productivity

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Photo by Oskar Henriksson

I’ve been in a mud bath of apathy. It’s not a lack of motivation. I’m motivated to do a lot of things. The problem is, I can’t seem to get going on anything. I have lots of unfinished tasks. To get moving, here are several techniques that I use with varying degrees of success.

Make a List and Work It

 

When I can’t decide what to work on, I often dump all of my ideas onto a list. Sometimes I prioritize, sometimes I don’t. Writing things on a list makes them demand attention. Plus, you have the added bonus of being able to cross items off when you finish them. That in itself is a reward!

Move Yourself

 

Sometimes getting moving helps a person to get moving. For instance, before tackling my list, I would like to try to begin pushups training. Hopefully, this will stimulate my body to produce adrenaline, which will help me move forward. At least I’ll be more awake.

Be Accountable

 

Telling someone else that you are going to complete a project can help. This works better if they ask you about your progress on the project. When they ask, be honest about how things are going on the project. If you hit a stumbling block, say so. Perhaps they can help you over it.

Create Mini Goals

 

Instead of making it a goal to clean the bathroom, break it up into smaller tasks: clear the counter, clean the mirror, wipe the counter, sweep the floor, swish the toilet and scrub the tub. Give yourself credit for doing any of these steps. The result will please you.

What do you do to get out of the mud? Put on your boots and get moving!

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I’ve been following the advice of David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, for some time. I wouldn’t consider myself a GTD Blackbelt by any means, though. His system of increasing productivity is thorough at best. At its worst, it can be considered overkill. To follow his system by the book takes loads of time and mountains of effort. And that is what I lack.

Controlling the Flood

I aspire to be one of the uber-organized, with a place for everything and everything in its place, but the reality is that I am constantly struggling to keep the clutter and outright mess under control. I am the perfect candidate, for benefiting from Getting Things Done . I need to control a multitude of projects: writing lesson checklists, shopping for our school texts, planning menus, managing the ever-growing list of home maintenance chores, completing housework, appointment setting, budgeting, writing, chauffeuring. This is not a complete list by any means. My head can not contain it all. Getting Things Done is the perfect tool for a wife and mother of 3. It is clean, it is neat, it is organized.

If It Doesn’t Work, Let It Go

Now don’t get me wrong. I love this system. I just need to tweak it for my own use. If motherhood has taught me anything, it is that it is OK to change things to make them work for you. I spent precious time and energy setting up my tickler files. Then, they just sat there. Nothing was ever added. They were never checked. Once I added an invitation to them only to almost miss the engagement because I had lost the invitation – IN MY TICKLER FILE.

Bye Bye Tickler, Hello Calendar

So, I am letting go of the part of the system that does not work for me. I refuse to feel guilty or bad in any way put myself down for not following through. What I have done is to free myself from worrying about something. I can spend my time and energy in better ways. I still need a way to have a tickler file, though, because I just can’t keep everything in my head. Enter the online calendar. While researching ways to implement the GTD system, I ran across this video:

I have now begun use my Yahoo Calendar more and more to keep up with the kids appointments, husband’s gigs, school commitments, church meetings and other items. Life is much smoother now. Thanks to Michael at The Black Belt Project.

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