Monday, 20 June 2016

How to actually get things done


This is the time of year when New Years Resolutions have gone away and died and we are all ignoring our life goals and to-do lists. I’m a planner by nature and by trade, I have a degree in event management which is basically a degree in planning, organising and working on tight deadlines. However, I know what it is to procrastinate and then get bit in the butt for it. Over the years, I’ve learnt a few tricks for getting your head down and getting it done. There are a LOT of these kinds of posts floating about but these are real actionable ideas I actually use to get things done. 

Procrastinate sometimes

Obviously not right at the start of your super productive day but giving yourself a chance to relax will make you more focused. Trying to work for hours on end without breaks will burn you out. Take 15 minute breaks to check Instagram or doodle or get over whatever is going on in your mind. Plan these ahead of time so you know when to get your head down to business and when you can start slacking.

Just Do It

I hate to quote a slogan but its incredibly relevant when it comes to getting things done. Often we start procrastinating because a task is hard or daunting. This is the time you have to put on your brave girl pants and push through it. I was recently told 'Nothing will make you feel better but doing the work' and I live by this. Face the hard stuff face on and it will be over and done with a lot quicker. Nike may actually have a point. 

Reward yourself

Let’s face it, we all need a little encouragement now and then. Provide yourself with a reason to get through your tasks. Even if it’s something little, like a great lunch to enjoy on your break, or a cheeky coffee from Starbucks, or even something from your Asos wish list. You are going to be more driven if you know you are getting an immediate pay off once you have completed something. Don't give in early though, you have to stick to your own rules.


Take a power hour

People will tell you to tackle your biggest task first and I’m a big believer in that but I also have a strategy for that 2pm dip in productivity that many of us experience. I call it a power hour because it involves quickly completing tasks. I look at my to-do list and complete as many of the small easier tasks as I can in an hour. It shortens my to-do list and makes me feel so motivated that I’ve managed to get so much done. Its a powerfully productive and motivational hour, does what it says on the tin. 

List it all out

I’m a big fan of lists, BIG fan. Having everything down makes me laser focused and keeps me honest about what I really need to get done. I use an App called Todoist which connects to my computer and phone to keep a running task list for me. I use colour coded categories such as Work, Personal and Blog and then sub categories for projects. You can add due dates to each task and everyday the app will show you a list of everything you need to do today. The best part is that I cant lose it, I can sign in anywhere and it updates automatically. You can upgrade to premium but I’ve been using the free version for months and am perfectly happy with it. 

Take care of your well being

You will get nothing done if you are ill or unwell. Take care of your health and you will have more time to get things done. This includes your mental well being, a huge number of people take time off work at some point sue to stress, depression or anxiety. You have to be your own first priority and then all of your other priorities can be taken care of.

Most of all, don't beat yourself up. We all get distracted and lose focus sometimes. The important thing is to refocus and get back to productivity. You also have to figure out what works for you. You might not get on well with lists like I do, but there will be a way of keeping track of your tasks that will help you get organised. 

Do you have any productivity tips I've missed?
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