I recently heard the term “borrowing from tomorrow.” Though I can’t remember where, I do know that when I heard it I couldn’t get it out of my head.
Let’s look at this, from the “Time” standpoint. Have you ever borrowed time from tomorrow? If you’ve ever put something off or procrastinated to do a project until another day, then you my friend have borrowed time. Instead of doing something today, you’ve put it off. Don’t worry we’ve all done it, and honestly I often find myself struggling with this.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing something, ok I admit it… I can be lazy. So when I actually thought about it, I realized just how this tends to snowball and disrupt everything else and many times everyone else too. Instead of being free and clear to work on project #2, I’m playing catch up to finish project #1.
So what does this have to do with Getting Things Done? everything!
Think about it, how could I ever possibly get anything finished this way? It’s time for a change and I’m sure that if I struggle with this, plenty of other folks do too! So let’s do something about it:
Step 1: Prioritize
This can be chores, preps, purchases, etc. Just getting things in order and writing it down is definitely the first step to take. Heck make a list to check off if that works for you. What chores are the most pressing? For instance, in the winter many homesteaders would say preparing their animals for the coming cold would be at the top of their lists and with every changing season, comes new tasks they must perform.
What about preppers? Some preppers might say that the first thing to do is to start stockpiling supplies. However, the proper first step to always do is research, research, and more research. SOSA= Skills over Stuff Always! Let’s face it, if they don’t know the first thing about how to use the equipment and more importantly how to survive without it, then the “stuff” is useless. Prioritize the skills to learn first.
Step 2: “One Bite at a Time”
Okay, you’ve got the list in hand…now what? Since your list is presumably already prioritized, you just start at the top. Whatever you have listed as your number one, that’s the one to tackle first. No matter whether these tasks are daily, weekly, or monthly; you now have your starting point. So now..begin!
Step 3: Reward Yourself
As crazy as that sounds, people really do perform better when there is an incentive involved…especially to do things we don’t want too. Of course the kind of reward depends on you. Maybe it’s a trip to the craft store, gun range, a night out, or a nice luncheon after a certain number of tasks are finished. For me, perhaps it would be an extra hour or two of sleep ….yeah I’m lame like that.
Step 4: Keep it Rolling
Sometimes the hardest part is keeping the momentum going. I completely get it, I do. So how do you keep it rolling? Get off your duff, and get it done. I really think that once the ball is rolling and you are seeing things get checked off, you’ll be hooked. This should also make you proud that you are accomplishing so much and not wasting anymore precious and fleeting time.
Step 5: New Habits = New Goals
One study I read, suggests that it takes 66 days to form a new habit not 21 days that is sometimes mentioned. Okay, so let’s work with that. After 66 days of you finishing and crossing tasks on your list, you might be surprised at how much confidence you’ve gained and how awesome it feels to finally get things done that you’ve either been dreading and avoiding. You’ve just formed what I would call a good work ethic. You started and finished, you should be proud of yourself!
But wait, that’s not all. Now comes the time to create a new list and make new goals for yourself. Whatever you do, don’t put it off. If you do you are at risk of falling back into your old ways, lose your momentum, and dang it you’ve already come too far to do that! Instead, start back at the first step and work through them again and again.
Hey... You’re still here? Come on, Go make that list!