10 ways to get stuff done

Sometimes it feels like our list of things we need to get done is never-ending. It’s really easy just to neglect, or straight out forget about, some of the stuff that needs doing, which is why this list of tips is a handy tool for pointing you in the right direction and helping you get stuff done.

This can help if:

  • you’re struggling with a mounting workload

  • you find yourself procrastinating too often

  • you’re losing track of everything you need to achieve.

Girl in yellow sweater writing

1. Make a to-do list

Whether you use a special diary, a scrap of paper or a to-do list app, writing down the things you need to do is one of the most effective ways of keeping track of them all. And nothing beats the satisfaction you feel in checking things off your list once you’ve completed them.

2. Prioritise

Some stuff is urgent, some things aren’t urgent just yet, and other stuff isn’t very important at all. Try to differentiate between things you need to do RIGHT NOW and others that you can put off for later.

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

If you have some kind of accountability to someone other than yourself, you’ll be 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.’

4. Balance getting stuff done with getting enough rest and having fun

It rhymes, so you know it’s a good idea! You can’t be productive during every waking moment. We all need to take breaks. Take time out to do something relaxing or enjoyable. Try to separate your work environment from your play environment, so that you can focus completely on one or the other.

5. Overcoming procrastination is no easy feat

When you need to be productive, remove potential distractions from your vicinity, such as your mobile phone or computer. Set yourself a time frame for how long you need to do productive stuff before you allow yourself a break.

6. 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.

7. Be realistic

Don’t set yourself up to fail. If you write yourself the world’s biggest to-do list, chances are you’ll feel totally overwhelmed and you won’t want to do everything on it. Set yourself achievable goals and a realistic time frame.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

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

9. Get active to help you focus and feel motivated

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

10. Reward yourself

When you complete something on your to-do list, not only do you get to experience the pleasure of ticking it off, 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.

What can I do now?

  • Create your own to-do list ... and start planning your rewards for when you achieve your goals.

  • Learn how to break any bad habits that might be holding you back here.

  • Get some productivity hacks from the ReachOut Forums.