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3 Simple Techniques to Get Started on Your Most Important Goals Now

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.

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3 Simple Techniques to Get Started on Your Most Important Goals Now

3 Simple Techniques to Get Started on Your Most Important Goals Now

https://medium.com/@melissachu/3-simple-techniques-to-get-started-on-your-most-important-goals-now-not-later-d85e01e66fd7

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Key Ideas

Reward yourself

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

Giving yourself something to look forward to will motivate you to start working. And most times you'll find that once you start, it will get easier to keep going.

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.

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This technique requires 2 steps:

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Exaptation

This is the ability to reach beyond a specific field of expertise and create new uses for an older thing. It’s about taking one thing and using it for a different purpose than intended.

For example: Apply a cooking recipe to a marketing strategy or use a spreadsheet program to organize words for your poetry.

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Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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There are no productivity hacks
There are no productivity hacks

Habits and work systems can produce the best return on your time.

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Unimportant tasks are really just distractions

Urgent but unimportant tasks = distractions.

Urgent tasks put us into constant “reply mode.” Important work is related to planned tasks that move us closer to our goals.

Interruptions break your flow

Anytime you are pulled away from your tasks, it takes time to readjust to them when you jump back in (sometimes it can take up to 25 minutes).

Interruptions (notifications, loud noises, social media, checking email etc.) harm your concentration.

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  • Prioritize: The clearer your priorities, the more focused you can be on the task at hand. 
  • Generate: Build a creative habit. Make a daily deliverable, whether it’s 100-words a day, a 30-second song etc...
  • Explore: When you Explore, you collect the raw materials for the insights you’ll have when you Generate.
  • Research: To solve a creative problem, you have to learn whatever you can about that problem.
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  • Polish: A great idea won’t work if you don’t execute it well.
  • Administrate: make it all work, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.
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Drink some coffee at work

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And coffee isn’t just effective on a chemical level: scheduling coffee breaks so that the entire team took it at the same time increased productivity.

Take regular break

Taking breaks during the workday is important for workers to replace workplace “resources” - energy, motivation, and concentration

These resources are limited and they need “charging” by doing activities that require less effort or use different resources than normal work or are just something the worker enjoys.

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Make small progress every day

Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato

Set 3-4 important tasks that will directly contribute to what you want to achieve in life.

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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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Ruthless prioritization

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Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.

Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
  • Defer: complete it later
  • Delegate: assign it to someone else
  • Delete: remove it from your list

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Look at the Big Picture

This is the foundation of keeping track of your progress and also accomplishing your goals.

Where do you see yourself in the future in every aspect of your life?

Plan and Organize Your Time

Take your calendar and plan on organizing your time around achieving all your goals. 

Each week you will have specific goals that you want to accomplish. Throughout each week, you will have a To-Do list that you will work on every day.

Look for Accountability

Share your goals with your spouse or a good friend. 

When there is someone else other than yourself holding you accountable, you are more likely to get your tasks completed throughout the week. 

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The Physics of productivity

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