Here’s a hypothetical story. Has this happened to you?
Ok, your time off has started. May it be your day off or the weekend or even your vacation time, you’re finally free. You’ve been waiting to finally finish that project, or clean up the house, or even just run some errands. But there’s also that TV show you’ve wanted to see… And a nap doesn’t sound that bad… Suddenly, before you know it, it’s Monday again and you realize you haven’t gotten anything done!
I know this has happened to me a ton of times. Even with my own systems in place, I always seem to waste some time doing something I didn’t really want to do, or at least didn’t get something done that I needed to. When this happens I usually feel defeated and frustrated. The thing is, I enjoy getting tasks done, but sometimes it’s hard to buckle down. I’ve been taking strides to try to change this. And I have a few ideas that have helped me in the past, but maybe it’s time to put them all together. Especially with my week off starting tomorrow, I want to make sure I get as much accomplished as I can.
So here are a four tips that help me get stuff done.
1. Create a list.
So, let’s say you’ve got at least twenty things to do. There’s the cleaning, the emails, the errands, wait did you forget to call that friend you’ve been meaning to? There’s so much to do sometimes! I never seem to get everything done and sometimes that’s even just because I forget to.
For some years now, I can’t go a week without making a to do list. It helps me remember the things I need get done, see how achievable it all is, and helps motivate me. I love feeling accomplished and studious, and crossing stuff off that list: there’s no better feeling in the world!
2. Don’t go overboard.
Once I started the habit of making lists years ago, I was instantly enthralled as well as instantly going overboard. I still get caught up in this sometimes. I used to put every little thing I had to get done on just one day’s to do list. So many things that even if I spent the whole day trying, I couldn’t get them all done. Not only does that make me feel overwhelmed, but it also is disheartening when I look back on my list at night and most of it’s unchecked. It makes the next day feel that much more apathetic.
When making a list, make sure it’s doable! If you want to remember and list out everything, write one for the whole week, or even month. Still have one for the day, but have it a decent length so you have the ability to actually finish it! Don’t forget keep in mind what is most important, deadlines, and other things happening in your day.
3. Make it fun.
Some days in the past, I’d look at the disaster that was my space and house, and would feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. I’d take it room by room wishing I could do just about anything else. I’ve found that I was so bored that I’d give up within the first goal.
Now I make sure I have a bingeable show going on in the background, or music blaring, or be on a phone with a friend. I make it so I’m entertained while folding the laundry, or picking up trash, or hanging up clothes. It transforms your everyday chores into something easy and fun. The whole list ends up going by quicker and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on my free/relaxing time as much.
4. Add in things you want to accomplish.
I used to have to-do lists just full of chores and necessities. I’d wonder if I’d have enough time or energy to actually do the things I wanted in the day. I made it a point to add things like “paint my nails” or “finish my book” or other things I was actually looking forward to doing, on my list. It made it more concrete and me feel more reassured that I’d have the time in the day to actually do things I enjoyed. If it is on the list, I have to do it, right? It makes all the other tasks and your list seem more cheerful and you’ll want to start checking everything off it, counting the fun stuff!
I’m definitely going to be implementing all of these things into my coming week! I already have the whole week’s to do list. And even though it’s extremely long and detailed, I’m starting to break it down into five or six parts, which makes it a lot less daunting. I’m in the middle of a very bingeable, good show, that will probably be going on in the background all week. And I cannot forget I have some super fun things on my list that I cannot wait to get around to!
What are some of your tips when it comes to getting stuff done?