productivity

How to get things done

Almost every person on this planet, has to deal with the problem “how to get things done” on a regular basis. I will not talk about small things like; buy groceries or take out the trash. I will talk about bigger goals that we all have set to ourselves that will make some kind of improvement to our life and want to achieve them for some reason. If you want to promote your career or you want your business to be a big success, perhaps you want to renew your old house, maybe it’s a college diploma you want, or it could just be that six pack that you always wanted. For all of those things to happen you, you have to get some things done and not all of us are good at getting things done. I will try to point out the mistakes we usually do and give some pointers how to be more persistent and focused to goals that have been set.

Make small steps

For everything you want to achieve, you have to make all the steps on the path – and that’s how you will achieve your goal. There are no shortcuts that you can make. But, very important thing to remember – your goals have to be achievable. It is not wrong or bad to wish to have a million dollars; it is even good to have big dreams. All the big men in history had big ideas and big dreams, so it’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to make a plan how to get there. If you earn let say 50.000$ per year it’s not that easy to save a million. You have to decide, how much do you want to save in one year, and then see how long will it take you to get to that million. Moreover, this calculation will tell you, how much you have to earn to save that amount. If the amount you earn, does not allow you to save the amount you have set for yourself, you have to make some changes about that. I cannot tell you, that you have to earn more money. It is you, who will have to figure that out for yourself. But nevertheless, I can tell you this much, if you make a good plan and really stick to it, you are already on a good way to achieve your goals.
You really have to pay attention to all the small things in the big picture and systematically execute each and every one of them. As I already said there are no shortcuts to success.

The 80 / 20 rule

The main idea in the 80 / 20 rule is that you can make 80% of the job by doing 20 % of work. It means that if you have 10 tasks, then there is a high chance that only two of those tasks stand for the majority of the results we produce. That does not mean that we can forget about other tasks and not doing them – but it just means, that if you can make such an impact with proportionally smaller input, it is really motivational and can drive you to work even better.

Make a plan and track your progress

To achieve a goal you have to get some things done. Some of these things are a onetime thing and others have to be repeated periodically. Let say if you are building a house you have to get a permit once and then the task is done but if you are studying for an exam you have to study on a regular basis. So in order to achieve a goal you have to write down all the tasks that are needed for achieving it. You can put all the tasks on a simple piece of paper and divide them into two groups. First group would be onetime tasks and the other would be repetitive tasks. The onetime tasks are simple to track but for the repetitive I would recommend that you take a calendar and write down all the things you have done in one day. Let say you work out 4 times a week, you would put it in your calendar and write down what kind of workout you have performed and what was the overall progress. If you are training for a marathon, you would put down the time needed for you to finish the track. So, every time that you are running, you will be able to track your progress on a longer period of time. Why are we doing this? It is a common human fact that we tend to lie to ourselves about how hard working people we actually are. Let’s say, that you have a fixed routine of going to basketball practice 3 times a week, it is understandable that due to other commitments you cannot make it every single time. But if one would ask you, how many times you have missed your practice, you would probably say a number much smaller than the actual number you have missed your practice. The reason is that we tend to exaggerate about our achievements, and then we start to believe ourselves how hard working we really are. The paper does not lie, so it is essential to take notes about everything you are doing, even the thing you might think that are not that important.

Focus, focus, focus

There are a lot of good starters among us, but there are only a few good finishers, and that is the big difference between success and failure. None of the big things happened overnight and you have to realize, that for everything that will make an impact on your life, you will have to put all your hard work and sweat into it. And with this I mean a longer period of time, not just one week. It may take a few months or even years to achieve your goal. I would say that the most important skill to get things done is; to be focused and to be persistent, even though your work does not give you the results that you have hoped for right away. Remember, you have to stick to your plan, be persistent, keep your focus, and that will distinguish you from the rest.

Everyone has come up with some strategies and tricks how to get things done. If you have some advices feel free to comment and tell us you point of view.


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3 Comments

  1. Debbie Lattuga

    06.01.2011

    Reply

    Thanks for the great post Alex. My favorite productivity tip is to write down the 6 most important things I need to do, at night before I go to bed. I’ve gotten more done since adding this technique than any other productivity tool.

    Debbie
    Debbie Lattuga recently posted..But I Can’t Draw

  2. cherry

    08.10.2011

    Reply

    stay in focus! and track your progress…if there’s anything that must be done first..that’s nothing else but your vision..
    cherry recently posted..angry birds for pc

  3. naruto0506

    10.07.2011

    Reply

    The onetime tasks are simple to track but for the repetitive I would recommend that you take a calendar and write down all the things you have done in one day. Let say you work out 4 times a week, you would put it in your calendar and write down what kind of workout you have performed and what was the overall progress. | :P
    naruto0506 recently posted..free monster truck games

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