So in honor of my not posting to It’s Good To for about a month because no article is completely finished (hello perfectionism), I’m writing a post all about HOW TO GET ANYTHING DONE! Essentially how to stop procrastinating! 

Of course, nothing is wasted. When you procrastinate, you eventually learn how to procrastinate a little less in the future.  The main point is to see the silver lining (the knowledge) in each failure or disappointment.

But in attempt to be less perfect and more real and honest. Here’s my very under-researched & possibly filled with grammatical errors  take on how to get anything done.

While I procrastinated this month, I came across some pretty helpful information on getting s*** done.   Here it is… 

 

1.) SET A TIMER!

(YOU CAN DO IT ON YOUR IPHONE UNDER THE ALARM APP)

I learned this jewel of a lesson from THE FLY LADY! If you haven’t heard of her, she’s simply amazing. Her website is not even a .com (it’s a .net). She’s very helpful and methodical for those coming from a place of: “I feel totally helpless and don’t know where to begin…

Back to the timerHere’s how The Fly Lady explains how to do it.  In short, set a timer for 15 minutes for any task or mission you want to get done. You don’t have to finish the whole thing (cleaning out a messy closet), the point is that you simply START! In fact, I’m using the timer method right now (45 minutes for this article).

WHY IT WORKS? You’re setting a specific start and end time. You give yourself the benefit of knowing you have limited time (like when you magically get something done 5 minutes before a deadline). Plus you know there’s an end in sight…

2.) STAND UP TO THE PERFECTIONISM BULLY

AKA: Let’s go of the “it’s done perfectly” reward state of mind.

This is a HUGE point of delay for me! I figure if it can’t be perfect, I should just hold on it to a little longer so that it’s WORTHY of being displayed (and of course worthy of my inevitable praise and adoration for my perfect work).

The fact of the matter is that perfectionism keeps you from completing the task because you’re SO FRICKEN WORRIED about how it will be received. Once you let go of that need to perfect & impress, it becomes much easier to get s*** done.

WHY IT WORKS? You’re letting go of the worry (the need to be perfect). You’re also letting go of a learned delay tactic that keeps you from being an IMPERFECT ALL STAR.  

(Marie Forleo did a great video on this very subject and I’ll probably beautifully embed it into this article, but not until after I’m finished with writing. My timer is on after all...) 

3.) BUY A NEW PAIR OF SHOES!

You weren’t expecting this one. And it’s kind of just a little bit cruel because I’m not saying you should go shopping instead of completing your MITs (most important tasks). What I am saying is yet another AMAZING PIECE OF ADVICE FROM THE FLY LADY which is…

Fly lady recommends “getting dressed to laced up shoes” &  first thing in the morning.  She recommends that (before you even make your coffee), you get dressed with a HUGE emphasis on “getting dressed to shoes”. Now, if you don’t have laced up shoes, that’s fine. The whole point is that you put your shoes on first thing in the AM…

WHY IT WORKS? You’re READY! You’re ready to put stuff in the laundry. You’re ready to walk to the mailbox. You’re ready for a possible apocalypse.

You also feel a little bit more put together and perhaps that helps you to feel like you can get anything done… PS: While you’re at it, streamline your clothes!  Be like Einstein and wear a “uniform” (same thing) everyday. It will simplify your life (less decisions). 

PS: Do shoes like Mr. Magorium does shoes…  (Fell in love with them in a little shop in Tuscany +bought enough for a whole life = genius)

4.) HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

(A VERY REWARDING POST-TASK THING) 

This one seems pretty obvious, but if you just give yourself the benefit of a post-task reward ~ the “doing” stage will become  much more desirable.  Whether it be a cup of coffee, a walk with your dog, a Modern Family episode ~ whatever it may be… Just let yourself have a reward and the thought of something to look forward to…

WHY IT WORKS? You’re allowing yourself to look beyond the task  ~ instead of just starring at the unsurmountable task at hand. You get to know that the task will pass and you will graciously reward yourself. And that tiny bit of self-care can give you the momentum you need… 

5.) SAY F*** IT

~GIVE UP & ENJOY THE RIDE~

Us humans ~ we tend to psych ourselves out a bit too much. We worry about death. We worry about life. We worry about our boss. We worry about our kids.  We worry about worrying…

But haven’t you found that the people who couldn’t give two cents always seem to have things working out for them?  It’s like they have some sort of magical fairy team that follows them around and just helps cook dinner and do their hair…

WHY IT WORKS: This tidbit is slightly related to the perfectionism of #2 above. People who worry less are also invariably seeking less approval and acceptance from others. They tend to just say “f*** it!”.

