Get More Sh*t Done

Do you get sh*t done?

Are you as productive as you want to be?

(My guess is no!)

You don’t get around to doing the things most important to you, right?

Do you procrastinate?

Is your head filled with so many details you don’t know where to start?

You want to “do it right” but your perfectionism keeps you from starting.

Or maybe you think you get stuff done, sometimes. But you want be more consistent.

I’ve struggled with this too!

I tried every productivity app on the planet with the hope of getting more done.

I’ve spent hours with an app only to abandon it two weeks later. I’d get lost in the to-do list and overwhelmed with the plan.

Is this you too?

Throw away your to-do lists!

Here’s a simple process I use to get more done, without all the overwhelm:

  1. Set constraints
  2. Turn obstacles into strategies
  3. Plan ahead of time
  4. Calendarize results
  5. Honor your commitments

Set constraints

Getting sh*t done is overwhelming because you try to think of ALL the stuff you need to do.

But here’s the truth, you only need to take the next steps.

Limit yourself to focusing on only the two important results you need first.

Constrain yourself. Here’s why â€” when your brain thinks about ten things it gets confused. Limit the project or goal to two immediate results and it becomes simple.

Also, constrain the time frame. What do you need to complete right now this month?

Pick two results to focus on and do only that.

For example, there’s the side project you’ve been thinking about for months (okay, years!)  What two results do you need first? Results must be steps critical to the success of the project, not what you’re most interested in doing.

If your goal is starting a business, this should be the most important result for your new business— getting clients.

Turn obstacles into strategies

A project or goal has obstacles. Write them all down now.

How will you overcome an obstacle?

Plan for your obstacles by developing strategies for each one.

When you turn obstacles into strategies, you determine ahead of time what will happen if you run into the obstacle, or you can plan to avoid the obstacle altogether.

The biggest obstacle for a project is finding time, calendarizing your time, and following your schedule.

What happens if you don’t follow your schedule?

One strategy is to have consequences for yourself if you don’t follow your schedule. To keep on track you can plan to work later in the day or on the weekend if you don’t keep to your schedule.

Plan ahead of time

Make decisions ahead of time so you can plan ahead of time.

Don’t let your brain make decisions in real-time, this is where you can get yourself into trouble.

This is why — your mind is typically caught in decision fatigue and deciding things over and over. When you make the decision ahead of time, you eliminate decision fatigue.

You decide ahead of time and plan for it. Then it’s only a matter of following your plan.

When you begin practicing the freedom of planning ahead of time, rather than resisting with thoughts like “I need to be spontaneous,” you’ll get more done.

Calendarize results

Okay, so you have two results to focus on. You’ve acknowledged your obstacles and have strategies for overcoming each one.

Now you can define the tasks you need to complete to produce the two results, and calendarize these tasks.

Be sure to focus on the results.

Your time has to produce a result that will move you forward with your project or goal.

Include the strategies for overcoming the obstacles on your calendar. For example, if you don’t follow your schedule, calendarize the other times you can work on your project instead of having free time.

Honor your commitments

Here’s the most critical part.

You must honor your commitments to yourself.

This is where we get very squishy with ourselves.

Consider everything you’ve added to your calendar as an appointment with yourself. If you had an appointment to meet someone for coffee you wouldn’t stand them up.

Be firm. Don’t stand yourself up!

Coach yourself

Coach yourself along the way using the self coaching model.

Why aren’t you honoring your commitments? What are your thinking? How does that thought make you feel?

Understanding yourself better is an important part of the process.

I discovered that I tend to feel rebellious and often think the thought “I like to do what I feel like doing.”

I found myself resisting my schedule because I wanted to believe I could do whatever I wanted and still reach my goal. So be aware (and beware!) of what you’re believing.

The role of discomfort

Feeling discomfort is part of the process to getting more done. It’s true.

But there’s also a lot of discomfort in NOT getting things done!  So why not choose the discomfort that produces the better outcome and the bigger reward?

Do you need help getting more done? I can teach you how to be more productive.

Author: Jamie Cavanaugh

Jamie Cavanaugh is a Certified Life Coach, Educator, Interaction Designer, and Writer.

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