David Allen in his book Getting Things Done gives powerful insight to what is going on mentally when you procrastinate your to do list. He explains that when you mentally process a thought about a task that needs done, you will add it to the bottom of your to list regardless of how many times you’ve thought about doing that task prior. So, you can potentially have a single task listed on your mental to do list 3000 times (WOW!). Learning this information can be very powerful as you prioritize your days and weeks. Imagine doing one thing and feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for 3 hours of work.
So, what should your next steps be to determine what items are listed on your mental to do list. Here are a few ideas that you can use to free up your mind’s “hard drive”:
- Do a brain dump.
Writing is the most powerful action you can take to move forward with your goals. It’s a simple, but important step and will help you discover things that you are thinking, but haven’t fully realized or accepted. Sit down with a tablet and ask yourself what has been on your mind. It could be something as simple as washing some curtains, but if you’ve been thinking about it, it’s time to write it done, get it done and clear your mind.
2. Prioritize tasks.
Put a start beside tasks that seem to jump out on the page at you as being the most pressing and trust your gut on this. While you may think it’s much more important to plan an event than clean out your junk drawer, you will find that by taking 30 minutes to clean out that drawer, you will plan the event in half the time.
3. Schedule a time to complete tasks.
After you prioritize what you want to do (almost like a bucket list!) then it’s time to schedule it on your calendar. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take on one task at a time until it’s complete. Schedule time every week to complete that task and work on it until it’s finished and you can move on to the next.
4. Don’t try to do more than one at a time.
The reason that you feel cluttered and scattered is often because you are trying to do multiple projects as one time and organize the information in your brain. The more specific you can be on paper regarding each step of the process, the more likely you will be to complete each task.
Every time you complete a task, it’s important to keep a visual reminder that you are accomplishing your goals. You could make a paperclip chain for each goal you’ve accomplished and watch it grow, or plant a flower in your garden. Think of fun, visual ways to remind you that you were successful.
Just remember that the first step in accomplishing any goal is getting clear on what you really want and writing it down. Now your mind will be free to do more in your business. Share your thoughts below. I want to hear from you. Have you used this method? How has it worked for you? Any other ideas to share? Looking forward to hearing about them!