How To Actually Get Things Done

We’re crazy for productivity right?

Many of us are carting around our to do lists in our phones, in notebooks, in our brains.

The satisfying tick of an item off our to do list gives us the rush we were looking for, but sometimes the list seems to outweigh the time and energy we have right?

Not necessarily true.

Often the time we spend thinking about our to do list or procrastinating on it, could actually be spent getting things done.

So what’s the best way to satisfy that time management urge and avoid the guilt of not getting through what we were planning to get done?

Put it in your calendar

Whether it be at the start of each week or longer term for a larger project, list out each task that needs doing, then pull your calendar out and actually schedule each one.

Writing a big long to do list at work for example, then getting to Friday afternoon realising you haven’t done 75% of it, is a sure sign you need to actually book things in.

Estimating how long each task will take is also super useful and helps spark our competitive side.

Only have 1 hour to write that report? Chances are you’ll get it done within the hour in a race against the clock.

Accept you probably won’t want to do it

Understanding this has pretty much changed my life.

Whether it’s the gym, cleaning or doing a large task at work - I have the best of intentions and when I get to the scheduled time, I think ‘hmm, nah…’.

Once I accepted I was often going to feel like that, I was able to just notice it and make a decision to press on anyway.

It’s a little cliched, but who has ever worked out, looked at their clean house or finally solved a major work problem and regretted it? I didn’t think so.

Accept that your mind is going to try and talk you out of getting things done, and keep going anyway.

Congratulate yourself

Something I’m quite hopeless at is actually pausing to celebrate when it’s called for.

I’m usually on to the next project or idea, when as I wrote here, if we don’t stop to acknowledge milestones, they’ll easily be forgotten.

Make a concerted effort to congratulate yourself in some way after a long week, a big work project ending or a home renovating job coming to an end.

This will make it all worth it and help you reflect back on the effort you’ve made.

Will you put your to do list in your calendar this week? Let me know how you go!

Breaking The Procrastination Cycle

Oh the irony - I was procrastinating on writing a blog post this week and then decided to write about procrastination!

This morning I sat down to my computer to write and found myself scrolling through Instagram, reading other blogs, looking at holiday photos of people I’ve never met on Facebook... you know the drill.

I always feel brilliant after I write to you readers, so what was holding me back?

The task seemed too big

Even though I write here every week, today the idea of it just seemed insurmountable.

Writing and editing the post, finding photos to go with it, sending it to my subscribers (BTW - have you signed up above to receive my blog posts and my 5 best tools for everyday ease yet?) - it all seemed like too much ahead of me today.

However, I mentally broke it down into smaller tasks - I would just try and write the post, then see what happens. Of course momentum took over and once one task was done, the next seemed possible - and so on from there.

I couldn’t visualise the benefits

‘No one’s going to mind if I don’t post this week’, I thought.

But then I remembered I promised myself back in October that I would post every week and that I would be bringing value to my readers if I did so.

I’ve made a commitment to write here on the blog and I know mentally that if I don’t achieve that it would eventually make me feel negatively towards myself.

I hadn’t told others

The accountability of someone else should definitely not be underestimated.

I spoke to my friend Abby and told her I was struggling to get a post out this week. She talked through the perils of procrastination with me, we had a laugh about our similar mindsets and I knew now that she’d be expecting me to get the post done.

If you’re feeling in a slump and not motivated to get something done, talking through it with someone really does work wonders for propelling you forward.

There was no reward in sight

Celebrating and rewarding yourself are not negative things.

My reward wasn’t even that big - I told myself if I wrote this blog post I could make myself a latte and sit on the couch catching up on Snapchat.

Yup, that sounded pretty amazing to me so I pushed through and knew the reward was coming.

I could have easily procrastinated with that activity first, but it felt so much better to sit down with an accomplishment already under my belt.

--

Whatever you’re procrastinating on, try these tips to propel you forward.

I’m happy to be your accountability partner if you let me know what your task is in the comments below!

Why You Should Stop and Celebrate

I come from a family that loves to celebrate. Birthdays are a huge deal, champagne is called for when someone buys a new car, Christmas sees a tree overflowing with gifts and I always get texts from family on pertinent anniversaries.

It’s what I’m used to and I’ve always felt grateful for that being how my family operates.

Celebration is something I’ve held on to as I’ve formed my own life away from my family.

I like to make a fuss over friends’ new jobs, new babies or new anything really, and my husband will attest that I smother him in birthday fun whether he likes it or not (spoiler alert: the answer is ‘or not’)

So why should we take time to celebrate?

It differentiates your life

Although I’m sure you all try to lead rich lives, it’s natural to feel a sense of groundhog day from time to time. Another day at the office, another meal being cooked for your family, the days can just bleed into the next.

By taking time to celebrate - whether that be a dinner out, rewarding yourself with a new candle or taking a day trip away - breaks up our lives and creates stand out memories.

It feels amazing to make someone else feel special

One of my favourite reasons to celebrate is to make someone else feel great. I’m not a cruel person who forces ‘Happy Birthday’ to be sung in a restaurant to a cripplingly shy friend, but I make sure my loved ones are made to feel special through words, gifts and somehow making their life easier on important occasions.

It points out how lucky you are

Not every person in this world has the resources to celebrate in the way we do. Along with that comes the fact that not every person has friends and family to celebrate with.

When I stop and celebrate my own and others’ special occasions, it gives me a chance to pause, look around at those close to me, and remember how truly lucky I am to have the life I do.

--

Do you take the time to stop and celebrate? What’s the next milestone or occasion you can start planning a celebration for now?