Beef Up Your Verbs and Beef Up Your Energy

Precious Life Quote
Your words empower you…

When’s the last time you thought about verbs?

Who’s the last person that told you verbs are important? Was it a long-ago teacher, encouraging you to use more action words? Or was it an editor offering suggestions to make your writing more vivid and engaging?

Well, aside from advice from teachers or editors, I bet verbs don’t take up a whole lot of space in your mind.

But when it comes to your time and energy, the words you use have a very significant impact.  And the verbs you choose are especially important when you’re thinking about your tasks and goals.

They shape your perspective and have a profound effect on your energy.  So the simple act of choosing words (and especially verbs) consciously and wisely is an excellent way to empower yourself.

As an example, think about your To-Do List.  How do you describe the items on your list? The words you use to frame each task shapes how you feel about it. This, by extension, affects your follow-through.

There are lots of ways to make your task lists more useful.  For example, chunking tasks down to their component parts makes them more doable. But there’s more you can do to help yourself.

Here are some examples for you…

Here’s an example of the difference that a verb or two can make when you’re working with your To-Do List:

Passive PhrasingActive, Specific, More Detailed Wording
Work on Special ReportComplete outline of special report and schedule next steps to move it into production.
Think about blog post ideasDraft and schedule 5 new blog posts, including brief reference notes and Evernote links.
Discuss future plans with teamMeet with team. Produce work plan and specific task schedule for the next 3-months.

And notice how I’ve changed some key expressions, below:

Old Key Phrase  New Action Verbs to Increase Specificity and Follow-Through 
Work onComplete and schedule
Think aboutDraft and schedule
DiscussMeet and produce

The new verbs are much more specific and action-oriented.

And, importantly, they often point to the next step in the process (e.g. “Complete and schedule“) When you finish the task at hand, you’ll be adding the next step or steps to your To Do List and/or calendar.

This is an excellent way to keep things moving. Even as you think about what verbs to use in your To-Do List you are significantly changing the way that you look at your tasks.  It’s a shift in consciousness that brings with it greater efficiency and effectiveness.

And the final step, whenever you complete an item on your To-Do List is to always, always, always validate yourself for your accomplishment. There aren’t many things you can do for yourself that will be more energizing.

Not only that, but your follow-through builds confidence and self-trust, meaning that you’ll move ahead all the more powerfully and effectively.

This helps, too…

The Five-Column Time Estimation Template gives you a flexible and practical format for working with time estimates and sharpening your time-planning skills.

  • See where you under or over-estimate your time.
  • Notice patterns and start addressing them.

The Three-Column Scheduling Template gives you a simple and practical format for zeroing in on the snags in your schedule so you can address them and find more time.

  • Recognize patterns like procrastination, over-booking, not being able to say no, etc..
  • Concretize your time choices and their impact on your day.

Visit our Time Resources Page and sign up for one or both of these templates and the bonuses that come with them.

Let’s explore time together…

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