10 Secrets To Getting Things Done
As with everything in this blog, this is for me as much as you. Hope you find this useful.
1. Write it down
Your mind is an unruly place where some things will get lost and other things will spin around and around until they pick up a dangerous amount of torque (I don’t know what that means exactly but the metaphor is apt).
Get stuff out of there as much as you can. If you have an idea or a project or a problem you want to solve, the first thing you should do is write it down. That way it has an existence outside of your head. This has two benefits. You don’t have to think about it anymore (or as much) and you won’t forget it.
2. Say what you’re going to do
If you want to do something, tell somebody that you’re going to do. If you really want to do something, promise somebody that you’re going to do it. If you REALLY want it to happen, give them a deadline and ask them to hold you accountable.
3. Do what you say you’re going to do
Get in the habit of doing what you say you’ll do. Take your word seriously. There’s a lot of power in that. It’s not a moral thing. It doesn’t make you a bad person or a good person if you don’t or can’t keep your promises. But if you keep your promises as often as you can and revise your promises when something comes up (rather than ignoring that you made promise) you’re word will become more and more powerful until a chair will fall out of your mouth when you say the word chair.
4. Behavior and thoughts and emotions are interdependent and they all affect each other
What you do affects the way you feel and the way you think. What you think affects the way you feel and what you do. How you feel affects the way you think and what you do. Here’s a post about this.
5. Behavior is easier to change than thoughts and emotions
It seems counterintuitive but it’s actually difficult to change our minds. We have grooves in our brains (or rather we have established, habitual neuropathways) that keep us making the same decisions and feeling the same feelings. Moving our bodies to the gym is easier than feeling like we want to exercise. Smiling (which actually makes us feel better) is easier than changing our emotions so we feel like smiling.
See how these things work together? Instead of thinking endlessly about doing something and waiting till you feel like doing it, you promise someone that you’ll do something and then you do it even if you don’t feel like it.
6. Ask for help
I don’t know why, but most people are happy to help others but they don’t want to ask anyone for help. Would you like to help people? Most people feel the same way. If you want to get something done, ask people to help you.
7. Offer to help others
There are people who could use your talents and connections and knowledge but they’re afraid to ask you. Offer help. You’ll feel tremendous and often it’ll be weirdly easy. Have you ever helped a toddler get their shoes on? It’s like that.
8. Do one thing at a time
If you do one thing at time you will do it better and you’ll do it faster. Multitasking has been shown, over and over again, to be inefficient.
9. Play hard
Do your best. Why not? It makes everything better if you try hard. I’ve enjoyed washing dishes for 12 hour shifts because I took pride in doing it really well.
10. Play by the rules
This should go without saying but it doesn’t.
Cheating takes all the fun out of any accomplishment and it’s immoral and unethical. If (when) you get caught you will lose everything.