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6 Ways to Keep Yourself Going When You’re Almost Ready to Quit

6 Ways to Keep Yourself Going When You’re Almost Ready to Quit

No matter who we are, there are times when we will feel down, when things will feel difficult, when things will feel tough and we will want to give up. Successful people have the same problem too. They face times when they feel down, stuck in life and want to quit. The only difference between successful people and ordinary people lies in how they deal with this situation.

Here are 6 ways to keep yourself going when you’re almost ready to quit:

1. Revisit Your Purpose

Why do you do what you do in the first place? Why do you want to achieve your goal? Why do you want to be financially rich? Why do you want to be a millionaire?

Remember, your reasons behind your goals will become your driving force. And how strong that force is will be determined by how emotional and how strong your reasons are. Most people are not truly committed to their goals simply because they don’t have a strong reason behind them to drive them. It doesn’t really matter to them if they don’t achieve their goals.

When your purpose behind doing something is strong and emotional, you will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task. If you read the biographies of successful people, you will notice that it was when life hit them the hardest that they were able to bounce back and achieve even more. They created amazing results after facing big failures. This is because when you leave yourself with no other options but to achieve what you are set out to accomplish, you will definitely fulfill your desire.

What you can do: Before you give up and quit, think about the reason why you started. Revisit your purpose and make sure the reasons behind it are strong, emotional and able to push you to achieve what you want in life.

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2. Remember Your Accomplishments

When you are down and want to quit, think about all the things you have accomplished before. No matter who you are and what you have done, you should have some accomplishments to look back on. If you say that you have no achievements, think harder.

If you are reading this right now, you are doing much better than those who are not aware of wanting success and something more out of life. At least you dare to dream and somehow came across this article. Therefore, you must not let obstacles stop you. Think about all the great things you have done.

Learn this technique called “celebrate all wins.” Regardless of whether your win is big or small, just celebrate it. This is how Tiger Woods creates his anchor state and changes his feelings. Every time he swings his golf club to hit the ball to the location he wants, he will celebrate it with a ‘pump’ with his hand and his fist. This is how he celebrates his wins.

You have to celebrate your wins too. This is important because when you are down and feeling like you want to quit, you will be in a lousy state and thinking negative thoughts. You will never feel good about anything if you are in this state. When you change your feelings, you will change your thinking and your state. And when you are feeling good, great things will come to you.

This is why you have to constantly remind yourself of your accomplishments and celebrate all your achievements, big and small.

What you can do: Get yourself a note pad where you can record all of your accomplishments. You can write them down, draw them, or even cut out relevant pictures and paste them into your note pad. Go through your winning note pad often, especially when you need it most.

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3. Understand That Setbacks and Obstacles Are Necessary

This is just a natural law that you need to understand. We learn the most through failures and obstacles, not through success and winnings. Often, it is only when a relationship breaks down that we learn to appreciate each other. We learn the importance of money when we have none. This is why success is a lousy teacher; you learn the most from failures.

If you have never failed before, you have to work smart and learn from others’ failures and experience. Look at Michael Jordan, he missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. His team entrusted him with the winning shot and he failed, not only once, but 26 times. Jordan said that he failed over and over again, that is why he succeeds.

Remember, rocks can be turned into diamonds given enough pressure. Just like there will be a rainbow after the rain. Tough times are necessary to test your tenacity. Obstacles are there for you to overcome because they are your greatest learning experiences.

Every great leader and every successful person will have to go through this process. You will be the same. You need to understand that setbacks and obstacles are necessary. So press on and just get through it.

What you can do: Never lose hope, keep on working and improving your strategies, learn from your setbacks and obstacles. Most of all, never give up.

4. Focus on What You Do Best

Stop thinking about quitting or worrying if things will ever work out. Instead, think about what you do best and just do it. This is exactly what happened to Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire, many years ago. When the economy goes down, many businessmen go bankrupt, and many people worry about their finances. What Donald Trump did when this happened to him is a little bit unique from the rest. When most people were worrying about how bad the situation would be, he was out there doing what he did best; negotiating real estate deals. Guess what? He did manage to turn the situation around for himself and made a comeback. He got himself out of millions of dollars of debt and went ahead to earn billions of dollars more.

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When you are facing tough times, you should never worry or think about how bad the situation is going to be. Worrying cannot get you out of the situation, and focusing on the problem is not going to help either. What you have to do is to get out of the trap by focusing on what you do best.

Bill Gates consistently focused on developing the best software, he never really worried so much about handling objections and complaints from his customers. This is because he knew that developing software was what he did best. He just needed to focus on creating the best software that added value to people’s lives. Customer complaints would be handled by other people, his staff.

You don’t have to give up on your dreams or goals. Let go of the negative thoughts and feelings that make you miserable and think you want to quit. Change your mind-set to a positive one and feel great by doing what you love.

What you can do: Take action and focus on things that will get you out of the negative loop. Do not focus in the problem. Instead, think of the solution by working on things you are passionate about and are meant to do.

5. Clear Your Head

When the world around you seems to crumble, maybe it is time for you to get out of it and stay clear. You cannot think if you are stuck in a blurry thought pattern. What you have to do is to get out of it.

So clear your head. When you are worrying about things not going smoothly and you are considering quitting, maybe you should take a walk, go for a trip, get a good sleep, or do something totally not related to the problem.

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This can be a great strategy to overcome the obstacles you face. If you were lost in a jungle and you didn’t know which direction to follow, what could you do? Perhaps trying to get to higher ground so that you can see the bigger picture and which direction you should go might be a good idea, right? This is exactly what you do. Get yourself out of the maze by doing something unrelated.

Stop thinking about the problem. And when you stop dwelling on the problems, the solutions may automatically appear to you.

What you can do: Do something that can clear your mind. Take a walk in the garden, get some sleep, get your favorite beverage, watch a movie, go window shopping, go cycling, go hiking, go diving, take a swim, go for a jog, etc. You can even go for holiday, travel to other country, or do something out of the norm if you want to.

6. You Are Not Alone

Always remember that you are not alone. There are so many people around you who are waiting to assist you and support you.

One of the wisest ways to get back up when you are down and want to give up is to read motivational books. If you haven’t read any of these books before, try to read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, Richard Branson’s success story, read about Nick Vujicic, read about Steve Jobs, and read books by Anthony Robbins. There are so many great books out there waiting for you, and you only need to spend 30 minutes to an hour a day to read them.

Beside books, you can look for mentors or people who can give you mental support. When you talk to these positive people, you will get influenced by their positivity and your thoughts will become brighter. If you mix with negative people, you will give up sooner and quit faster. Hence, mix and network with people who think positively.

There is a saying, if you want to know how much your income is, try to figure out your close friends’ incomes and get the average. Your income will never run too far from that figure. Who you talk to and who you mix with count.

What you can do: Go to your local bookstore, get yourself some motivational books and commit 30 minutes to an hour a day to read them. Network and talk to positive people who can support you. Get yourself a mentor and immerse yourself in the positive energy pool.

More by this author

Shawn Lim

Blogger and Internet Entrepreneur

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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