We’ve all been there. Task A should be done today, yet when we get to the end of the day, it’s not done, again. Yet there are people who seem to be always getting things done. A common phrase of advice is “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Why is that? What do people who get things done have in common? And how can you learn from them in order to be as productive?
So you have a task that needs doing, but it doesn’t get done. Sometimes we experience negative self talk about it.
Or we make excuses about it.
But what would it be like if, instead of focusing on the failure, you focused on what you could do about it?
Tip #1: Focus on what you want to achieve
Successful people always have their focus on what they want to achieve. Their goals are bigger than the obstacles they encounter and they are very clear about their goals. Spend some time getting crystal clear about your goals. Once you are clear about what you want to achieve, the path seems obvious and it’s easy to take action.
Tip #2: Use your willpower intelligently
Research shows that our willpower diminishes throughout the day [Baumeister (link to https://psy.fsu.edu/faculty/baumeister.dp.html) and others (link to http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx)]. That’s why you can avoid tempting sugary snacks early in the day, but by the end of the day, all you dive in to that bowl of ice cream. Plan to do things that you know you will have difficulty doing at a time when your willpower is highest. For many people this is first thing in the day. So do the thing that Mark Twain suggested and Brian Tracy popularized: eat the frog first.
Tip #3: Just take the first step
This step is crucial to getting things done. It may not be clear to you how to complete a task, but usually you know how to start it. Even if you don’t actually know how to start something, you can certainly do some research on how to get started. So do that. Do something that will move the project forward. Often when you get started on something, you get on a roll and you have enough momentum to figure things out along the way.
Tip #4: Take care of yourself
It’s so much harder to get things done if you haven’t eaten right, or exercised or slept enough the night before. Research shows that willpower is linked to glucose levels in the brain, exercise releases GABA (a chemical that helps you control the impulses you have to stop doing what you’re doing and get on facebook or check your email) and sleeping less than 5 hours even one night can raise your blood pressure and sleep deprivation in general increases the levels of stress hormones that decrease your productivity. So decide ahead of time what you will eat for the day (because we know that deciding when your blood sugar level is low is difficult), when you will exercise and what time you will start your bedtime ritual to get the optimal amount of sleep.
Tip #5: Plan ahead
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a project if we think of it all at once. By planning ahead, you can break the project down into manageable tasks and plan when to do them. Your brain can let go of having to think about the whole project, and instead focus on achieving the manageable task you set yourself to do today. You know that the rest of it will be handled at the right time, so the overwhelm dissipates.
So pick one of these strategies, implement it today and get that project started that you’ve been putting off.
Need more inspiration? Call 310-800-7430 today to get started on your road to productivity and getting things done.