Saturday, 22 July 2017

Tips for getting things done

I used to be a great procrastinator, saying things to myself like “I really SHOULD write that email / go swimming / sort out those boxes”! However, I have learned lots about how easy it can be to get motivated, once you know how.

So often we unconsciously use ways to try and motivate ourselves that simply don’t work.
Do any of these sound familiar?

*   Scaring yourself with what will happen if you don't do it: eg "I will be fat and unhealthy if I don't exercise". It means you tend to experience lots of stress and bad feelings. Also, you don't spend much time thinking about what you do want in life so you may not have very clear goals.

It is a good idea to add in what you do want.

*   Being a Dictator: eg giving yourself orders (in your head) in a stern, unpleasant voice, or saying "have to" or ‘should’. Most people react by putting things off!

Instead you can use a pleasant, inviting voice to say things like "It will be nice / useful to ... " or "I really want to ..."

*   Imagining what it will be like to do something, instead of seeing it finished. This works well if what you are doing is fun, but not so well if it is something like washing up.

What happens when you think instead about what it will be like when the washing up is all done?

*   Overwhelming yourself: eg. "To paint the spare room I’ll have to clear everything out and I don’t know where to put everything and then I’ll have to buy the paint and then…. " It all seems too big and we tend to put off starting.

You can break it down by asking yourself "What is the first step?" If that is still too big, break that down too! Then notice and enjoy each little step you complete, so you are motivated to do the next one.

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