Learn when to quit. Get your free download in helping you decide if quitting something is right for you and learn how to plan and cope in that process.

Removing The Obstacles in Your Life: Actionable Steps to Quitting & Realigning Your Priorities

I want to change the way we look at quitting. I talk about this and how to quit the right way in episode 017, The Lost Art of Quitting, during my Productivity Paradox podcast. Head over to iTunes and listen for more details and a download… or keep reading below!

Quitting something shouldn’t be simply looked at as negative. That’s because quitting is not an end, it’s the first step to redefining your goals and refocusing your life.

 

How Quitting is an Important Part of inkWELL Press

 

Some of you may have already gotten the rundown of my husband, John, and I’s story of starting inkWELL Press. But I really want to focus on how quitting was a big part of our success.

For while, we were very happy with the opportunity to work together. As a stay-at-home mom, I started my wholesale jewelry business so that John could quit working in corporate America and be at home more. We loved making decisions together and working side by side. But honestly, that business did not fulfill me and feed my passion – it only paid our bills.

Around the fall of 2013, I got the courage up to talk to John and tell him I was not happy with our business. He confided in me that he felt the exact same way. We decided that following your mission in life and finding what you’re passionate about was extremely important.

Together, we decided to jump in with both feet and quit the business we didn’t like. We wondered, “could we really go without any sort of income for 6-8 months while we work to open inkWELL Press?

It was scary, of course. But we saved up, we planned and we did it. Now we have a business that makes me happy on a daily basis and that I am so fulfilled by!

 

Why It’s so Hard to Quit

 

I think a lot of it has to do with that guilt we feel. I talk a lot about this and sunk cost bias in episode 016 of the podcast, so if you feel this often, I suggest listening to that episode.

We hear these messages about finishing what we start. It seems to be hardwired into our brains not to quit. But in the modern world, I truly believe that not quitting is no longer applicable. While choosing to quit isn’t instinctive, it’s imperative.

Quitting can permit you to grow, learn and help you frame new goals. Without the choice of giving up, most people would end up in discouraging loops of doing the same thing.

Assess Your Situation & Learn it’s OK to Quit

 

Let me start by giving you permission. You don’t need to finish every book you start or complete every project you begin. Don’t continue with habits that no longer serve you. Try using some mental contrasting.

Use mental contrasting by thinking positive and envisioning your future while acknowledging barriers keeping you from your goal. The barriers are things you need to consider quitting.

Know that when you quit you won’t find support from everyone. My parents has a hard time understanding why we would close the business that wasn’t fulfilling us because they knew it paid the bills. In their minds, they saw it more as reckless when I saw it as finding my passion. Know that this decision is yours to make and you need to feel confident in it.

Realize that when you quit something, it doesn’t define you. You’re  not defined by this thing, job, project, person or venture. It’s really important to internalize that and know it’s okay to quit.

“Quitting can permit you to grow, learn and help you frame new goals. Without the choice of giving up, most people would end up in discouraging loops of doing the same thing.”

 

How Do You Quit?

 

I’ll tell you that the wrong way to quit is immediately doing it without any kind of plan. That’s just trading one kind of stuck for another. If you do it the wrong way, you’ll end up with tons of baggage, disappointments, anxiety, etc.

Make sure that when you make the decision to quit that it’s mindful. Start by asking yourself what are some things that you could quit today? I’ve created a download to make this bit step in quitting things much easier!

 

Download the Evaluating Your Time Worksheet HERE!

 

  1. When you look at the download you’ll find that it’s divided into three columns. Each one of the columns is labeled, one is activity, one is time spent and the third one is rating. In the activities column, list out the things you do every week. Then in the second column, write down the time spent. How much time do you spend doing that task on average? Write that out and be realistic with your time estimates. Next, give a rating on a 1-10 scale of each activity. Ten is something you love and 1 is the most irritating or wasteful.
  2. When you’re giving ratings, think about these questions: Is it fun? Am I energized or am I depleted when I’m doing this? Does it align with my goals? What will people think? Am I doing this for myself? You might need to add more detail or break your tasks down even further to find your worst offenders.
  3. Next, circle the tasks that you rated 4 and below. When you’ve done that you’re going to see these are the activities you need to try and quit. Add up the amount of time you’re using on these circled tasks. For each one of those circled tasks you had an amount of time you said you spent. Add that up because that number, that is how much time you spend each week doing activities you don’t really enjoy.
  4. What can you be doing with that time that you just found? You just found pockets of time in your day, right? Would it be starting a more fulfilling project? Spending time with people on your priority list? Refining a hobby? Working toward a goal? Whatever it is, that’s your underlying ‘yes.’ I want you to write down those tasks or activities in the bottom section. I want you not just to write them out, but write down too how you’ll feel when you do those activities.
  5. When you’re writing that down you’re going to feel excited about these things. That strong emotional energy you just attached to this needs to be strong enough to help you quit those wasteful tasks.Now it’s time to quit.

 

Coping With Quitting

 

You may feel some resistance to quitting. There’s going to be some arguments in your head about why you can’t quit. Remember that there are plenty of things you can delegate and outsource. Just as well, you should be able to share some tasks or projects with your partner, roommate or even the kids. Find a trade-off that works for you all.

Try opening up the conversation to your family and friends to see if the activities you’re all doing can be worked out in some way. It may even be that there are some things you’re doing, like taking the kids to soccer practice, that they actually really dislike! In that case, you should all realign your activities to better suit your needs and wants.

Note that doing these things does not mean you’re selfish. It’s actually good modeling for others to see that you’re chasing your own dreams, especially if you have kids.

If you’re stuck on doing something because you think it’s super important, try scaling back for a few days or weeks. Then assess its importance. You might be surprised that some of the things you’re doing on a regular basis aren’t as important as you imagine.

Lastly, I just want to encourage you to really think about the things you want to quit and assess their meaning in your life. Make a plan to get rid that thing you know you need or want to. Use the download and if you get stuck, open up that conversation with your friends and family. Remember that it’s okay to be a proud quitter and continue to grow instead.

Comment below what you want to quit or any tips you have that I may have not mentioned here!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton