13 tricks to get things done

Sometimes it feels like the list of things to get done is never-ending. It can be really easy to just neglect or straight out forget about some of the stuff that needs doing, which is why this list of tips is a handy tool to point you in the right direction and help you get shit done.

funny to do list items
Balance getting shit done with rest and fun
1. Make a to do list. 

Leave a box next to each item to tick off once it’s been completed.This is probably one of the most satisfying feelings.... in the whole world. You can even use apps to keep your to-do list online and have it at hand whenever you need it. Asana, Remember the Milk and Astrid are a few pretty cool ones. Try to make your to-do list a little more productive than the one on the right.

2. Prioritise. 

Some stuff is urgent, some stuff just isn’t, and then other stuff just isn’t important at all. Try to differentiate between stuff that you need to do RIGHT NOW and stuff that you can forget about. For a little while. If you feel like everything is a priority, trick your brain and ask which task you need to get done first.

3. Buy a diary.

Diaries are great - they have three practical functions: 1) They remind you of all the things you have to do and may have forgotten about, 2) They make you look very clever and organised, and 3) Writing things down in your diary helps define what you need to do. As soon as it’s transferred from your head to paper, there’s no backing out! 

4. Set deadlines and get a friend to check on how you’re doing with them.

If you have some kind of accountability to someone other than yourself, you will find yourself more committed to getting stuff done. If you’re only accountable to yourself, there’s no one to set you straight when you find yourself saying “...............meh i’ll do it later.” 

5. Balance getting shit done with rest and fun.

It rhymes, so you know it’s a good idea! You can only have so much productivity at a time. We all need breaks. Do something that relaxes you and that you enjoy doing. And remember, your work and play should be done in separate environments so that you can completely focus on one at a time.

6. Work in steps.

Get shit done... gradually. Before you start doing stuff, you need to know EXACTLY what it is you’re going to do. The first step is figuring out in your head what the end result needs to look like, and then planning how you’re going to get there.

7. Overcoming procrastination is no easy feat.

Remove potential distractions from the vicinity, like your mobile phone or computer, and set yourself a time frame for how long you need to be productive before you allow yourself a break.

procrastination joke find picture later

8. Manage stress.

Stress can be a useful force, up to a certain point. If you stress too much, it becomes completely counterproductive. Have a look at some ways to relax.

9. Be realistic.

Don’t set yourself up to fail. If you write yourself the world’s biggest to-do list, chances are you will feel completely overwhelmed and you might not make it all the way through. Set yourself achievable goals and a realistic time frame.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you aren’t managing the pressure as well as you could be, talk to friends or family. You might even want to think about having a chat to a counsellor.

11. Getting active can help you focus and get motivated.

Whether it be a stroll around the block, a session in the gym or a sports game with friends, exercise has been proven to improve concentration levels. Increased concentration = increased productivity, so go put on your sneakers! 

12. Learn about how others get things done.

Ask around - friends, family or teachers. Everyone has techniques that work for them, and it’s a good idea to experiment with different tools to find the ones that work well for you.

13. Reward yourself.

When you tick off something on your to-do list, not only do you get the good feeling from ticking the box, but you can reward yourself with all sorts of fun things: have a night out with friends, take a nap or make some pancakes... even if you don’t have excellent skills in the kitchen.

pancakes don't look like they should

Last reviewed: 12 August, 2015
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