I am sitting here feeling rather chuffed with myself for getting so much done and it is only 9:15am. It got me thinking about the importance of getting things done so that you can concentrate on the things that you want to be doing rather than the things you think you should be doing.
We all have stuff that needs to be done that we would rather not do – I saw this meme on Facebook the other day and it made me think about the importance of getting stuff done:
Here’s the thing. In the process of contemplating needing to wash their hair, they are actually wasting the time in which they could be doing it and also build a nice big picture about how awful it is to dry their hair – which inevitably makes it worse next time. So the loop continues and washing their hair becomes worse and worse because of the action that needs to follow.
When we take our precious time and fill it with thoughts about not wanting to do something, we end up not doing it, doing it in a rush or even doing it in a negative mind space which is not really productive or good for us. Putting things off also creates this metaphorical blob over our head that makes it hard to really focus on the things that we want to be doing.
I used to be incredibly disorganised, late for everything and always doing things last-minute and honestly, that was SO stressful! I was always on edge, wondering what I had forgotten and when something was going to show up that I hadn’t even thought about. It was really quite overwhelming at times and I really resented myself for being that way. I thought it was ME though and that there was nothing that I could do about it. Oh how wrong I was!
Ever since I was little I have had an obsession with diaries, organisers and planning things – nice clean and empty ones, it seemed. I would go right into getting organised, buy a lovely new planner (because that’s what makes you organised, right?) fill a couple of it’s in, add some birthdays and reminders and feel ever so pleased that I was now organised and things would go plain sailing from there. HA! This would fail time and time again. And again and again!
Just because I had something that I thought would organise me didn’t change the way I looked at the whole thing. I was missing the point. I was trying to make something happen overnight (which we all know is not possible …unless you’re making over night fridge porridge) Anyway, I wasn’t looking at the whole picture. At the benefits that I would get from changing the way I looked at the things I needed to do and the way in which I approached them and carried them out.
Then all of a sudden, I got it!
I had to DO something to change things. I realised that if I got stuff done when I felt at my best, I got lot more done. That if I focused on the end result I would feel inclined to get things out-of-the-way before I wasted my time thinking about it and talking myself out of doing it. I felt less stressed, actually, not stressed at all about the things I needed to be doing. I also found I had free time, yes, free time even though I was always running behind time before. It was amazing!
So what am I getting at with all of this?
Well, first off, being overwhelmed, disorganised or unable to get stuff done is not something that you are born with, you can change it. That getting organised is not an overnight success that happens when you decide it should. How the importance of getting stuff done can help to create calm space in your mind and your life (trust me on this one!)
From that time when I was overwhelmed, stressed out and always behind, I have now developed great habits and routines that keep me getting stuff done and moving forwards with the things that I do love. Back to this morning, before 9:15am, I had fed and watered the cats, prepared breakfast smoothies for Jit and I, cleaned the litter trays, had a relaxing cuppa and chat with Jit before sending him off to work, had a shower, made the bed, got the dinner in the slow cooker for this evening, played with the cats for a bit, checked my emails and Facebook, cleaned the kitchen down and sat at my desk with my smoothie to work.
By knowing what needs to be done and putting my focus on getting them done, I can use my time more wisely which gives me free time as a bonus for the hard work. Plus, I now have space in my day to focus on the things that I would like to be doing i.e. working towards my goals for the year, playing my Ukulele, Learning my Hindi or simply reading a book or planning my veg growing for the year. (seriously, don’t expect to be doing that much on day one, it will build each day of practice but YOU CAN DO IT!)
My tips for today are to start small.
Grab one of the things in the list of ideas below, give it a go and let me know how you get on in the comments.
- If it takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it now!
- Do the big jobs when you feel at your best, the little ones will fit around them.
- Set yourself a timer and get some stuff done in that time (Pomodoro is great!)
- Book a time in your calendar to do the one thing that you have been putting off and stick to it.
- Work out which tasks you can do together e.g. empty the dishwasher while waiting for the kettle to boil.
So the importance of getting things done is to reduce your stress and overwhelm, get into a good routine that gets you through the things you need to do and to also free up your mind and time for the things that you want to be doing. (It makes sense to do it because it removes the excuse of ‘I don’t have time‘)
Good luck for today and I look forward to hearing how you get on!
PS: If you’d like some more support and tips, sign up for my Hangout and come and join me in the Facebook group!