Are you a finisher?
Or do you start a project, and when you get into the weeds of it you get a bit stuck?
Then if something else comes along you put it on the backburner, and it never actually gets done?
I know this happens to me.
And just from asking questions I get the sense that this happens to a lot of people.
You have a to-do list that is miles long, or you have multiple to-do lists, and future to-do lists and they never seem to get any shorter because things just aren’t getting done.
I get it, I battle with this stuff too. But I know it’s possible to still get shit done anyway.
When I served in the Navy, and when I started my own business I worked out strategies that helped me to complete projects. And now I use them to help my clients get shit done.
So let’s just dive in and I’ll share my top three.
1. Plan it out in your calendar. And stick to it.
Make a plan, and write it down.
Planning it out applies to all kinds of things, not just to large project plans but also if you simply need to clean your house. If cleaning your house is something that keeps getting put on the backburner and you never seem to have time for it, then set a date with yourself, put it in your calendar, and on that date and time – go and do it.
You aren’t going to miss an appointment that you’ve scheduled with a client – so just like you would do for a client, schedule an appointment with yourself.
I do it all the time.
If I need to do something like clean the bathroom, I write it down in my calendar. For example, I’ll make the appointment for Thursday at 4 pm, and then at 4 pm on Thursday I show up and I clean my bathroom.
OR if you want to go live on Facebook every day for a week, set a date with yourself, put it in your calendar and act like it is a client meeting.
You wouldn’t miss an appointment with a client, or I hope you don’t, so give yourself the same respect you give to your clients.
If you are the sort of person who pushes your own needs aside all the time then this might take a bit of practice. You put your own needs on the back burner, and you let other things interrupt you or take over when you need to get things done.
We can change how we think about our own time, that time in our calendar is hard to get back if it is missed, a bit like a doctor’s appointment. You wouldn’t let your doctor’s appointment slide, would you? So give yourself the same respect for the appointments you make with yourself as you would with a doctor.
And sometimes there is something you just don’t want to do. Many people put off tasks that aren’t really that great to do. As in there is stuff I don’t like to do either. But if these tasks don’t get done then we don’t get things accomplished, or things get worse over time.
These appointments to ourselves are a bit like appointments with the dentist. We don’t want to go, but we know we have to or the problem is going to get much bigger.
2. Do things that make sense.
The next thing is to do things that make sense.
So if you find yourself trying to get work done but then you’re taking a call, and then you have to run and do an errand, and these things end up stopping you from getting those other things done.
If you need to, schedule your work time around what you’ve got going on. So that you are less likely to get interrupted.
If you know that there is a two-hour block of time in the morning where no one’s going to bother you and you can get things done, then block that off, don’t take calls during that time – just work.
But do what makes sense, and make it easy for yourself to commit to doing it.
If it’s something like the gym, make it so that it makes sense for you. For example, go to the gym in the morning if that makes sense for you, if it doesn’t, don’t do it then and try in the evening, but you have to make it easier for yourself.
Try out different things to see what works for you, if it works for you to go at night when you don’t have the brain power to do any work, then great. If it works to get it out of the way first thing, then great.
The harder you have to work to accomplish whatever the goal is, the less likely it is that you are going to be able to do it.
I know if I have to work too hard to go and do my work out I’m not going to do it.
If I have to drive too far to get to the gym, or if I have to drive somewhere to get somewhere to do something, then I’m not going to do it. So it’s better I make it as easy as possible for me to follow through.
And so one of the things I do is I block schedule my calendar. I have 4-hour periods of time where I do not take calls at all. I work. And those 4-hour blocks are when I get the most work done.
Some people have difficulty jumping from one thing to the other – I can switch my focus if it’s not tasks that take my full brain power, with those things, I can go back and forth all day long – But if I really need to focus on something or if I have client projects where I need to focus on something I block off time to do that, I don’t take calls.
But then I also have days, certain days of the week at certain times when I take discovery calls, outside of those times I don’t take those kinds of calls. That way I can prepare for it and I know what I’m doing. I can plan my week based on what blocks of time I have available. So again, make it easy for yourself. Whatever that means for you in your life just make it easy because the harder you make it the less likely you are going to be able to do it.
3. It’s okay to cut yourself a break.
The last thing. Cut yourself a break.
If you don’t meet your goal one hundred per cent of the time. Just pick up where you left off and keep going.
Let’s say that you plan to go live on FB every single day for a whole week or once a week for a whole month, and you miss a day – that’s okay. Just go on to the next day or go on to the next week.
If you say that you are going to block off this time on a Tuesday for two hours and you are going to do work and something comes up – it’s okay, just pick it up the next day.
If you can’t do it that week just try again the next week.
It’s okay, cut yourself a break.
This applies to all sorts of things like running or working out or cleaning your house. Whatever it is, if you set a goal and think “I’m going to do this once a week every week for a month” and see how it goes, but you miss a day – it’s okay.
Give yourself a break and just start up the next time. Just because you miss a day doesn’t mean that the whole idea of what you want to accomplish is gone, you just have to pick it back up and do it again.
It’s amazing how much more gets done when you pick it up and keep going rather than waste time thinking about how you messed up your plan. Just keep going. I get so much more done when I don’t dwell on those moments.
So the secret is…
Make a plan that makes sense to you, and cut yourself a break if you don’t get it perfect.
You will get so much more done when you commit to an action that is easy for you to do and then be easy on yourself when life gets in the way.
If you are having trouble figuring out a plan to accomplish your goals your projects, whatever that might look like for you I can help. Or you are struggling to figure out how to make it easy for you to do I can help with that too. Book a discovery call with me and we can nut it out together.
Let’s get on a call and let’s get some shit done! I can help you. In 15 minutes we can see where you’re at, where you need to go and what needs to get done to get there.