Creating the Right Constraints Can Boost Your Performance
Hi, Bob Lucchesi here, and we’re on our fourth day of The Writer’s Life, discussing how our limitations don’t hold us back, but actually help us succeed.
Earlier this week, we’ve discussed how the power of our limitations guide us to develop a canvas on which we’ll choose which paints and brushes to use – decisions and actions for painting our picture of success.
And, we learned that even with limitations, successful people just get started in pursuit of their dreams … they don’t wait until they’re “ready.”
But, what if you don’t have any limitations?
Huh? But we all have limitations, you say … and that would be true …
But, what if you don’t have the right limitations.
Let me explain …
If you’re still buzzing around in corporate America and you’re a good worker bee, you’ll relate to this …
A boss has an important project she needs to get done by the end of the month, and she has two people she can assign the job to …
First, there’s Kyle. He’s the guy who in meetings always espouses how busy he is, so he can’t take on any new assignments. But, you always see Kyle chit-chatting in the break room, around the copy machine or in Suzy Q’s cubicle.
Then, there’s Jane. She usually volunteers to take on assignments in the meetings, takes breaks and lunch at her desk to catch up on work, and stays late.
Now, the boss has to get this time-sensitive project done by the end of the month … and she also realizes Kyle has plenty of time to get it done and that Jane is on the brink of being overloaded.
So … who would you give the assignment to?
Unequivocally, you give it to Jane, and that’s exactly who the boss will give it to.
Because there is an adage that’s been around corporate America for a long time – I’m sure you see this where you work – “If you want to get something done, give it to someone who’s busy!”
Why is that?
Because Jane will prioritize the jobs she has and schedule her time to get them all done before the deadline.
Kyle, on the other hand, won’t prioritize or schedule his time … he’ll wait until the last minute, rush through the project doing shoddy work, and then toss it on his boss’s desk … ‘cause he’s got to rush into the break room to check out the new vending machine they just installed!
What’s the difference between the two?
Jane uses her constraints to boost her performance … while Kyle has no real constraints; therefore, he’s a floating jellyfish in the workplace floating here and there and not getting anything done.
Create the right constraints and you’ll boost your performance.
First, your constraint has to be specific …
AWAI is a great resource to improve your skills as a copywriter, and they’ve got a myriad of award-winning programs, workshops and webinars … sooooo many choices …
So, build a constraint, such as, “I can only choose one program.”
Now, refine that constraint more … “I will not choose another program until this one is done.”
Good, refine it more … “I will only give myself 30 days to finish the program.”
Now, with a 30-day deadline constraint, you’ll need to carve out time – so, put a constraint on that, as well …
“I will only watch TV for 30 minutes a night during the week and one sporting event on the weekend” … “I will only look at Facebook for 10 minutes a day before bed” … “I will not meet the guys for drinks after work this month.”
Then, you can refine these constraints even further by scheduling exactly when and where you’ll work on the program. Starbucks may not be the best environment for you to learn the program – or it may … be as specific and detailed as you can with your constraints.
The important thing is for you to impose strict constraints, so you can boost your performance and get the job done … just like Jane.
I think you can see now that, by imposing the right constraints on yourself, you can actually get more done …
And you thought your limitations and constraints were holding you back – HA!
I’d like to know what specific constraints you plan to impose on yourself to get whatever project you’re working on done. Just let me know here in the comments.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss how looking at your limitations is all about perspective … and how having the right perspective makes all the difference.
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