In our journey throughout life, we are continuously exposed to situations that make us feel uncomfortable, that challenge our boundaries, and that force us to push our limits. The only way for us to truly grow and develop into the people we want to be is to overcome these obstacles of discomfort. Some of these hurdles are incredibly common, having challenged even the most successful of us. However, it is not purely a developmental incentive to continuously push ourselves. There is a large productivity component as well.
There has been research conducted that suggests our brains achieve peak performance levels when we are pushed outside of our comfort zones. When too comfortable with our everyday routine, we can suffer from a lack of motivation and an absence of initiative. When too used to the same monotonous tasks, we can become neglectful of even our most basic responsibilities, believing them to be too easy to require our specialized attention, and when these tasks lack particular emphasis, our focus slackens and our work suffers. In order to stem this tide of complacency, I have listed a few uncomfortable tasks that each and every one of us should strive to integrate into our daily routine:
Wake Up Early
Even if you don’t need to, get out of bed early. For many of us, the soft comfort of our beds, the shady atmosphere of a bedroom with the curtains pulled, and the familiarity of room well-known make it difficult to leave when it’s not necessary. That’s exactly why you should. Challenge yourself to do what you don’t want to, what you don’t need to but will benefit from. Everyone profits from getting out of bed well before work. You have time to take a relaxed shower, to eat a wholesome breakfast, and to get your mind warmed up before the responsibilities of the workday rear their ugly head(s).
Make the impossible possible.
Do something you never thought you would be able to achieve. Whether that means running a marathon or becoming a published writer, make it happen. By achieving something you thought you never had to a chance to do, you will become reinvigorated with a fresh sense of confidence. Plus, this confidence will not be subject to temporal constraints. Rather, you will be able to carry it with you throughout the course of both your personal and professional life. It will remind you that you were able to do what you previously never thought possible. You made the impossible possible, so why would you be incapable of accomplishing something else that seems insurmountable? While, of course, this advice will likely require long-term diligence, it will pay you back tenfold for the all the work and dedication you exhibited to make it happen in the first place.
Take a moment (or several) to reflect.
Meditate. Reflect on your past and present situations. Think back on all you have accomplished. Understand exactly what it is that you are doing and why you are doing it. By understanding and reminding yourself of the fundamental reason for your initiative, you will embolden that same tenacity you had when you took on the task initially. Then, rejuvenated and recharged, you can take on the task in question head-on.
Focus on one thing at a time.
When setting out to accomplish one major goal, it can be easy to succumb to a sense of overwhelming futility, that no matter what you do in order to accomplish this one major thing, it will take you no closer to success. Of course, this is completely wrong, but it can be difficult to remember that fact when hindrances keep emerging and your goal still seems so far away. Our emotions can get the best of even the best of us; but, if we sit down, settle down, and apply our attention to a single objective, we can achieve it, and then move onto the next single objective, and then achieve that. By remembering the inefficiency of multitasking and the advantages of single-tasking, we can and should emerge from any labor-related rut we find ourselves in.
We should never settle, for to settle is to become complacent, and to become complacent is to move backwards. Look and move forward. Good luck!