How to Get Sh*t Done
I consider myself a pretty organised person but there are tasks even I can’t seem to get done on time. I have no issue meeting deadlines or doing the work tasks I love but when it comes to doing things I don’t like or that have a flexible deadline, I’m just as guilty as the rest of the population when it comes to procrastination. Since it appears to be a universal problem I’m about to share with you my top 3 tips to get sh*t done at work.
Number One: Do the things you like the least first
This is a really simple strategy that helps you stop putting off the things you don’t enjoy doing. For example – I hate calling people regarding late payments. Previously I used to always shift this to the next day in my calendar and before I knew it, the whole month would l have gone by without me doing a single thing about it. Now every morning I look for any outstanding payments, pick up the phone and give the person a call before doing anything else. I breathe a huge sigh of relieve once it’s done and can get on with doing the things I actually like for the rest of the day.
Number Two: Get an accountability partner
Years ago when I worked in Child Protection we had a short five minute meeting before starting work where you chose one other person from the team and told them what the number one thing was you needed to get done that day and vice versa. At the end of the day we would do another 5 minute meeting where we reported on if the task had been completed or not and if not, what were the reasons and how could we get it done the next day. Just recently I’ve started working with a new accountability partner where we email a list of the top three things we need to get completed for the week to each other every Monday. We then check in with another email on Wednesday as a reminder and on Friday have a quick phone catch up to discuss our progress or brainstorm ways to overcome whatever the current issue is. If you work with other people, you can choose a co-worker to help you out with this or if you work alone, reach out to someone else you know who works independently (they don’t have to be the same industry) and use options like the phone, skype or email.
Number Three: Tomato
This is my personal favourite but it’s not actually called Tomato (I think the official name is Pomero). To cut a long story short there was this guy that had issues starting projects so he set a timer (which happened to be in the shape of a tomato) for 25 minutes and told himself he just had to work for 25 minutes until the timer went off. Of course by the time the timer went off he was fully engrossed in the project and could continue.
I use this one a lot when I have a project that does not have a fixed deadline or I’m having a hard time getting started with something. I simply set the timer on my IPhone for 25 minutes time and tell myself I can stop as soon as the buzzer the goes off. Only by that time the buzzer does go off I’m in the mood and keep going. On the rare occasion that I’m not fully in the mood, I simply take a five minute break and repeat the process.
I realise that this probably sounds either really basic or just silly (Tomato, really?) but it has been the number one key for me to get sh*t done so I urge you to try it for yourself next time you are having a hard time getting started.
Do you use any of the tips I’ve listed or do you have any you use that work really well? Let me know because I’m always open to ways to manage my time better.