“I’ll do it later”, “I will start tomorrow” or “let me just check Instagram real quick” - sounds familiar? Don’t worry, I think we all can relate.
Sometimes it feels like the list of things we need to get done is never-ending. It’s really easy to just neglect, postpone or straight up forget about some of the stuff on our to-do's. Procrastination is a real thing and many people struggle with it daily. Sometimes it’s not easy to “just get things done” if you don’t have the motivation for it, or if you just don’t know where to start. If you are struggling with a huge workload, find yourself procrastinating too often and lose track of what you need to achieve then listen up, because I am about to share my top tips on getting things done!
Plan it all out
First things first - you need to set up a concrete plan. Prioritize your to-do's every day and create a structure for them - what will you do first, what can wait a bit longer? This way, you will realize which tasks might not actually be a priority and that you are really stressing over nothing. Some things are urgent and other things aren’t urgent just yet, and others aren’t very important at all.
Once you have your broad plan, go ahead and divide your to-do’s into smaller tasks. Breaking it down will make everything seem much more achievable - you will still get it done, but it will not feel as if you spent a long time doing it. Your mind can easily trick you into thinking that something is too big or will take too long. But you can also easily trick your mind into doing a big task by viewing it as a series of smaller ones!
One thing I used to do, which probably played a big part in not getting things done was setting unrealistic goals. I was essentially setting myself up to fail. If you write yourself the world’s biggest to-do list, chances are you’ll feel totally overwhelmed and you won’t be able to complete it at all. It’s another reason why dividing your big tasks into smaller chunks will be super useful. It’s important to set yourself achievable goals within a realistic time frame. Don’t sabotage yourself. You will only feel bad and demotivated if you don’t manage to finish, even though it was impossible to begin with.
It’s easy to get distracted by unnecessary noise. Your conscious mind will automatically agree with you, so if you are procrastinating because you are not in a mood, not ready, overwhelmed, or bored, you will find all sorts of excuses not to get things done. Every time you get distracted, it takes you a while to get back to the job at hand.
You need to put 100% of your attention on your task. Don’t let your mind wander off outside the current moment. Turn off any distractions - put your phone somewhere else and disable pop-up notifications on your laptop, such as emails or iMessage.
Take away the pressure
My next tip might seem a bit surprising but I want you to remove the pressure. Just forget about how urgent you need to get your work done. Often you have to remove the perceived pressure in order to work in a focused way. Instead of stressing about it, just think that everything will work out and that you will get it all done in time. Jake and I usually meditate in the morning which helps us start the day stress free and allows us to focus on our work for the day.
Don’t wait until you feel motivated
Once you feel ready to get started, make sure that you don’t wait around for too long. It is easy to believe that you need to be ready, in the zone, or feel excited and eager to get things done. But that’s not true. It’s another trick that your mind plays on you. You are always ready. The mood you are in does not decide if, or how well you will perform tasks and how long it will take you. Too there really is no point in giving it any attention - you may just as well turn your attention to your tasks!
Give up perfectionism
Tip number six is to give up on perfectionism. Aiming for perfection is the “perfect” excuse for not finishing tasks or potentially never getting around to your tasks in the first place. It’s easy to overthink what we want the outcome of our actions to look like, rather than focusing on just getting it done. However, giving up on perfection does not mean doing a bad job - focus on doing your best rather than on being perfect.
Be aware of the consequences
What happens if you don’t get your tasks done on time? What do the consequences look like? Will it keep you from reaching your overall goal? Will it prevent you from delivering your work? Reminding yourself of your goals and dreams while visualizing what’s at risk might give you the kick that you need. A vision board can also help you visualize your goals and keep them front of mind - it’ll remind you why you started and where you want to end up.
Last but not least, always remember to reward yourself. When you complete something on your to-do list, not only do you get to experience the pleasure of ticking it off, but you can reward yourself with all sorts of fun things: go for lunch with friends, go for a walk, take a nap, make some waffles or anything else that brings you a bit of joy.
And that’s it - this completes my top tips on getting things done and saying goodbye to procrastination! I know it’s not always easy, especially if the tasks that need to be done aren’t fun, complicated or just plain exhausting. Just remember that they need to be done eventually, so the faster you get them completed, the faster you can move onto more enjoyable things! But also, don’t forget to take some breaks from time to time. By “resetting” your mind, you will get a fresh perspective, inspiration, and energy to carry on.
Lots of love,