Get Stuff Done Challenge Day 1: Plan, Assess, Achieve
Welcome aboard! You’re in the right place if you:
- Ever get to the end of the day and wonder what you accomplished...
- Feel like you’re drowning in your thoughts and “to dos” and can’t get your head above water
- Leave your projects & goals undone for weeks, months, even years at a time
- Have a million ideas and thoughts running through your head you can barely tame them at night
As a recovering procrastinator, busy mom & consulting health coach, the idea of getting more done has eluded me for years.
But this year, a lot changed. I started studying successful people more closely and picked up on some cues. I’ve listened to dozens of podcasts, personal development speakers and taken online courses related to this topic. Here, I’m sharing the simplified processes and systems I use and have gleaned from these influential people. You can run with them as laid out or continue to refine them as you continue to climb to new heights. And when you get off track, just begin again. It’s that easy.
This week, we’ll reverse an old adage and turn mountains into molehills, so we can easily jump over them. We’ll get more realistic with ourselves, learn to let some things go and feel less harried at the end of our days. If you do the work, I’m certain you will track some measure of success. But it’s not a lot of work. Just small habits compounded over time to make major shifts in productivity.
Let’s get started. Begin this week by dumping all those thoughts spilling over onto paper. Don’t worry about all the items, the fact that some might be years away, just get them out on paper. Don’t overthink it; just consider it as a mental cleanse.
It’s nice to keep a notebook with you during the day anyway in case you think of things that need to be done that day or the next day. You can get them out on paper and not have to worry about forgetting. Relieve your mind of the burden of remembering it all!
Make tomorrow’s list
My favorite quote from this year (paraphrasing here), “One minute of planning yields two minutes of productivity”. So don’t worry. We’ll spend a little time prepping so you can think more clearly tomorrow.
Take out a piece of paper and write down everything you feel needs to be done tomorrow. If it grows into a list for the week or for 2-3 days, that’s okay this time too. But if that happens, take the most important 5-10 items and put them on a list for tomorrow.
[Huge fan of a little spiral notebook for these lists, like this or this or this. After tiring of scraps of paper and backs of envelopes, I find that an attractive notebook that I can leave open & refer to past days is my preference. You do what works for you, but I do recommend some paper attached together.]
Now that you have your list, evaluate the items. Can each item be completed in 20 minutes or less? If not, dissect that primary task down into several 20 minute sections. Attainable. You will probably not get an entire level of your house cleaned tomorrow unless it’s your only task. You might get one small piece done. And then you can cross that section off and feel good about it. If all of your tasks are too big to be reasonably completed, you’ll probably always feel defeated at the end of the day!
I know, I know. If you had to expand on some (or all) of your items, your list just got longer! Good grief! That’s okay. This is also about learning our abilities and being realistic with ourselves.
This is huge guys. Any wildly successful entrepreneur I’ve ever watched speak on productivity talks about the importance of prioritizing. Look at your list. Decide what MUST BE DONE. Pick 2-3 things that will be your priority. Give them a star. Start there tomorrow.
If you’re anything like me, you try to do everything else except what you’re supposed to do because that sounds like more fun. But it’s just a few priorities. Priorities shift the focus from “What I want” to “What I need”. And often, “What I need” has to be addressed before you can attain “What I want.
That’s it! Empty your brain. Create a to do list for tomorrow with small, manageable tasks that are 20 minutes or less. Asterisk the 2-3 most important items for priority.
And when you wake, don’t forget to look at your list and feel good that you awoke with direction. (While you're at it, maybe it's a good idea to put an idea for dinner on there tomorrow if you haven't already. They say the healthiest people have a plan too).
By the way, if you want an extra layer of accountability, feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo of your list!
See you tomorrow!
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