Here’s a guest post from writer, Rachel Thomas who writes about kids and family issues over on her web site www.babysitting.net .
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have fun and waste time then actually get things done. There is just something so intimidating about starting a new project or cleaning up that last mess.
However if you never get anything accomplished you end up broke and alone, buried in garbage. No thank you. With that in mind, here are five ways that I have learned to get things done even when I didn’t want to:
- Just get started –The hardest part of getting anything done is getting started. From updating my blog to cleaning my room, the first step always feels like pulling teeth. The longer I think about it the worse it gets. I came up with all kinds of excuses not to work, but ultimately I have to do it anyway. To short circuit this time waster, I have started to just jump into work. Don’t think about it or dread it. Just get started. Often times the anxiety you have is completely unfounded. You have the perfect blog post right at the tip of your fingers, or your room is not really that dirty, or what normally you would have fought doing for an hour took you five minutes. Just getting started is the best way I have found to get things done.
- Do it for love –If it is a bigger task then something you can just jump into, let’s say a full day at a job you hate, then remind yourself why you are working. Who is counting on you? Why is it important that you do your best? Are your kids watching you? Are you setting a good example for them? When you start thinking about the reasons for your work you learn to resent it less and get more done.
- Reward yourself – I often have a hard time starting things when I feel like I can’t take a break. That is why I have learned to periodically reward myself. I will work an hour and then have a snack. Or I will write a bog post and then look at Facebook. Whatever rewards motivate you try to include them in your day. Make sure to reward yourself often for accomplishing something to keep your enthusiasm up. But be sure the rewards come AFTER success. If you reward yourself with a break before you get started you are just procrastinating!
- Pump yourself up – Sometimes when I am facing a herculean task, like cleaning out the garage, I have to pump myself up. I think about how great it will look when I am done with it, how much junk I will be able to get rid of, and even all the cool stuff I will be able to get now that I have room. Thinking about the rewards of accomplishing a task is a great way to get yourself motivated to do it. Even if it is just the praise of coworkers or getting your boss off your back for a couple of days there is usually always some benefit to working hard.
- Enlist some help –Last but not least you can always ask for help. Not only do things get done quicker when you have more people but you also have more fun doing it. Having a friend come by to help you get the stuff out of your attic may seem like a big request, but maybe you can help her with a task that she can’t handle of her own. By helping each other you cut the work in half and actually have fun doing it.
Being productive does not have to be a struggle. Instead make it a goal to accomplish at least one thing on your to do list every day and you will feel much more satisfied with your life. You also reduce your stress because you have less hanging over your head. Just one thing a day can make a big difference.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.