Get It Done
At some stage, we all face a certain truth. The one we know holds the answer as to why we don’t ‘get it done’.
How many of you can relate to this? You know what it’s like to be busy day in day out, but the bigger priorities remain in some form of unfinished, incomplete state. No matter how organised you are, there’s always something that goes astray and you end up leaving the important, bigger jobs, those key elements in your world that day. And does that lead you to sigh deeply when you see that, yet again, those priorities remain on your to-do list for another ‘tomorrow’?
I can relate, because I too can be that person as described above. I want to share with you how I address it and reverse it.
The Truth Hurts
A recent client of mine was struggling with their own ‘get it done’ issues. The interesting part? They knew exactly what was happening, even gave it a name. Procrastination. But even more interesting was their lack of focus in addressing it. That is of course until I said what had been left unsaid. I sternly pointed at that elephant in the lounge room. The uncomfortable truth was, their procrastination was being fuelled by their reluctance to tackle the hard stuff, the things that challenged them. Those “things” turned out to be their priorities, and yet they couldn’t get it done.
My client had a plan, and it was a sound one. Their goals were clear, so too the steps required to achieve them. And although they were working their plan, improving and making progress, they had yet to achieve their desired results. Why? Because they were cherry-picking their task list and being distracted by lesser priorities. It was like a false sense of overwhelm was driving them to do more, (quantity) instead of what mattered most (quality). In their wish to get it done, they’d distracted themselves, and deep down they knew it.
This was their way of avoiding the big-picture items, the tougher tasks, their challenges. This was the real reason behind why they never seemed to get it done.
Ironically, whilst being quite self-aware, my client was also very adept at convincing themselves they were still being productive through the doing of a dozen little things. But there was no denying their underlying negative mindset when realising their plans had stagnated. In reality, they weren’t anywhere near close enough to achieving their goals.
The Truth Works
To avoid such situations, a self-administered injection of brutal honesty is required. Yes it can hurt, because being tough on ourselves leaves us open to beating ourselves up. If we choose to think that way of course. That alone is one of the key differences between those who get it done, and those who resign themselves to procrastination, avoidance, and busyness distractions.
Recently this month I found myself feeling that busyness feeling but without any results to show for it. Plans half baked, ideas far from fleshed out, important conversations still yet to be had. So I stopped and took a closer look around. My priorities had been left unaddressed in favour of attending to insignificant details. Regardless that I knew what was important and what had to be done, I was for that moment, lacking something. Actually three things.
The triple F’s
- Follow through
The triple F’s are a strategy I use to help aid me in applying self-discipline. The way I think about self-discipline, it’s the act of removing emotion in favour of application. Put simply, I stop whining or worrying and resolve to get back on track and get it done. I focus on what’s required, then follow through and apply myself to the task, then make sure to look back and check that said task is 100% finished.
You can have all the to-do lists, task lists, calendar entries, diary notes, and sorted priorities. Have as much as you like! But unless we check often and acknowledge if we’re on target or not, all our planning activities are useless. We need to know either way if we can get it done.
Self-Discipline; The act of removing emotion in favour of application.
The Truths’ Last Stand
No it’s not easy, rewarding work never is. We need to be willing to acknowledge those moments where w realise we’ve gone off plan. If we know we’re procrastinating, call ourselves on it. If we’re being lazy, admit it. Make honesty our ally and guide ourselves back on target and let’s get it done.
Those of us willing to be brave and admit to our foibles, acknowledge our behaviours, and then focus on correcting them, have little chance of succumbing to them. Why beat yourself up? Change your mindset narrative and let’s view those moments as an opportunity to learn a little more about ourselves, and what we’re not doing. Learn how to get the triple F’s working, and get it done.