Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 ways to get something done when you don't feel like it

People who are most effective in life have in common that they get things done regardless of what comes up.  Dependability is one of the most important soft skills a person can possess.

Right now you may not feel like you're at your optimal best with hustle and bustle and holiday stress. I know the feeling. The other night it was all I could do to get through a rehearsal, I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the extra holiday load.  Then a few days ago a cold sore showed up on my lip -- always one of the telltale signs that I'm stressed.

But I know that my success depends on me pushing through the more challenging days and doing what needs to be done in spite of the way I may feel. Your success depends on that too.

Here are five things that help me to press on when I feel like stopping or procrastinating:

1) Start the day with a bit more self care

For me this means extra time to get ready in the morning.  I like to start my day quietly with just the natural light coming through the window (or on the days I get up before the sun comes up, with just the shower light on) in the bathtub.  I sink down in the warm water and lay there just soaking or talking to God.  This really helps me get centered for the busy day ahead.

2)  Build rewards in the middle of your day

Rewards needn't be expensive or complicated.  Mine aren't, for sure.  My rewards are things like a cup of coffee or tea each afternoon while I take a few minutes to put aside my work and read something for pleasure.  I only allow myself to do this once I've finished at least half to three quarters of my initiatives.

3)  Make a playlist that inspires you as you work

I use everything from my Zune to Spotify to Pandora.  I have playlists for all kinds of things, even an "I don't feel like doing anything, so kick me in the pants" playlist.  It works!

4)  Make a checklist  

I'm a huge list fan.  My "Initiative List" is on my Outlook each day and I refer to it to check off each thing as I do it.  Break it down into smaller steps and take joy in checking off each thing as you do it.  If you're an accomplishment junkie like I am this will bring you exceedingly great joy. 

5)  Set up something in advance to look forward to at the end of the day


Again it needn't be elaborate or expensive.  My something to look forward to is often knowing that I'm going to watch a certain TV show at night when I'm done with work, or having a plan to make a cup of coffee and call a friend.  Other times my plan is to go out with friends.

Whatever the case, don't procrastinate!  It just makes things worse and leads to a case of the overwhelmings when a due date is upon you and you have nothing done.  Or, it brings great stress when your boss calls you on the carpet for not doing what you're supposed to do.  Fortunately for me that has never happened because I do the things listed above and get it done.  Come to think of it I don't recall one time any boss I've ever had has had to reprimand me for not getting things done. My current boss as well as most if not all of my previous ones read my blog, so they are welcome to correct me here in the comments if they want to if I'm wrong about this.  

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