The First Step Is Always the Hardest Step

They say the first step is the hardest. They’re right, right? Let’s say you’ve decided to go for a run in the morning. The hard part is that first step out the door. Once you’ve made that step, the rest is easy. Once you’re out the door, you’re going to keep going. I’ve never turned back once I’ve made it that far, have you?

“They” advise making that first step really easy so there’s little chance of your finding an excuse to skip getting started.

Literally, they say you should put your running shoes next to your bed if you want to be sure to go for a run in the morning. The last thing you need is a struggle to find your shoes and shorts. It’s incredibly easy to discover the shorts are wet in the washer and quickly get back in bed.

Make it easy to slip on the shoes, shorts, and shirt. If you’ll slip on those shoes and take one step outside your door, then you’ll likely go for the run. It all started with the positioning of the shoes.

The same is true for the stuff you’re avoiding in your business. If you’ll line up the pieces the night before, it’s far more likely that you’ll tackle the project in the morning.

Seriously, how many times has your frustration with finding the file or a specific document led you to turn to a different task instead of doing what you set out to do? It takes incredibly little for me to get frustrated and abandon ship. I love a diversion. Don’t you?

Three Steps to Start Your Tomorrow Off Right

What if, the night before, you take these preparatory steps:

  1. Difficult phone call. Type up the notes with the numbers and details and have it front and center so you’ll be ready to make that call first thing. Have everything ready to go so you walk in and dial the number and, before long, it’s over.
  2. Marketing lunch appointments. Pull the names, numbers, and e-mail addresses. Put the info next to your cereal bowl before you go to sleep. Get them lined up and make those calls over coffee before you even leave home. What a great way to start the day.
  3. Draft invoices/bills. Instead of leaving them piled up on the corner of your desk or computer desktop, go ahead and clear your desk, leaving only the drafts. Again, first thing in the morning, attack it without delay. Make it the thing you’ve got to move past on your path of least resistance.

You get the idea. Instead of putting the running shoes next to the bed, you can do the work equivalent. The preparation for the task isn’t that difficult. It’s the doing of it that’s connected to the obstacles.

Organize today for the work you’ll do tomorrow. Go in with a plan. Make it hard to avoid the first step. Once you’re on your way, you’re likely to go all the way. Just make that first step easy.

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