Sometimes, what life calls for, is simply getting stuff done. Last week I had a big deadline and it made for a bit of a time crunch. Luckily, I’ve learned some ways to face down a big project or task and get ‘er done (that really work!)
And, of course, I wanted to pass my magic tricks along to you. Because, I am guessing, that you are someone who is wanting to say “YES” to your full potential. And just like birthing a baby, your full potential will take some efforting.
Here’s a juicy “full potential” quote from Barbara Marx Hubbard (that I stumbled across this week):
“The cocreative person is born when we experience an inner calling and say yes to that calling. In cocreation we are saying yes to the birth of our full potential self — that we will go the whole way in identifying our life purpose and bringing it forth as best we can into the world. This is as great a commitment as the birth and nurturance of a newborn child”. ~Barbara Max Hubbard
Without further ado…
7 Ways to Get Stuff Done (So You Can Say YES To Your Full Potential!)
1. Do one thing at a time.
You need to focus! This means, if you are working on your computer, close the email and anything that is not related to the one thing you are working on.
Remove distractions: work on a clean desk, put away magazines or other projects, and place the phone out of reach (and don’t answer it or read texts!)
When you distract yourself in the middle of getting something done or multi-task, it costs you: it can reduce your productivity by 40%.
2. Use a timer.
A simple kitchen timer can be a magical thing. Treat it like a boundary keeper for your precious project. Once you start the timer it’s green light go, you are focusing on the one thing. If you find yourself wandering, guide yourself back on task until the mighty timer rings. When it rings, take a break, then come back, reset and go.
Play around with the length. If you want to use a proven length of time, try the Pomodoro Technique, which is 25 minutes. I also use 50 minutes, and never do more than 90 minutes.
3. Take short breaks.
When you are on task and focusing, it’s important to also give yourself breaks. If you are using a timer, then naturally, when the bell goes off its time for a breather. Short breaks can be stretching, refreshing the water glass and a mini-snack. Longer breaks can be a meal or walk outside. You can also use a 10-15 minute break to check email (don’t get sucked in!) or voice mail.
4. The Coffee Shop Method
Removing yourself from your home or office and taking yourself to a favorite coffee shop is a great way to get stuff done. Some famous novelists write all of their best sellers at local coffee shops. So why not you? Bring along just the one project. Don’t invite a friend (unless they are sworn to focusing on their own project). Avoid the above mentioned distractions and work away while enjoying the creative atmosphere. The local library can work just as well.
5. Keep a brain dump list.
As you work on your get it done project, you will have other ideas and important (even urgent) things that come to mind that need your attention. Rather than pull yourself away from your focus, keep a list next to you and write it down. That way you can calm your mind and remember to get to it later.
6. Don’t get it perfect (and first drafts suck!)
This is one of my biggest lessons in getting stuff done. When I wrote my first book, Real Girl Real World, I learned pretty quickly that brilliance does not usually make its way straight from your mind to the paper. It needs tweaking and coaxing and lots of loving. But you have to start somewhere. So set the timer or sit yourself at that cafe and go to it. It may feel awkward and painful at first, but keep going! These beginnings are the foundation for your gold.
7. Rewards, rewards, rewards.
After putting yourself to task it’s so important to celebrate with some kind of a reward or treat. Keep it simple – I love movies, sushi, and quality chocolate. How do you like to treat yourself?
Here’s to the magic of your full potential!
Have any ideas to share with me for getting it done? Share your wisdom below.