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How to Get Yourself to Do Things

Finishing a task

You finish a thing by starting it until it’s done.

Finishing is only a matter of starting from where you are, as many times as you have to until it’s done. 

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How to Get Yourself to Do Things

How to Get Yourself to Do Things

https://www.raptitude.com/2015/03/how-to-get-yourself-to-do-things/

raptitude.com

5

Key Ideas

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle and it brings in the realm of the concrete.

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

Avoiding action

The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

Anxiety associated with obligations

It comes from a misapprehension of what it will actually be like to do the work. 

This anxiety is made of abstract, big-picture emotional concerns, about reputation, legacy, anxiety for the future, self-esteem, comparisons to others — worries about who you are, rather than what you’re doing.

Finishing a task

You finish a thing by starting it until it’s done.

Finishing is only a matter of starting from where you are, as many times as you have to until it’s done. 

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Those that feel they are in control over their lives also feel stress and anxiety, but they use this anxiety differently: their anxiety fuels passion instead of pity, drive in lieu of despair, and tenacity over trepidation.

Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

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Start with a clean plate

We have to take a step back on a regular basis and reevaluate what we have on our plate and why. 

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Learn to say NO

Saying yes to everything puts you on the fast track to being miserable. Sometimes you have to set clear boundaries.

The alternative is that you’re going to do a half-hearted, poor job at each task, be stressed beyond belief, and feel like you’re stuck in an endless cycle of failure and frustration.  

Focus on 3 things every day
  • Wake up every morning and figure out what the most important 3 things are for the day, and cut out the rest. 
  • Address your other obligations right then and there, and tell the associated people that your plate is full. 
  • Instead of task-switching, give each task some allotted time.

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Reward yourself

Make sure to treat yourself to something you really enjoy, after you finish working on your tasks.

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Break down tasks

Big tasks tend to overwhelm and demotivate us. As a result, we often don’t bother getting starting on something we want to do.

So instead of having a number of large tasks to do or one big task, just set one small task for now. This will make your work seem more manageable.

A mental warm up

It can be difficult to go from waking up in the morning to getting yourself working right away. So give yourself a mental warm up exercise beforehand.

For example, try reading an interesting book that gets your brain going, write down your ideas or do some crossword/Sudoku puzzles.