Four Strategies to Get Things Done

October usually is my busiest time for work, but I have to say this April is going to give it a good run for the money.

With all that’s happening between work and Blogadays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed to the point of becoming immobilized like a deer in headlights or wanting to lock myself in a room and go fetal. Fortunately, with all the self-help books I’ve read, I feel pretty good about being able to deal with the initial panic in a detached, logical manner. Or so I’d like to believe… 😉

Anyway, here are four strategies I’ve found helpful in getting things done:

1) Set a Time Limit to Misery. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. If you tell yourself that it’s going to take you all night to complete a job/task, you’re setting yourself to do just that. However, if you tell yourself you have only an hour or two to do what you can, there’s a strong chance you might get everything done within that time limit.

If getting started is a problem, challenge yourself to try for fifteen minutes to get as much done as you can. If fifteen minutes still seem overwhelming, then challenge yourself to do as much as you can in five minutes. I’m usually able to keep going after the first five or fifteen minutes.

2) Prioritize. Even though at first it may seem that everything is important, take a step back and look at the big picture. You’ll be better able to assess what is truly most important. If not, then ask someone to help you figure out the top three important things and move on from there. I like limiting to three things at a time because it’s less overwhelming.

3) Divide and Conquer. It could mean a) delegate; or b) break things into smaller tasks or smaller chunks of time. I recently read in Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog about the Pareto principle—how focusing on the top 20 percent will get you to 80 percent of your goal. Don’t stubbornly think about that you have to do everything. Concentrate on the top 20 percent. Forget or delegate the rest.

4) Remind yourself why this is important to you. If there’s urgency and sense of purpose, you can do practically anything. Within most of us is a hero/ine waiting and wanting to come out to save the day. Sometimes it’s only a matter of finding that rousing fanfare, empowering theme song, or a Braveheart-esque speech that will put the fire in your belly. Other times, the tough love approach gets the best results.

For me, I can never go wrong with guilt. I just have to think of all the people that I’m letting down, and suddenly I’m back on track.

Final note
As a recovering self-help book junkie, I can spout out advice with the best of them. My ultimate challenge is to practice what I’ve read/preached. And, wouldn’t you know, I set a time limit to get this post done and here we are.

Here’s hoping these four strategies get you on your way.

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