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How to Create Your Unique Personal Momentum

How to Create Your Unique Personal Momentum

personal momentum

    When momentum’s on your side, you feel invincible. You feel unstoppable. It’s referred to in all facets of life. For example, as you watch a sports game, it’s only a matter of time before one of the announcers brings up momentum; which side has it, and whether they can hold on to it until the game’s end to clinch the victory.

    Have you ever taken a closer look at what momentum is all about? If it’s that great, how can we reproduce it in everything that we do?

    In physics 101, momentum is simply (or not so simply) defined as:

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    How gaining personal momentum behaves
      Gaining Personal Momentum is quite like its physical equivalent

      The more mass and velocity an object in motion has, the greater the momentum or:

      Velocity x Mass = Momentum

      Much like in physics, our goals and objectives have their own kind of momentum. Momentum, whether relating to physic or our own tasks and goals, operate under certain parameters and constraints. I argue that the same elements that work against gaining momentum in physics work against your projects and goals as well. For example, the larger the mass, the harder it is the get moving and gain momentum.

      Let’s take a closer look:

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      1# Mass

      Mass in physical terms is weight that’s usually measured in pounds or kilograms. In our framework, mass is the amount of work you need to do. For example, in most cases a project has a bigger mass than a task; a 3 year goal may have a bigger mass than a project. It all boils down to the amount of work you’ll need to invest.

      I suggest that when dealing with “mass”, it’s all about planning: if you can’t break down the mass into movable pieces, you’ll never get the velocity you need to achieve momentum. If we plan properly, we can get our massive project going by moving all the smaller massed actions. Remember the other end of the equation as well: make sure you plan your entire project so that when your project gains momentum, you want to keep feeding it, e.g., have actions lined up to execute when the time it right.

      2# Velocity

      Velocity is all about the “force” you need to invest in a task taking into consideration the forces that may be working against you.

      When there’s a lot of mass, there’s a lot of potential velocity laying in wait. However, to achieve immediate velocity on the entire mass, you’ll have to invest a considerable amount of force that you probably don’t possess. That’s why it’s better to start from little “mass elements” or actions.

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      Here’s a quick example: finishing your post-doctorate thesis may seem like an overwhelming mountain to move. You may not have the energy to get this project going, and it may seem so overwhelming that you simply can’t get it started. However, the force you need to handle the first action—initial brainstorming with a professor—is quite feasible. The force you need for the first action is significantly less than finishing your thesis. Remember, it’s all related: less force to move smaller actions. Many actions moving will increase the overall mass and help you gain momentum.

      It sounds simple, but there are items you need to be aware of that can work against you!

      Direction

      You need to apply the force in the correct direction. Imagine trying to get a car across a finish line that is 100 yards directly in front of you. The obvious answer is to always apply the force in the same direction, and the same applies for your projects: make sure that all of your actions are getting you to the same end result.

      Failing to plan, doing the wrong things at the wrong times, and forgetting actions entirely are all forces that will work against you, ultimately lessening your momentum.

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      Friction

      Resistance is a killer. Imagine moving the car across a flat road versus an uphill road. There’s a big difference, right? Be watchful of the friction causing elements in your life: Are you tired? Are you eating right? Are you exercising? Are you organized? Do you have an application that will help you manage your actions and projects? All these and more, if not handled correctly, will have a negative impact on you. They are elements that are working against you and preventing you from gaining personal momentum.

      I won’t delve into greater detail, expanding about things like escape velocity, the difference between kinetic friction and static and even diving into inertial mass (measured by the amount of resistance of an object to acceleration): those could be the subjects of other posts.

      Now that you know what momentum is all about, use it to your advantage.
      Until next time.

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      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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