Roll up your sleeves, grab a snack, and let’s get our days’ work done.
Here are Ten Steps to Getting Your Work Done
1. Clean Up Your Work Area
If your desk, workshop, kitchen, or activity space isn’t organized and ready to be worked in, you won’t have a great start – if you start at all. Tidying up can help you get in the mood to work when you feel uninspired or unmotivated. Start by picking up one thing, and putting it where it belongs. Repeat. By the time you’re done, your mind will be ticking along and ready to move forward, and you’ll have a clean slate to start with.
2. Make a List
It might help you to start at the end – what do you need to get done? – and then figure out how you’re going to get there. Working backwards from your goal can help you plan your time and have a realistic idea of what lies ahead. Once you have a first step at the top of your list, your path is pretty much laid out for you.
3. Don’t Wait
Even if your goal is to have a fully bloomed garden and you have 8 months of planing & growing ahead of you, there is no reason why you can’t get something on your list done right now. Starting your project feels good, and when you get one thing done, it opens the door to another step that gets you closer to where you want to be. Even if your first step isn’t possible yet, find something related to your goal that you can do to remain focused and proactive. Make a sub-list, create a vision board, or research your work further. As soon as it’s possible for you to move forward, do so.
4. Develop Your Focus, Make it a Habit
As humans, we love habits. Not all habits are bad. Habits, much like focus, can be built-up over time and it becomes easier and easier to maintain. It may seem hard to put aside a regular chunk of time to focus on a task or projects, but the more consistent you are at maintaining that rhythm the faster the task will become tolerable, even pleasurable. This is particularly beneficial if you have a long-term project or task to accomplish. Make a routine out of chipping away at the work until it’s off your plate. When the work is a drag, remember that staying focused and getting it done is the fastest way to not have to deal with it anymore.
5. Have a Snack
Yes, really. You could be swinging a hammer or typing reports, but either way your brain requires glucose to continue to do what it does. When we work too hard we can get foggy and make mistakes, often when we need to be at our most alert and attentive. Make sure you have a little snack like fruit or nuts nearby when you’re working hard.
6. Keep an Eye on Your Goal!
When we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we are at our most vulnerable. When we can no longer envision our goal, there is a greater chance of letting our work flop. Without a goal to motivate you to complete the next task, the desire to stay focused fades away and we are open to distraction. While it is always best to break larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks, keeping one eye on the desired outcome will ensure that ever task on our list serves the same endgame. This increases our efficiency, decrease the likelihood we’ll get sidetracked, and ensures that we are always moving forward rather than getting lost in a quagmire of steps. As we say here at TMS, “Focus on the next ten steps, then take ten more steps. You’ll get there”.
7. Let Your Mentors and Heroes Inspire You
Often times, when we are bogged down by to many tasks and too little time, we begin to shut ourselves away from those around us. The stress of unfinished work keeps us from wanting to take in anything else, including good advices from trusted or admired friends, colleagues, even heroes. Ironically, this state often comes at a time where we are in the biggest need of outside inspiration, so it’s always a good thing to remember to let your mentors help or advise you whenever they can. Whether you know this individual personally or not, finding inspiration and motivation through another is just as valid as finding it through yourself.
8. Don’t Be Afraid
Our fear of success is a beast we must slay on our road to a job well done. Finishing your work can be an excellent feeling, but also a scary one. We become quietly fearful of what being “finished” means, either because we don’t know what to do without busy work, or because we are afraid of the responsibility that comes with owning the work we have done.
The former is commonly seen on social media – we are always “so busy”. The busy-ness keeps us separated from the often messy emotional work of personal relationships, self-perception, and personal honesty. Do good work, and do it often, but don’t confuse being “busy” with being happy.
The latter is a struggle for many successful people. Becoming bigger, better, and faster at what you do comes with new challenges, new responsibilities, and new attention from the world around you. We want to eject at the last minute, justify walking away, or find a reason to stop entirely. Don’t be afraid. Take your foot off the brakes so you can fly.
9. Find a Fun Way to Stay Engaged with Your Tasks
It easy to continue to do something if you’re having fun doing it, so why not find a way to make even the most trivial of tasks a game? It’s an easy switch of perception and often makes waking-up and getting your day going a delight. How you choose to make it a game is up to you, as are the rules. If making up a game just sound like another task then why not find one that has already been made. Many Apps are available to help you stay productive is fun ways. Some are as simple as work trackers like Productivity Challenge Timer, others are more involved like Habitica that challenges ‘players’ to create a fantasy RPG character and then accomplish real-life tasks to earn experience and level-up. Community and Guild challenges, dailies, and rewards round out the experience which changes the day-to-day to-do lists into quests and achievements meaning your character levels as you achieve more in your daily life.
10. Celebrate Your Achievements! You Did It!
Pat yourself on the back and go celebrate, pal. You prepared your space, got organized, you didn’t procrastinate, you stayed focused, took care of yourself, didn’t flake, and locked it down at the end. Home run. Touchdown. Bullseye. Like. A. Boss.
Now clean up your work space so you’re ready for next time!