What gets in the way of getting stuff done, and how can we overcome those obstacles?
Overcoming obstacles to getting stuff done
We all have stuff to do - things we need to do, things we want to do. But a lot of us feel like we’re always behind. Sometimes our to-do list becomes an accuser or a sign of failure. I don’t think it has to be that way, but what can we do about it? How do we decide what needs to be done and overcome the obstacles to getting it done?
How do we decide what to do?
* Make a list of all the things you’re doing or need or want to be doing
* What’s MOST important to you?
* WORK: What are your key responsibilities, the key tasks you’re getting paid for
* PERSONAL: What is most important to you? (This might change depending on the stage of life you're in.)
* Identify what’s getting in the way of you taking action on those most important things.
* What can you change to make sure your best time, energy, and attention are devoted to the things that matter most? Examples:
* Say no more often
* Learn to let go - Get others involved (family, co-workers, etc.)
* Do you have the resources available to hire help?
* Overwhelm - You have too much to do or you have projects that are too big so you don’t know where to start.
* Fatigue - You just don’t have the physical or mental energy it takes to do what needs to be done.
* Lack of confidence- You’re simply not confident in your ability to do what you need or want to do.
* No place to capture those to-dos, so you’re not really sure what needs to be done
* Rather than taking purposeful, efficient action, you’re reacting to whatever’s making the most noise
* Disorganized space makes everything take longer because you can't find the supplies you need your you have to work around clutter.
* Unrealistic expectations
* About what we need to or “should” do
* About what we are or “should be” capable of doing - taking on things we need not do, that other people could do
* About how long it will take (how much we can do in a set period of time)
* Lack of preparation - Not getting the information or resources we need
* Interference (whether internal distractions or interruptions from other people)
How do we overcome the obstacles?
* Triage - learn to identify the tasks that are most important and need to be done by you, and delete/delegate the others. The clearer you are on your key values and priorities, the easier it is to weed out those projects and tasks that don’t reflect those values.
* Listen to TPW Episode 175 on Delegation
* Break the big things down into small components
“There are four types of tasks: unnecessary work, distracting work, necessary work, and purposeful work. With a finite number of things we can focus on, he urges us to choose “purposeful work” that’s both productive and attractive. Purposeful work involves activities that are simultaneously engaging and impactful. . . .
~ Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project and Hyperfocus, quoted in
A Masterclass in Getting Stuff Done,