Two Things We Need To Get Things Done

Every Monday we’re given a chance to start the week afresh. What are you thinking of starting? Is it a new project or opportunity at work? Maybe you want to change certain habits in your life.

Most of the time all we need is the push to start. How do we find the motivation? I propose that we need both a reason and a resolve. The why and the what that will keep us pressing on to accomplish our goals this week.

A Reason That Motivates

Find the reason for any task that you need accomplished and it will help you find the motivation to do so. I know of a couple of friends who have successfully given up their unhealthy lifestyle and resolved to eat healthily and exercise. Their reason? More than looking good, they didn’t want to endure the countless times people have commented about their weight anymore. A great reason that benefits themselves more than it does others.

There’s always a reason for us to do something. The reason may be for ourselves or for others and their good. Most of us ask this very same question,“Why are we at this job?”. Perhaps we have a family to feed. That’s a great reason for us to work hard, work smart and do our jobs excellently. Perhaps its for our own growth. That’s an equally valid and important reason.

Occasionally, there will be time a lousy or unreasonable task comes up. That’s okay! That’s when we learn to say “No” to the task and get other more important things done.

If you’re feeling demotivated at whatever you’re seeking to accomplish, reflect on the reason why it needs to be done. Write it down. Remind yourself constantly.

A Resolve That Perseveres

A resolve that you make is a vow you tell yourself and to others of what you want to change to accomplish a goal. It’s a specifically crafted promise that you make with a very specific goal attached to it.

An example of a resolve is “I will complete a 5km run twice a week“.

Very specific and there’s a simple goal.

After you’ve identified your reason, write down your resolve. The only thing stopping you is yourself. It’s the man in the mirror.

I find that in any task we do, if we can know why we are doing it and resolve to do it, we can get (almost) anything done.

Get it done.

Enough!

Remember that cupboard full of old clothes that you said you wanted to clear out?¬†How about the desk full of books and scraps of paper? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to clear that 1,039,458 emails in your inbox.

Think of all the stuff we’ve procrastinated to do but never got done yet.

It’s now the end of the week and we’ll have plenty of free time over the weekend. So, let’s be intentional.

All of us are victims of the plague of procrastination. I too have drawers and shelves that I’ve never touched in months (and years!). But it’s about time we make use of our free time and it’s time we put procrastination in it’s place. Enough is enough!

Just start.

That’s all you need to know. You have to make the time and do what you have to do. To help you with that, here’s some ideas to help you kick procrastination out of your life:

  • Make a list of specific actions. Put everything you need to get down down on paper (or a to-do list app). Be specific and be clear about what needs to be done. Make it actionable, like “Clear all scrap/junk paper” or “Remove clothes I don’t wear anymore from the cupboard“. Don’t generalize it, but be specific.
  • Choose what you want to work on this weekend. Maybe it’s just one thing, like clearing your cupboard. That’s okay, start with that one. Start small and you’ll find you get lots of things done.
  • Work at it until you’re done. Try not to be too distracted while you’re getting the task done. If you’d like to play music, that’s okay. I found when I tried playing a movie as I got things done, I usually don’t finish the task. You’ll need to focus.
  • Check it off the list. There’s some satisfaction in having done something productive. Reward yourself later. Try not to go for the double chocolate ice cream. But treat yourself to something nice.

That sounds easy doesn’t it? Things only get done if you start doing them. Sometimes the work seems to daunting because it’s been left there to pile on and on.

As simple and practical the steps above are, sometimes it’s about having a change of mindset that’s most important. Just like someone I know who said “Enough!” to his unhealthy lifestyle, we got to say “Enough!” to our bad habit of procrastination.

Renew your mind and make this your aim this week;

I will not PROCRASTINATE. I will START and I will FINISH it.