone else.
They’ve just devised simple “rituals” that make doing the important things automatic.
According to Schwartz, we all have a certain amount of willpower. Every time we exert it, though, we use some of it up. For example, tell yourself you won’t have that extra piece of candy and you’ll then have less willpower/energy for making sure you cold-call 10 new prospects that day.
The key, according to Schwartz, is to develop rituals. These are specific acts that you do at the same time each day. Doing so eventually means these activities will be come automatic. You won’t need to consciously use your self-discipline or willpower.
Think of the habits of top athletes. They’ve practiced and practiced and practiced their sport so often, the right moves come to them automatically. They don’t need to push themselves to practice — they do it automatically. They don’t need to think about how to do the moves right — they’ve done them so often, their bodies automatically know how to do them the right way.
Examples of rituals? Work out every day as soon as you arise. Go to bed each night at the same time and get up at the same time every morning. Make calls to those 10 new prospects at 11 a.m. every day.
And so on.
Rituals are signs of your resolve to get done those things that need doing. According to Schwartz, once you keep to a ritual, it takes on a life of its own. You no longer need to waste precious energy in “thinking” about doing it — you just do it.