Do you struggle to find the motivation to be productive? Like, you know there’s stuff that you need to get done, but it’s just so difficult to get off the couch, or come home after a long day and take care of all the chores looming overhead. Chalk it up to laziness or exhaustion, but all those chores are going to need to get done at some point and the longer you put it off, the worse it’ll be. Procrastination is rarely a friend. I’ve always thought everyone could relate to procrastination on some level, but I’ve met some extremely productive individuals recently that are almost ALWAYS getting things done. How.in.the.world.?
How do they:
- get up off of their cozy couch so effortlessly
- manage their time
- keep going
Anyone can learn to be productive and become one of those people they’ve always admired for making the most of their 24 hours. It’s not always easy, but once you get in the habit of doing the right things in the right order, you accomplish more than you ever dreamed you could!
Identifying the Root of Our Procrastination
When it comes to leaving tasks undone, perfectionism and procrastination go hand-in-hand, and will lead to little productivity… if any. We sometimes procrastinate because we want to accomplish something perfectly and until we get all of our ducks in a row, we continue to push back everything on our to-do list *cue analysis paralysis.* On the other hand, we procrastinate due to laziness, or the assumption that we will be able to knock out our to-do list later on in a shorter time than it will really take. No matter the reason for our procrastination, it always results in us feeling incomplete for our lack of achievements or scrambling to get it all done (even if it sometimes means ‘half-done’).
Perhaps you can identify with every reason for procrastinating, but the good news is you’re here trying to figure out how to stop it and actually TCB (take care of business)!
Awhile back, I finally found and stuck with a method that obliterates my procrastination though. I like to call it:
The Do It NOW Method
Clever, isn’t it?😉 Okay, so it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll explain how it works for me:
Technically, the foundation of my method all started back in my physical science class during my freshman year of college. My professor explained Newton’s First Law of Motion which is summed up as:
For some reason, this really resonated with me..probably because it makes sense. Imagine you’re sitting on your couch with a million tasks on your to-do list. Of course, your tasks at hand seem overwhelming, and staying in your cozy cocoon watching Netflix is much more appealing, so you sit there until you realize you’ve been sitting there for longer than you anticipated.
Now, what if you would’ve gotten up when you initially thought of your to-do list? You could be halfway done with your whole list—depending on what’s on it. More importantly, you’d at least be a little closer to reaching your goals.
This is where you’d implement The Do It NOW Method. Don’t give laziness an opportunity to overcome your mind. Don’t let slothfulness win. When you think of your to-do list, go ahead and get started NOW.
I think it’s safe to say that we all have a DVR or a pause button. Whatever we’re watching can wait. Whatever comfort it is that is encouraging your lazy spirit to keep you where you are and be unproductive can wait! It’ll be there when you finish. Think of it as a reward for crossing off items on your to-do list.
Getting sucked in for ~one more episode, 15 more minutes, getting caught up on Instagram~ is WAY TOO EASY. Time goes by fast and the longer we put off being productive, the easier it becomes to do so.
*If you need ideas on how to start being productive, check out these 10 Daily Habits for Keeping A Tidy Home.
How to Implement the #1 Productivity Rule:
Of course, the goal of this method is just getting up and doing XYZ now. Simple enough. But! Here are a few add on’s that will help you get your thoughts in order to REALLY start getting things done:
Create a to-do list of goals you’d like to complete for the day or week. It’s easier to be productive when you have a clear outlook on what you want to accomplish. Stick to your list and be specific! Vague tasks are often pushed to the side and are more difficult to achieve because when read, they don’t give you a clear path. It’s important to be as specific as possible and that includes writing deadlines beside tasks that have them or need to be completed more urgently.
When brainstorming and writing your to-do list, it helps to assign each task a number of importance. (Ahem, probably those urgent ones).
When I don’t make a list, I can get a little distracted and move on to a million other irrelevant tasks in between, which lead me to stay busy, but not complete the tasks that really matter. I end up with every task halfway done, or many irrelevant tasks completed all because I tried to multitask.
If you feel a little lost when it comes to getting your goals in order, see this post on the S.M.A.R.T method of goal-setting, as well as this great article on the best way to write a to-do list to avoid overwhelm!
2.) A Few Easy Tasks First
Now that you have your to-do list in order, it can be difficult to jump right in and ‘eat the frog,’ so maybe start with A FEW smaller tasks. Ya know, just to get the blood flowin.’ (Remember our theme quote!)
If you want to jump right into the greatest feats, by all means, go ahead! But! If you need a little encouragement, start by tidying up the living room or unloading the dishwasher. These are easy efforts that will give you immediate results, thus, jump-starting your productivity. Then, move on to the tasks that are most important and need to be accomplished ASAP. (i.e. getting those bills paid or eating the frog!)
3.) DO IT NOW
Writing out a to-do list can give you a false sense of accomplishment, so don’t procrastinate implementing what’s on it. Begin DOING the work! You can always add to your list as you think of things. Actually getting up and starting the first task is the hard part. Once again, don’t bounce from task to task leaving each one incomplete. Commit to completing a task and then move on. Multitasking is overrated and will typically leave jobs forgotten or half-done.
4.) Crossing Off
Having the satisfaction of completing a task and getting to cross it off your list will give you more energy and motivation to move on to the next task and so on. There’s just something about crossing off items on your to-do list that’ll give you that extra pep you need to keep going.
And there you have it! Pretty simple, huh? The Do It NOW Method starts off as a mindset and can make a huge impact on your life. I encourage to you begin today and notice how much more productive you are! If you’re like me, once I’m on a roll, nothing can stop me…except lunch. (Almost every time I stop for lunch or a snack, I notice I have to implement the Do It NOW method all over again because my body has stopped and that slothfulness can begin to set in). Let me know how this method helps you in your journey of getting things done! And remember:
“A body in motion tends to stay in motion!”
What do you think?