Would you like to make this week a productive one? How would it feel On Friday Evening if you could tick some of the things off your To Do list that have been sitting there for a while? You know how it would feel, it would feel amazing.
I once read that to make for a happy life you must achieve something and enjoy something every day. So let’s achieve a lot this week and make space for all that enjoyment to come.
1. Mind Dump
Start with a “Mind Dump”. To do a “Mind Dump” you will need to get a pen and paper or open a word file or notepad on your computer, (I use a note in Outlook). Write down everything you need to or want to do. Don’t segregate work from personal life. It can be projects in work to mending a shirt or pair of trousers. They are all things that need to get done. By writing down all the things that need to get done you are already contributing to a sense of control and calm. Never carry your To Do list in your head if you want to reach your sixtieth birthday with no health issues!
2. Process and Organize
Once you have identified all the things that need doing in your mind dump now you must organize them into a system. The “GTDers” amongst you know what this means, but those of you who aren’t familiar with David Allen’s system Getting Things Done (GTD). This is the point where you make decisions on what needs to be done with all the tasks and duties and goals that you have. If a task is date or time specific, if it needs to be done on a particular day or at a particular time it needs to go into your calendar or diary. If the task is not date or time specific it can go in a task list. Categorizing your tasks can help to minimize on task switching and will also help to focus on the task at hand. Plan what you want to get done this week. Create a schedule which includes the things that you have been putting off, the things that make your stomach sink every time you think of them.
Identify what your reasons are for procrastinating, we all do it so don’t try and pretend you don’t! Is it lack of energy, lack of vision, lack of planning, pure laziness?? When you identify what has been holding you back so far it is easier to tackle the issue.
Do you get distracted easily? Do you find it difficult to finish a job outright? I do! When I was in University I thought it was a personal flaw, I hated myself for getting bored in the middle of a project, for losing interest before a job was done. I craved newness, variety and excitement. Much later on in life I realized that it wasn’t a personality flaw it was my personality. I’m an extrovert I like variety I’m a “big picture person” I dislike detail and get bored and impatient when I have to focus on something too long. But what I have discovered is the following
There are many ways to focus more but identifying your distractions and your natural tendencies will make things easier.
5. Make a Start
My best tip for procrastinators “Just Do it” make a start, get moving, taking action, once you make a start, things aren’t so bad, so boring, so difficult or as challenging as you think they are when you are in thinking mode as opposed to doing mode.
6. Review Progress
Check at the end of each day that you have achieved what you had planned out for the day. If not make sure you move the jobs into tomorrow or another day so that they don’t get forgotten about.
Time for the enjoying bit! Remember to recognize and celebrate your achievements, it is far too easy to just move on and forget about what you have achieved. Take note, be proud of yourself. Remember how good it feels to accomplish something. Then go out and have fun. Reward yourself for a job well done; a productive week leads to an enjoyable weekend.
Have Fun and let me know how it goes.
Just the reminders I need, Ciara, on the day that I need them: I need to get a lot done this week (It’s a short work week for us because of our Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday). I generally procrastinate because I can find more fun things to do (paint, write) than marketing homework or labor market research or even working on my “novel” for National Novel Writing Month, which is proving difficult. Going to do the mind dump now.
Good Luck with it Sharyn, enjoy your holiday on Thursday
I returned to this process just recently. I’m getting more done. I can easily get distracted and by writing a list an prioritizing it I’m finding that I’m able to go to it when those moments come when I get distracted and want to do something else. It’s also somehow a challenge to me to knock things off the list.
When I feel anxiety, am not sure what to write, or feel like I want to get so many things done I tend to lose my focus and go cruising around facebook or some other ridiculous time waster. I’m doing much less of that for sure.
I am also writing for NaNoWriMo and though I haven’t met the writing minimum daily, I have written waaaay more than I would have without it!
I like the celebrate one on the end of the post. 😉 I get to do some pretty cool things here in Hawaii to fulfill that one.
Hi Jt, good luck with your NaNoWriMo.org challenge, I have great admiration for all those who take part, I think you can definitely celebrate that achievement.
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