To do list

Are you on a one way street to failure? To find out, see how many of your daily activities are driven by “shoulds”. Write them down. For example; I should be selling more, I should be managing better, I should be more visionary..​​

Shoulds are rules, a voice telling you what you should be doing, and when. Breaking them induces guilt. And guilt is not a good motivator to do anything. Guilt saps energy, breeds fear and festers cynicism. Abandon hope all he who enter here may as well be your motto.

​By continually focussing on what you should be doing, you never give yourself permission to work creatively – missing exciting solutions in the process.
Here’s a simple tool to see how you score;

1) At the beginning of your day do you feel;

Are you excited at what lies ahead?                       Do you sigh as you list everything
you should be doing?

2) At the end of each day do you feel;

A sense of satisfaction and fulfilment?                  Frustrated and annoyed with a
feeling of unfinished business?

3) Is your mood and energy levels;

Generally consistent from day to day and              Up and down, finding it hard to
week to week?                                                           motivate yourself, find yourself
flagging and looking for excuses to
do anything other than what you
should do?

Answering yes to the left hand questions suggests you are highly motivated by what you are doing. You feel good and are excited about the possibilities. Chances are shoulds are not killing your business.

Ticks in the right hand column suggests you’re not enjoying yourself, and therefore falling way short of your potential. If you as a leader are not enjoying what you do, how can you expect your staff to?

Break the should habit today!

If you haven’t already written down your shoulds do so now. You may be surprised by how many there are. Becoming aware of performance hindrances is key to change. In my next article I will provide a simple tool to start addressing these shoulds, exchanging them for something far more exciting.

Flickr image; Koalazymonkey