Be Marvelous and Always Seek Those Things To Make Life Better
If you can never seem to get anything done, or are always snowed under with too much to do, then this article is for you. The following tips and techniques will aid you in completing those tasks — be they trivial items, or life changing projects, enabling you to get back on top of things.
#1: The Task Sheet
Honestly this is only a matter of prioritizing. At one time in my life I held the position of Office Manager. One of the things that were quite helpful was a “To Do List.” Each night or early in the morning write out your to do list. That is, write down for the day everything to want to get done. Then, put them in order by what is most important or by what will take the least amount of time. If done by least of amount of time, the quickest and fastest things get done and out of the way. This also gives a sense of accomplishment driving you forward to get the rest done. Either way, write your task down and constructively organize the list to be most efficient. Also, do it according to your personal emphasis and have fun.
If you don’t write things down, you probably won’t do them. If you take the time to write a list of tasks that you need to complete, you’re far more likely to begin them. Simply jot down what needs doing, and start with the tasks that take priority.
Another good system to use is the “Personal Kanban”. This involves using 3 columns, and writing the tasks on colored sticky notes. The three columns are “backlog”, “doing” and “done”. You can also do this by making you a template and coping on a one sheet page for each day and simply using a check list.
All sticky notes start in the backlog column. Once you start one or more tasks, the related sticky notes moves to the “doing” column. Once complete, the note moves to the “done” column.
#2: Eating the Elephant Or the Big Sandwich
This works well with tasks that you either hate doing, or it just seems to big to achieve, so they are always put off for another day. You may have heard the question before: “How do I eat an elephant”. The answer is: “One bite at a time.” Well, I am not into eating elephants and although this can be used to bring home the point. Instead, how about: “How to You eat a big Sandwich?” The answer of course being “One bite at a time.”
If you dislike for instance washing dishes, but know it needs to be done, try breaking the task down into time segments. Instead of thinking, “oh, I have to do the washing up”, think: “I’m going wash the dishes, but only for 11 minutes”.
It’s much easier motivating yourself to do only 11 minutes work. You’ll also find that you’re likely to carry on doing the task, even after the time has elapsed. It’s also quite surprising how much you can get done in 11 minutes!
Another way to tackle difficult projects is to figure out each activity that comprises the whole, and make each an individual task. For example, if you had to cut the grass in the front and back garden, then the individual tasks would be:
Cut the grass in the front yard
Trim the edges
Rake the grass
Cut the grass in the back yard
Trim the edges
Rake the grass
The bare minimum to do would be to cut the grass in the front yard. Even if you only did this one task, then progress has been made. It’s easier to set a smaller goal of doing bite sized tasks, than procrastinating over completing the whole project.
Rewarding yourself for a completed task can be excellent motivation. If you are looking forward to something you enjoy, then the work does not seem so difficult or boring.
How you reward yourself is entirely up to you. It can even be small items, like a nice cup of coffee, or an hour’s break to watch something on TV. Or perhaps something bigger, like buying that item you’ve been wanting for a while. When I was studying for my BA in Sociology, I would reward myself with a NBA basketball game. I would see who was playing that night and make an agreement with myself that if I finished my paper or reading required chapters and additional work than I would be able to watch the Lebron, Kobe or one of my best like teams play. This worked great and I got a lot done, even made the Dean’s list and a host of other academic achievements.
Self-discipline is important here. Make sure you don’t grant yourself the reward until you have actually completed the task. Most times the reward is so much sweeter if you work hard for it.
#4: Your Energy Level
Your energy level and mood has a big impact on getting stuff done. If you’re in a bad mood, or feel tired and lethargic, you are a lot less likely to be motivated to do anything.
To quickly improve energy levels, exercise is a must. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous or committed. In fact, doing 10 pushups or jogging on the spot for 60 seconds can work wonders, and can be done at practically any time. A morning workout routine that gets the blood pumping can give you a great start to the day. In fact this should be a part of your daily habits. Also, take the time or better make time to stretch and do a few exercises when engaged in work activities. This is especially true for desk jobs or any jobs that make you immobile for long periods of time.
On a long term basis, other things that dramatically affect your energy levels are lack of sleep and diet. Remember how great you feel after a good night’s sleep? It may be that you need to get to bed a little earlier each night to feel the benefits.
As for diet, too much processed or sugary foods will cause low energy levels. These types of food can give a slight boost at first, but then comes the “crash”. Have you ever noticed how tired you feel every day after lunch? Again, drastic changes are not needed, just try not to go overboard on the sugary or starchy foods, and try to add more fruit, nuts and veggies to your meals and snacks.
Using even one of the four techniques listed above will help you overcome procrastination, and finally get things done. You’ll be amazed at how the mood can lift once you’ve completed things that have been on the back of your mind for so long, sometimes without you realizing!
Additionally, you must be aware when you are being overwhelmed. This added pressure bring on dis-ease. Take care of yourself and understand what stress and anxiety is and what it does to the body.
So Until the Next Time, May You Within the ALL Obtain all that is right and good…