What is it that prevents us from getting the important stuff done? I recently held a workshop with a colleague on just this topic. At the beginning of the session we asked people what they wanted to achieve from the session. Almost without exception the response was “I am busy all day, yet I never seem to get the important things done”. Or something along those lines….
Procrastination? Lack of planning? Could be any number of reasons. We know what we should be doing yet we decide to do something else, read a book, watch TV, lose hours playing on the iPad, answer emails……….
Now don’t get me wrong, all of these are fun activities but that’s the point – we see them as more fun than the important things. All too often there is something else that requires our attention but we put it off and put it off until it begins to feel like a weight around our necks. Add to that the feeling of frustration that you are not getting the important things done, then you really have something to beat yourself up about!
I don’t profess to have the ‘cure all’ to all of you out there but here are some tips that I have picked up along the way:
1. Stop thinking about it and actually start – allocate some time to sit down and really look at what you need to do.
2 . Break it down into bite size chunks – next step is to break in down into manageable pieces. A task can be blown out of all proportion when looking at it as a whole, and much less daunting when you are looking at small pieces of the jigsaw.
3. Make a plan – it is much easier to find time to do a task when you have already allocated it into your day. Decide when you will do it and how long you will spend on it and slot it into your schedule, calendar or phone whichever you prefer.(I always find it is better to over estimate than under estimate the time needed as it can take the pressure off and that way you might get some time back for Tip # 6 if you finish early!).
4. Do the hardest bits first – how many of you leave the worst bits until last? By getting the most difficult tasks done first, you feel a sense of achievement and a weight lifted at the same time.
5. Stay on track – make sure you are staying focussed on the task. No sense wasting time and effort on the wrong things!
6. Reward yourself – set yourself a goal to complete part of the task and reward yourself each time you do – in my case this is usually a steaming hot cappuccino, chocolate or a walk in the woods with the dog!
7. Finish what you start – once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, finishing it will be easier than starting it! You will feel less under pressure and actually have a great sense of satisfaction!
There you are -7 Tips for Getting the Important Stuff Done! Imagine how much better YOU will feel when you get those important jobs done!