Day 3: Learning From Ants

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Photography by Sidney Diongzon

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
— Proverbs 6:6-7 (NLT)

I’m finding that motivation is half the battle when starting a business. Doing the actual work is the other half, and often the hardest part. I’m a perfectionist and often procrastinate to the last second. Yesterday, I was supposed to write out my mission statement for my production company. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I kept remembering little tasks that needed to be done like replying to emails, cleaning the home, completing traffic school (yes, I got a traffic citation a few weeks ago). Those thoughts circled around my mind like a violent tornado, and left me frustrated because I didn’t get anything done. That’s going to change today.

Whether you believe the Bible or not, you can’t dispute the wisdom in it. This morning I read Proverbs 6:6-8, and it’s about ants. Seriously, read it in the above quote! My take away from those verses is this: make tasks, and do them yourself.

So how can this help me on a practical level? Checklists. This morning I made a checklist of the tasks that need to be done today. I’m not using any fancy app because really that’s silly. A checklist is a checklist. It’s simplicity is its best feature. So I just used the native Reminders app on my MacBook Pro. 

Notice the order of my checklist. My mission statement is the last task. Here's why:

REASON #1: Time

The easier tasks will be faster to accomplish. The more I accomplish, the more motivated I will feel, which leads to my next reason.

REASON #2: Psychological

The more motivated I feel, the more determined I will become to write my mission statement. My best work always stems from pure determination.

It’s like running the last lap of a race. You’ve ran all the required laps and the only thing left is the finish line. And when you see that sweet victory ahead, you automatically go into overdrive and give everything you’ve got. For me, writing the mission statement is today’s finish line. I’ve got a few laps to go, but I’m going to finish this race.