Productivity and GTD

5 Laws for Everyone Who Wants to Get Things Done

AUTHOR: Tom Jager
Schedule

We all have goals and to-do lists, and getting things done as quickly as possible is usually on our minds as soon as we get out of the bed in the morning. This can put a lot of pressure on you and lower your self-confidence. But how do you start getting organized? Even though it sounds simple, you need to set some rules to get you through your workday.

There are simply no shortcuts, and you have to put in place a couple of universal guidelines. These five laws will get you on the right path that will make you achieve your goals and get things done in no time.

1. Have a morning routine

Some of us do have hectic mornings when nothing seems to go right. Perhaps you overslept and you are trying to get ready as soon as possible. Or you just remembered that you have an assignment due that day. This can send your stress levels through the roof and make the rest of your day unbearable. Mornings are quite important because they can brighten up your mood and make you excited for the work ahead. And how to do that? Have a relaxing morning routine!

A study published in the American Psychological Association journal confirmed that people who wake up earlier are happier and more productive than those who sleep in. If you want to become highly effective, you should be productive from the early morning. Yes, this means you will have to go to bed at a reasonable time, so this change might come as a shock at first. But you will notice positive changes after some time.

Your morning routine should be relaxing, so make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, check your mail, and go through all the tasks you want to complete that day. This will make you focused and aware of the workday which is in front of you.

2. Don’t announce your goals to everyone

While telling your friends and family about your goals might motivate you to work harder just to make sure you don’t disappoint them, this can also backfire. High expectations from the others might create more pressure on you to succeed, and that can hurt your long-term goals. So the best way to ensure that you will achieve your goals is to keep them to yourself as much as you can.

Talking about your plans often can make your brain assume that you have already completed them and you will not feel as motivated as when you announced your aims. Therefore, it is better to work patiently in silence and see the reactions of the people around you when you tell them about the successful outcome. Plenty of talk can lower your chances and make you discouraged.

3. Create a schedule

Did you know that Elon Musk has every minute of his day planned ahead? He claims that is the best way to stay productive and not waste any precious time. Creating a schedule is a must for everyone who wants to get things done, both at work and at home. Modern technologies allowed us to manage schedules on our phones so you can always set a reminder to warn you about a meeting, or a deadline. Of course, some of you might prefer to write things down and that is completely fine. After all, Bill Gates is famous for having a notebook and a pen with him at all times.

If you have tasks that you keep repeating throughout the week, do them at the same hour of the day. Planning to do something is a great way to ensure that you will actually complete that task. Of course, you don’t have to fill out your daily schedule entirely if that seems a bit too much for you. Creating a detailed timetable can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. Instead, focus on the important things and note them down.

4. Saying no is okay

A large number of people tend to say yes to almost any task in front of them without thinking them through. If you have priorities, it is important to put them on the top of your list. Overestimating your abilities might lead you to failure, so saying no to things is alright, especially if you don’t feel excited about them. And this can make you less productive.

Take your time deciding what is important to you at the moment and think about each new project you sign up for. Put yourself and your career in the first place, and keep in mind that every time you accept an assignment that will not be beneficial to your future, you are automatically taking one step back from your dreams and goals. It is okay to be selfish sometimes and focus on your own achievements.

5. Tackle large tasks with confidence

Even if something seems overwhelming, there is a way to make it work for you. Don’t be afraid to start large projects because you think that you might not be able to handle them. If you have the right skills and drive, you can achieve anything. Yes, you might be dreaming big but if you get an opportunity to make them a reality, don’t hesitate to put your plans into motion.

A large project can seem scary when you see it as a whole. You might start doubting your own competence. Stepping back and viewing the work you need to do is the first step. Then break everything down into smaller tasks because that will make you feel more comfortable. Start slowly by completing one small task at a time. This will boost your confidence and you will feel more productive. Keep going through the smaller pieces of work and you will reach the end before you know it.

We are all unique, and you might have your own tricks that keep you productive. However, this is a general set of laws that do work for the majority of people. Some of them can elevate your productivity levels and make you feel more confident in the work you do. Do you have any law you personally use to be more efficient? Share it in the comments below!

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