And guess what? That “screw it” mentality takes the HUGE WEIGHT OF WORRY off your shoulders & positions you in a place of NATURAL GRACE, NATURAL POWER. 

6.) DO ONE THING AT A TIME

~DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF & REMOVE DISTRACTIONS~ 

This is also a huge issue for me. It’s a classic overachiever mentality.  I feel I am not doing anything unless I’m doing everything!

I will simultaneously: do research, start laundry, write an article, set out tax paperwork and subsequently have everything HALF DONE.  The problem with this is  is that you’re overwhelmed and not giving one, single task your absolute, 100% attention. So next time you feel the need to have 15 tabs open in your computer, close them. Open 1.  Give yourself a multitasking break.

WHY IT WORKS? + A TIP: You’re not stressing yourself out. And above all else, you are focusing on one task and therefore completing one task. You can’t set that timer for several tasks….

AND HERE’S THE TIP: Put away all distractions (phone, paperwork, to do lists). Anything that makes you feel overwhelmed, should be out of your view.  Here’s a great article from Tonya Leigh on going from overwhelm to calm. 

7.) KNOW WHY YOU WANT TO GET IT DONE 

~AKA HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR YOUR “DOING”~

The marvelous life coach, Martha Beck, once said something along the lines of, “Those who get what they want tend to be the ones who make the effort to know what they want“… And I know this isn’t an article about getting stuff you want.

But this is an article about getting stuff done. And if you’re getting stuff done, you better know WHY you’re getting it done.

Because here’s the thing: If you’re getting stuff done so as to simply please another person or to prove something , you’re not going to want to get it done, get it done well or get it done from your MOST AUTHENTIC PLACE.  And the delay will come from knowing it’s inauthentic….

WHY IT WORKS? Knowing why you want to get something done is half the battle. Once you have established the “why am I doing this”…the how and when will follow more gracefully. Know why you’re getting it done and the path will be cleared. Ideally, know the long-term reason (happy retirement, meeting Oprah, etc). 

8.) BE PATIENT FOR”THE BIG PICTURE” (RESULT)

DO THE EDITING & FINE-TUNING LATER

So even when we think we are 100%  focused on a task, we are simultaneously working other notes and tasks into that singular task. We’re taking mental notes of this or that… And for some reason (maybe it’s our texting generation), we just CAN’T WAIT. We want to put the whole picture together as quickly as possible.

For example, I’m writing this article and wanting to pull up a couple links and images to incorporate, but instead of interrupting my flow, I have consciously decided those tasks can wait until after the article is complete.

WHY IT WORKS? You stay focused! You don’t allow yourself to warp other tasks into your singular task.  You get the MIT of the task done and allocate time for the fine-tuing, tidbits later.  Giving yourself the freedom to know that you can fine-tune later is relieving, but also realistic… 

9.) BEGIN WITH TWO MINUTES! 

This is James Clear’s advice. He’s an entrepreneur/writer/health advocate & I’ve followed him for a few years now. He’s absolutely simple and straightforward. His website isn’t all bedazzled and his advice couldn’t be more realistic.  Here’s his article on the now famous “TWO MINUTE RULE”. 

James says, “The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it.”  Doesn’t that make complete and simple sense? I highly suggest following James Clear and signing up for his newsletter which is a weekly (not everyday thing) ~ thank goodness!

WHY IT WORKS?  James couldn’t have said it better. The “inertia”.

It’s the starting of the marathon that is exhausting. Once you’re in it, you’re good to go. So just start with two minutes… Go from there & life’s inevitable inertia will follow suit…. 

10.) STOP DISCUSSING &  START DOING 

Here’s the thing: At a certain point, you need to JUST DO IT. It will get done one way or another. So why torture yourself with the deep analysis. I slightly hate to be all NIKE, but it’s a good slogan and an absolute truth.  You can’t talk about action ~ you just do it.

WHY IT WORKS? You really can’t make the wrong decision. The only wrong decision would be to talk about it forever & never start. Once you get in there, you can figure out ways to improve and grow. Stop talking + Start doing. 

♥CONCLUSION♥

~ LET ELLEN SHED SOME FURTHER LIGHT ~

PS: I had to reset my timer. I did two 45-minute sessions and one 30 minute session for  “fine-tuning” and image editing… Okay fine, it was three 45-minute sessions. 

PPS:  An amazing Ted Talk on A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit. If you’re impatient, skip to 8:51 for the best piece of simple advice I’ve heard in a really long time…

 

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