How to Get Something Done When You Really, Really, Really Don’t Want To

Have you ever wanted to get stuff done when you really don’t want to? This is me multiple times a day! But I’ve learned a lot as I’ve tried to focus my distracted self and find ways to get stuff done that I really don’t want to do. Man, I sound like one of my kids! But adulting is hard with lots of not so fun stuff that you just have to do.

 

There are a handful of things I HATE doing and no matter how much I tell myself how important they are or how they need to happen, I just can’t get myself to do it. Usually there are a couple of tasks having to do with my business like answering emails and other non creative things or with my mom life doing laundry or washing dishes. Man I hate doing dishes! So then I put it off even though I KNOW it needs to be done, people are depending on it to happen and it would just make life better if I just suck it up and do it. But I don’t wanna! So I’ve been trying really hard to find ways to Just Do It! (sorry, that made me laugh because my husband actually works at Nike).

 

So here goes. How to get stuff done when you really don’t want to.

 

Prioritize – First you need to make sure that it is something that needs to get done. For me yes is usually the case. Emails need to be sent to customers, laundry has to be done, dishes need to be washed. If it’s something that you find doesn’t really need to be done don’t do it! But chances are if you’re reading this you really do need to.

 

Put it on a list– One thing that has helped me is actually writing my ‘to-do’ items down. A physical list with pen and paper because I LOVE to cross things off of it. I love it so much. I mean I’ll put something on a to-do list that I’ve already done just so I can cross it off. I think it just gives a feeling of accomplishment. Also I am a vary visual person so it’s helpful to see things laid out.

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Cut out the distractions – Turn the sound off on your phone, close the Facebook tab, whatever it is that will distract you, do your best to eliminate them. My kids are one of those distractions so I try to arrange it so they’re busy doing something while I am. Like if I’m cleaning for 20 minutes I’ll have them clean for the same amount of time or go outside and do something. With kiddos it’s hard to eliminate this distraction completely because you never know what’s going to happen but you do your best. Some ways I find time to get stuff done without distractions is having my husband help, working when they sleep and I also a part of a babysitting co-op so my toddler can go play for a bit while his big brothers are in school. Find out more about how we set one up here.

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Time Yourself – My timer on my phone is my best friend. Why? Because I am known for taking a task and turn it into a 2 hour chore. Seriously, I’m so good at that. If I start off cleaning my kitchen, which really just needs the basics, I’ll see other things that need deep cleaning in the kitchen that should get done and next thing you know I’ve spent 3 hours cleaning  and it doesn’t look that much different than if I had only spent 25. So that is why I love my timer, it limits me on how much time I spend on a certain task and keeps me focused. Also when I set a time and accomplish it I feel satisfied that I’ve done the work I set out to do.  I love this method of the Pomodoro Technique so go take a look!

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Use Rewards – I love me a good bribe. Set it up so that once you get whatever it is done you get a small reward. It doesn’t have to be big, it can be a few minutes on your favorite social media site or a quick break before you get at it. For some people this doesn’t work but for me I like a little incentive sometimes. Again, I HATE doing dishes.  how-to-get-stuff-done-when-you-dont-want-to-5

 

Find a way to make it more enjoyable – See if there is anyway to make it more pleasant. For some tasks that I can I turn on music, listen to an audio book or watch a favorite show. Some tasks I just can’t do that with like writing and watching a show my brain just can’t handle that. But find something that makes it better. Sometimes for me things like writing or things where I really need to concentrate a good candle or air freshener makes it better.

 

Fake it – Fake a smile, dance around for a minute till you psych yourself up to do it. Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.

 

And bonus. Wear tennis shoes. Seriously. I don’t know what it is about strapping them on but I swear I get double the amount of things accomplieshed in tennis shoes vs. flip flops.

 

 

What do you think? Are there any tricks you use to stuff done when you really don’t want to?

 

PS when I told my 6 year old what I was writing about what he does when he has to do something that he really doesn’t want to he said “Do it fast!” so there’s a #9 for you!

 

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Comments

  1. Yes! This rings so true. My favorite trick is to set a timer for a short period without requiring I finish in that time. As in, “I’ll set a timer and do just 10 minutes of dishes.” I find that approach gets me over the starting-the-task hump, and I often choose to stay and finish up the task when my timer beeps.

    • Yes! I love mine because it helps me to focus on the task at hand. Otherwise I can get distracted by anything. I get so much done this way!

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