How to really get stuff done – 6 helpful tips
Sometimes we just really have to get stuff done. For some of us who work for ourselves and have flexible schedules, it might take real discipline to sit down and work on our projects. Procrastination is huge among entrepreneurs!
Here are six tips to get in the zone - and get stuff done.
1) Turn off all electronics
You WILL be ok without your phone, e-mail and social media. Really. Turn it off. I noticed that I sometimes have some slight anxiety for the first few minutes – I might miss something! It’s called FOMO (fear of missing out) – but then I can go on for hours without electronics. It’s very relaxing and I can finally focus and really get in the zone.
2) Know your structure for success
Play music, use ear plugs, sit in your favorite coffee shop surrounded by a flock of other people getting stuff done, get comfortable. KNOW where and how you are the most productive. It helps me to sit with others who are working; it’s almost like there is some mutual accountability game going on. I feel like they will know if I fool around on social media, or if I’m in fact working.
If being loosely watched by strangers isn’t enough pressure for you, find some like-minded people for an actual accountability group. Meet and work together for a few hours each day or be in touch by e-mail/text in the morning, setting daily or weekly goals and holding each other accountable.
3) Most impactful things first
As a business owner, there are always a multitude of tasks (important ones, urgent ones, necessary ones). Be clear on what the most IMPACTFUL actions are – the ones that really make a difference for growing your business. Always do those first. If you have time after that, do urgent and other important tasks as well.
4) Set a timer
This is a strategy that has really helped me to stay focused. Prepare to work for 4 times 25 minutes. The human brain takes 20 minutes to get focused on a task the first time you sit down. Stop making yourself wrong for that. Write some e-mails or play a quick game; whatever makes you comfortable and sets you up for a couple of hours or more of actual work. Set your timer and take short (3-5 minutes) breaks after each 25 minutes. After a block of 4 times 25 minutes, take a longer break (20-30 minutes), then go back for another block. The mountain of work in front of you and the time you will need to spend on it don’t seem so daunting if you break it up into little pieces.
How do you eat an elephant? “One bite at a time.” (Who came up with that? Who eats elephants?? Good metaphor though …)
5) Get your emotions out of the way
This is huge! I often hear this from clients who feel stopped because of various fears of failing. So hear this: You are worthy and good enough! You deserve to be successful! You have a responsibility to share your technology, your system, your services with the world! You are needed and wanted!
Consider that the emotions that are holding you back from playing full out are just a function of your survival mechanisms. Those mechanisms were important once - about a million years ago -when we had to be careful not to step on a poisonous snake or bump into a sleeping saber tooth tiger (instant death). Regarding our DNA, we haven’t changed much since then. But today in this day and age those same survival mechanisms are crippling you! They don’t serve much of a purpose anymore. Most of our daily fears are unrealistic and made up!
How do you get your emotions out of the way? Write them down on a piece of paper, then shred or burn the paper. Or include it in your daily message to your accountability buddy: “I am giving up fear and self-doubt.” Done. Then focus your attention on actions that will move you and your life forward.
6) Honor your word - and yourself!
Once you gave your word to doing something, do it. Don’t try to wiggle your way out of a commitment; it doesn’t serve and it doesn’t honor you. If circumstances changed or the strategy doesn’t work anymore, rethink your strategy, change it if necessary and make a new promise. Do whatever it takes to honor your word, it will give you a world of power!