"Just Do It"
In !988 the shoe company Nike launched an advertising campaign using the words “Just Do It” to sell its shoes. The ad campaign was so successful that it saw Nike increase its shoe business from 18% to 43% of the market. In dollar terms this saw profits increase from $US877 million to $US9.2 billion in worldwide sales. "Just Do It" appears alongside the Nike logo, known as the Swoosh.While the marketing aspects of this logo interest me, I guess, like most people, the associated messaging is what attracts my attention. The various marketing campaigns launched by Nike have resulted in a phenomenon known as the ‘Just Do It Effect.’You see, this three-word slogan, has possibly become the most recognised three words in the world today.
These three words have inspired people to better themselves in sport and they have had a profound influence on people’s lives more generally. In the workplace, in relationships, in business, and even in psychology, this phrase has proved to be highly effective. I often find myself procrastinating about doing particular tasks and, more often than not, the circuit breaker is simply saying to myself ‘just do it.’ I have utilised this simple phrase as a call to action in my own life and its one I often use with students who might be having difficulty starting projects or even beginning a writing task. My advice is simply to get started, there is no progress made by staring at a blank sheet, and once you start just do it.
I have identified a few strategies that help me to get moving and that you might be able to identify with.
- Take action – Developing a just do it habit can make taking action easier and stops me wasting a lot of time. Just getting in and doing something, even if your thoughts and feelings want to hold you back, becomes easier if you a make a short list of positive benefits in your mind or on a piece of paper. That way you know what you should be doing even if you don’t feel like it.
- Make a plan – When we think about stuff that needs to be done we can always identify problems before we start.We often imagine the worst-case scenarios around the task and this can prevent us from starting. We need to identify these barriers and recognise that these are simply issues in our own head. By making a plan we can reduce our anxieties and lower our resistance to starting by finding positive benefits to getting the job done.
- What’s the worst thing that could happen? – Many of the reasons we procrastinate are to do with fear before starting a task. We may not even recognise this as fear but rather we just assume that we are being lazy. However, fear is a real issue in delaying starting. A lot of the fear we feel is a result of thinking about what might, could and should happen. When we imagine the worst possible scenario we often realise that the there is no down side to starting and anything is possible when we get going.
- Learn about time management – The secret to ‘just doing it’ is making sure that we have allocated time, space and energy to getting things done. An overcrowded schedule, leaving things to the last minute, and over-estimating what you can get done in a period of time, are all common mistakes people make when trying to get a job done. By setting clear goals, scheduling breaks, making a to do list and prioritising tasks and time, we can make the most of our time and get even the most difficult jobs done.
On a final note the new Principal of St Mary’s visited the College this week and one of the sessions involved meeting with a group of students to gain their perceptions of life at school. He also asked the girls for some advice on what he should do when he started in the new school year. One of our junior school girls told him to just ’just enjoy it, because if you enjoy it, we’ll enjoy it too.’I think this is the best advice he would have heard all day and possibly all year!
Have a great weekend.
Dr PittBack to All Articles