“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton
The very word momentum has us conjure positive images of making progress and getting results. While that’s true, there’s also a form of momentum that has virtually the opposite effect. Is momentum your friend or foe?
Mark Twain said: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”
It’s like when trying to lose weight. It requires more than having a healthy diet and exercising for a day or a week. To get results we need to do so for a sustained period of weeks or even months. The longer we adopt this lifestyle the more routine and easier it becomes.
In a sense, this is no different from how we make progress at work. Identify what needs to be done and act accordingly to achieve the desired results.
Alternatively, momentum can sneak up on us in a negative way. While we may or may not notice it, we must call it out if we want to maximise our effectiveness.
What is it?
Negative momentum happens when we waste time. When we don’t make a start on our important tasks. We put them off and let ourselves get distracted by lesser activities of importance. The impact of doing this is we don’t achieve our targeted results.
It might only happen for an hour or two, but it could be far more serious and last for a day, multiple days or even weeks. To avoid this you need to:
Understand what the most important work is you need to focus on
Schedule when you’ll do it
Make a start by taking action
Be consistent with focused effort aligned to achieving targeted outcomes
Celebrate successes (even the small and leverage this momentum to achieve the next goal)
When leveraged correctly, momentum will help you get from Point A to Point B. However, be mindful that you’ll be left stranded at Point A when you waste momentum.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.