How to get the important things in life done!

During a coaching session earlier this week a new client asked me how I consistently get so much stuff done.

She said: “My to-do never gets shorter – if it’s not work piling up, it’s things to do for the kids and if it’s not them, it’s friends or family needing something. I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions and even if I have the time I often just don’t feel like doing what I have to do. How do you do it day in and day out? I guess it’s because you’re so organized.”

Have you ever had days like that?

This is what I shared with her:

I admit I’m naturally a very, very, very organized person. But don’t confuse organization with being productive. I’ve spent many an afternoon organizing my kitchen pantry or my wardrobe, color-coding my schedule or cleaning out my filing cabinet – I was organized for sure, yet none of these produced what really mattered – the 3 blogs I was supposed to write by the end of the day. Organized does not mean you get the important things done – it just means things are in order, probably even your ever growing to do list. Granted, being ORGANIZED is key, but it alone isn’t necessarily a means to an end.

But, fortunately I’m generally also a very, very productive person! Meaning I do get the important things done. Partly because I’m very disciplined, partly because I love what I do and partly because I have a responsibility to my clients and followers that I have every intention of fulfilling. In other words I have a huge driving MOTIVATION to get the right things done. So motivation is another key element to this! You need to know this and you need to figure yours out at the absolute deepest level.

Of course, I’m human too – I also don’t always ‘feel’ like working or doing laundry or cooking healthy meals. Often I’d also rather meet a friend for tea or watch a movie or read a book. But what I do have to support and help me along at those times are SYSTEMS AND HABITS that keep me anchored in reality and help REDUCE the DISTRACTIONS around me.

For example, I can easily get lost for far to long on Facebook. Has that ever happened to you? So I set a time limit to avoid this happening. When I am creating content, my phone is off and I am definitely not responding to or checking emails during that time. When I’m exercising, I’m focused and intentional about the workout I am doing.

So what is distracting you and how can you limit these distractions?

In terms of actually getting started on a task when my motivation is not at it’s best, when I don’t ‘feel’ like it – the following is one strategy I use. I commit to spending just 10 minutes doing whatever it is I don’t ‘feel’ like doing – I TAKE ACTION! Whether it is exercising, cleaning, writing, responding to emails – it doesn’t matter. Because most often it is easier to “act” ourselves into the mood than “feel” ourselves into the mood. And I would say, 100% of the time, once I’m 10 minutes into the activity I’m good to keep going because most often starting is the hardest part. And the reality is, even if I did stop after 10 minutes, something would have gotten done J. And something is always better than nothing.

Finally, I STEP UP to my RESONSIBILITIES and always consider the consequences of not doing what needs to be done and most often that apparent short term “pain” of knuckling down and taking action is significantly less that the “pain” of procrastinating – the anxiety and the constant worry I feel until it is done.

The truth is that we can never regain the time we lose (or don’t use wisely) and that our actions today will determine our success tomorrow.

So what strategies can you put in place to move you to action when you least feel like it so that you can start creating and living the life you want?

Please share your ideas below – I’m sure you have some totally cool ones that myself and others would love to know! 

Until next week – embrace your inner truth, live your purpose and make your contribution in the world today.

With gratitude and appreciation,

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