Another skill to develop is Willpower. In this setting it is about taking your ideas and making them real – by cutting through personally imposed limitations. The earlier posts in this series are Part 1 and Part 2.
Strike When The Iron is Hot
You’ve applied effort on your One Thing – it is important to keep pushing through until it is complete and functioning. This is about maximising your Willpower to achieving your One Thing. There are two aspects around this – physical and mental application of effort.
Physical application is all about being well. You can’t achieve amazing things if you are letting the physiological support for your thinking suffer. The key tools you can apply are:
- Being rested. This isn’t just about getting 8 hours sleep – it is about getting good quality sleep that you have set yourself up for to optimize your rest. There are any number of references out there related to lack of sleep when you’re working at remote sites – but you can function at an amazing level if you:
- Prime yourself for the sleep you are going to get. If you’re 6 hours away from when you need to be up – then talk yourself to sleep with a line like “This 6 hours sleep will be all I need to allow me to recharge so that I can achieve all I need to do tomorrow”. I’ve borrowed this from Hal Elrod (see The Miracle Morning link) – and tried it out down to four hours sleep (in a “donga” with a small jet engine doubling as an air conditioner) and found it to be pretty effective;
- Go screen free for at least 2 hours before sleeping – the bright light from TV’s, phones and tablets tends to make you go into a more wakeful state – try and limit your exposure to light before you head for sleep (reading a book or non-backlit reader such as a Kindle is Ok);
- Make your bed a place for sleeping – don’t be tempted to reply to emails or catch up on the stuff you missed while sitting on your bed in the evening, and;
- Drink less alcohol (I have no high moral ground on this bit) – but if you have only none, one or two drinks – you’ll get a better nights sleep than if you have three or more;
- Fueling your brain. Best mixes of food are non-fatty (particularly anything deep fried which comes with a whole bunch of trans-fatty acids that will make you ill in the medium term) with a focus on protein for breakfast and lunch and then a move to complex carbs for dinner (from Dr John Arden’s work on “Rewiring Your Brain”), and;
- Moving and stretching through the day. Even when you’re hiding out working on your One Thing make sure you stand up and stretch every 60 to 90 minutes so that you keep the blood oxygenated and moving.
Mental application of effort is about making the best use of how your Brain functions – so that your One Thing goals have the best chance of being completed efficiently. The types of tactics you should apply are:
- Playing to your brain’s strengths. You can only keep a maximum of three things in your working memory. If you’re doing something that involves juggling more than three pieces of data / information – then WRITE IT DOWN! Having notes to reference or entries in a document / spreadsheet will let you keep your brain working at it’s optimum – and not trying to remember other possibly unrelated facts (e.g. remember to pick up the milk on your way home);
- Using relaxation techniques to help you reset. All workplaces in difficult times are full of people scurrying to try and get everything done – don’t get sucked into the busy-ness of the business! There are any number of breath focusing or meditation related exercises that help you to come back to the here and now – where your One Thing will be progressing nicely!;
- Working strategically – selecting your One Thing activity to occur first up – particularly if it is related to planning or scheduling, and;
- Getting the right mix of family, social and personal development thoughts in place – so that you continue to achieve more and more amazing results!
Key Signs of Enduring Willpower Supporting Your One Thing
You will know you've got the right mix of attitude and physical fuel when you find the following:
- You're ready for the day, everyday;
- You feel like achieving your One Thing is easier;
- Stress doesn't feel like the main thing in your life, and;
- Progress is visible towards your longer One Thing goals.
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You can continue reading this article the fourth and final post at and Part 4.
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