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5 Tips to Help You “Get Off The Dime”

“Get off the dime” ... what an interesting phrase. You’ve probably heard it used a billion times, but did you ever stop to think about the origin of that saying? Carl Van Vechten, one of the earliest modern dance critics from back in the 1920’s, described the scene in a taxi-dance hall: ''Sometimes a . . . couple would scarcely move from one spot. Then the floor manager would cry, ‘Git off dat dime!’”

Taxi dancers working for a dime (immortalized in the 1930 Lorenz Hart lyric, ''Ten Cents a Dance'') were motivated by their bosses to keep the customers moving. Thus, to get off the dime came to mean “to get moving.”

Do you have a task or project that haunts you ... something you really need to invest some time in? Everyone has a project that's been lingering around on their "Should Do" list for a couple of months now. You know the one ... it's that project that you keep seeing on the periphery that just never seems to make it to the top of your "Must Do" list.

Whether you know it or not, that project is weighing you down. It could even be making it harder for you to accomplish your daily "Must Do's." Why put it off? Here are some tips to get you off the dime:

  1. Tell someone you're going to do it. ~ Accountability really does work. Committing to someone else what you plan to accomplish might be all you need to get the ball rolling. Having someone hold your feet to the fire, or just asking you a simple question might be enough to get you started.

  2. Dedicate your best time frame. ~ Estimate the number of hours you truly believe you have to dedicate in order to get the entire project out of your way. Then evaluate your optimum time of day. Are you an early riser or a night owl? Do you do your best work in the middle of the night or the heat of the day? Maybe try switching it up. If you've been saving it for your prime time and it's not happened yet, why not allocate some different hours?

  3. Be prepared to give yourself a break. ~ You've probably been putting it off because it’s a beast of a project. Make sure you build in some break time. And not just some "put my feet up and watch the world go by" break time. Studies show brief periods of exercise such as a brisk walk can really help you jump back into goal-accomplishment mode with gusto.

  4. Make it a challenge. ~ It's already challenging, of course, or you would have accomplished it months ago, but there's nothing like a healthy bet with yourself to keep you motivated. If you estimate it will take you a full 12 hours to complete, assign a goal-bust time. Have a race with yourself to complete it in 11 hours.

  5. Award yourself a prize. ~ Be sure to give yourself a reward for a job well done. It could be something simple like having your favorite decadent treat for dinner instead of waiting for dessert, or treating your car (and yourself) to the premium detail package next time it's due for a wash, or allowing yourself an hour of relaxation in the middle of the day.

Whatever it is ... you'll be glad to get it off the dime. Who knows? It might be worth a whole quarter until you’re done!

If you need more help to get your feet moving, let us know what you want to accomplish by what time frame.

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