I’m moving office at the moment, and the work that needs to be done for the move is staggering. But as soon I even begin thinking about it, my mind begins to float away to a completely different world. Where should I travel to next? If I skip breakfast, can I have lunch twice? Do I have yoga today, or is that tomorrow?
Anything except for what I actually need to do.
So how do we stop? How do we stop this endless cycle of avoiding responsibility and get done what we just can’t get ourselves to do.
Here are my top three tips in getting yourself to do the tasks you have been putting off, whatever your reason.
Make it part of your routine
You can’t wait until you feel like doing something. Sometimes we never feel like doing a task, but you just have to show up. When I was writing my book or when I had my solo exhibition, I created a routine and just showed up. Sometimes what I produced was crap, but other times it was gold.
Realise that you’re making excuses
When I’m teaching fibre art workshops and I hear a million excuses about why they can’t dedicate time to their art practice, I get them to write down every reason so they see it in black and white. Then I ask them to spend time questioning it. Is it an excuse or a legitimate reason? How would it make you feel if you had more art in your life? Usually it just boils down to one thing. Just start. Even if it’s for one minute a day. Just start.
Give yourself personal deadlines
I’ve spent a career on deadline. In PR and running a business I walk into the office and know I have multiple deadlines that day. So when I’m faced with a task I don’t want to do I attempt to trick myself by placing a deadline on it. (Attempt is a key word, and sometimes it doesn’t work as well as I’d like). So plan it out – decide what you’re going to do, and when and where you’re going to do it so there is no umming and ahing.
Realise that productivity levels can’t always be completely consistent
There are times when it’s OK that you’re not motivated to get to the gym or to get stuff done. I’m not saying create a bunch of excuses to opt out. But there are ebbs and flows in our lives and we should listen and be aware of them.
I’ve decided that I’m going to allocate an hour today to just work on tasks for the office move. I’ve given myself a deadline to decide exactly what I need to do and to find three possible offices to inspect by the end of that hour. I’ve even set three reminders in my phone to go off in 15 minute intervals so that I remain on task throughout the hour.
How are you going to trick yourself into being more productive?
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au