Manhattan offices of Moda Operandi, Architectural Digest, photo by Joshua McHugh
Let me guess, you procrastinate sometimes. Ya, me too. Sometimes I just need the full-on pressure to get certain things done, but when I look back at the things I continue to put off, it seems like sometimes those are the things that I should just say no to doing in the first place. They are usually the things that give me anxiety, and that’s usually because I just never want to let anyone down. I always want every client, or any one I’m ever working with in any capacity to be happy and satisfied about the experience. Maybe that’s just putting wayyyy too much pressure on myself? Ya probably. Regardless of whether I want to actually do the things I get myself into I do need to get them done.
Here are 7 of my tactics for getting those things done more efficiently each day.
1. Make a list of 5 things you want to accomplish each day.
Yes, limit this list to 5 things.
2. Make this list at the end of your workday each day for the following day.
I find that if I’m thinking about what I’m going to be working on the next day, I cannot fall asleep or focus on anything else for the evening.
3. Do the thing you really don’t want to do first thing in the morning.
Then everything else seems easy and boom that one thing you really don’t want to do is done, and you won’t be dreading it all day. This relieves a lot of anxiety for me. Just cross it off bright and early.
4. Meal plan.
Ew, I know. I hate meal planning (I hate you if you love it + please move next door to me and feed me). Looking up recipes, deciding what to fix, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, blah! Not my favorite thing to do. But honestly, every week I do this, the week goes soooo much more smoothly. I made a separate Google calendar just for food. When I figure out what I’m going to fix each night, I put it on the calendar, and link to the recipe if needed. Major help. This EAT notepad with a magnet so it can go right on your fridge is a great non-digital option for this.
5. Clean off your desk and organize your office at the end of each day.
Not like a major overhaul, but pick it up, so you can start fresh with a clean desk in the morning. No clutter to get in your way.
6. Limit your time on things that are time sucks.
Mmmhmmm I’m talking Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter… unless you work in social media and need to be on those things 24/7, set your phone timer or get an actual timer and limit yourself to 10-30 minute increments throughout the day for these time-sucking activities. This way you don’t get on Pinterest with the intention of finding some sort of inspiration for a project (please go elsewhere anyway) and then look up and it’s 2 hours later and you didn’t even end up finding anything you need for your project. There just went two hours.
7. Don’t look at your email for as long as possible.
I try to cross a few things off my to-do list every morning before I even open my email. Sometimes I don’t even open it until 10am or noon! It can be hard, but that helps me work on actual projects, and not just react to emails.
Do you have any good tips for getting shit done more efficiently? Leave them in the comments or tweet them to me with #GSD.
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GSD (get shit done): A weekly column featuring busy business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and CEOs and how they get shit done. Meg also writes articles with helpful ways to get shit done. Tell us how you GSD on twitter by tagging #GSD and @megbiram.