HOW TO GET SHIT DONE...
Posted on January 08 2016
Hello January **sigh, eye roll** the month where most of us are broke and on the come down from all our food and sugar / holiday highs, back to the winter grey morning starts. You've probably made some new year resolutions, which statistically speaking you will fail to stick to. At this point you're so ready to hide into Netflix hole of warmth and snacks. You are not alone, according to Netflix, people spent 42.5 billion hours watching Netflix this past year, up from 29.1 billion in 2014. HOLY COW.
Not to worry though, at this time of need we are here with a load of tips and tricks to help you keep motivated and get. shit. done.
Procrastination is probably the number one hurdle in your way of checking off that to do list. With so much social media and so little time you have managed to now know what every single person has been doing over their holidays whether you cared or not!
Beat procrastination by creating a 'last minute panic' in the present. Knowing a deadline is looming, you will forced get your act together and just get on eoit the task at hand. One way to induce last minute panic months in advance is to set due dates well before your actual deadline to deceive yourself into completing tasks earlier.
If false deadlines don’t work, break your workload down into smaller tasks and set a timer as you attempt to finish each one. Racing against the clock is a good way to create pressure when there is none.
1-Click Timer is a simple chrome extension that pits you against a timer to get things done (and handy as it's placed in the corner of your screen). Any timer will work, but the point here is to help yourself stay focused on the task at hand and simulate the pressure of cutting it close. If something “should only take an hour”, this is one way to ensure it does.
In order to be realistic about what you want to achieve and getting it done, they key is to break down big tasks. We usually put the biggest, scariest task at the top of our to-do lists and then proceed to neglect it. If a project feels too overwhelming, try breaking it into little chunks with lots of breaks.
This leaves with a lost of lists to complete, we are here to help you manage these with our top To-Do List apps.
- Here is another timer based app we love, the genius 30/30 app is based on an age-old idea that highest productivity happens when you focus on a single task, completely uninterrupted for half an hour. When the time is up, you take a half hour break. The short bursts of work keep distractions at bay and productivity to the max. While the 30-minute work, 30-minute break model gives the app its name, the actual platform allows you to take that idea and tailor it to you. Give each task its own time allotment and dedicate that amount of time to thinking only about that task. We know it will be hard to keep from browsing your favorite online shop, but that’s what the break is for.
- Stky (on iOS): You know that feeling of a huge to-do list where you have no idea where to start? Maybe you created your list for today in advance but priorities have shifted and rendered it totally out of date. Or maybe you just have a whole mess of tasks with no deadlines. This app starts each day fresh so you can plan your agenda based on the goals of that day. It references your broader calendar, but makes sure you’re not chained to it.
- Carrot (on iOS): This is basically a regular to-do list, with added attitude. If you complete your to-dos, you earn points, which will unlock upgrades, games, and kittens! If you don’t complete them, though, you’ll be subject to mockery from the app. It’s basically a little sarcastic taskmaster on your phone.
Many procrastinators put things off because they like to keep their options open and let life force them into making decisions and finishing what they started. For procrastinators, calendars are poorly maintained and To Do lists become To-Morrow lists. It’s important for chronic procrastinators to organize themselves in a way that accommodates flexibility, improvisation and the inevitable chaos of life.
- This is why I love Trello— it gives you full control over the way you manage tasks, your team, a project or an entire business venture. And it’s free. Simply create your board, add tasks as cards to different lists, assign due dates if necessary, or even make your cards slowly fade into nothingness if you ignore a task for too long. Trello even comes with a calendar view to give you an outline of what's ahead that lets you move due dates around with a simple drag-and-drop. My fave thing about this tool is that you can attach links or images to a task, therefore compiling everything into one place.
- By managing to turn positive tasks in habits, you allow it to become part of your lifestyle, therefore is no longer something on a to do list. Employing the help of an app like Habitlist can help form good habits which are difficult to do. If your resolution is to go to the gym more, success may rely on some habit-forming. Perhaps consider adding it to your morning routine by setting reminders.
“Motivation is interwoven with the goals you make and the habits you plan to form in order to achieve them.” – Gregory Ciotti
- If, as mentioned, one of your resolutions is work out more, CARROT Fit app is one sassy virtual personal trainer with her tongue-in-cheek, drill sergeant-like locution. This short work out allows you to set daily reminders making it easy to get into your habit making.
As much as these apps are great, sometimes nothing beats writing it down. When it comes to lists, my iPhone has yet to replicate the satisfaction of striking out a completed task, and what better way than with these pretty free printable good old paper lists:
- Colorful and Geometric: Who would’ve thought a to-do list would actually make us happy? There are so many pretty colors and check boxes here, we can’t wait to get started. (via Design Love Fest)
- Let’s Be Honest: Listing off the top three priorities every day is a proven way to be more productive. After that, everything else is just a bonus to be rewarded with a Netflix break ;). (via Every Tuesday)
Whichever of these app or tips you decide take on board, remember to always stay positive, set realistic targets, and don't be too hard on yourself.
Good luck and happy new year! x