Get It Done With These 3 Simple Tricks

get it done

Today we’re talking about how to get it done.

I often get asked how I get so much stuff done. This question stops me in my tracks because I don’t see it that way, I always feel like there’s something else to be done… but I guess that means I get some of the right things done.

Get It Done: My 3 Special Tricks

Want the audio only version of this post?
Check out the podcast version here.

So here are my tips for getting it done:

1. Ideas have a shelf-life. Use them before they expire.

If you get a great idea and you don’t implement immediately, you’ll see someone else run with it. I think that ideas exist somewhere in the ether and are just waiting to be snatched up by someone. You often see a bunch of different people take action on the same idea close to the same time.
I guess I feel pressure to run with an idea before it goes bad. That doesn’t mean that all ideas are ripe though. Sometimes you need to let an idea evolve or grow into its fully formed state before you pick it. But once you pick it, you can’t let it wilt on your idea shelf.

Ideas have a shelf life.

2. Pick a date. Announce it to the world.

I’m easily motivated by external things, so I tell someone that I’m doing something I need to follow through. If you don’t have a problem with follow through you can ignore this tip. But if you’ve been putting something off for a long time, then get outside accountability to help you get it done.

Picking a date and making a contract with someone else works wonders. It’s responsible for the Off The Charts Live event, this weekly show taping, and the creation of some of my products. I pick dates, announce them to the world, and then I need to follow through.

3. Set aside creation days and communication days.

Balance your creation time and your consumption time.

Depending on the type of business you have, you might find that your tasks generally fall into one of two categories: creation and communication.

When it’s time to create, you generally need 20-30 minutes to really get into the zone. Once you’re in the zone you can get a lot more stuff done and power through. But if you’re interrupted or you need to stop to have a meeting, your whole flow gets out of whack.

It’s one of the reasons why creative people and programmers like to work late at night or early in the morning when there aren’t other people there to interrupt.

But if you’re running a business, you’re not operating in a vacuum and you need to talk to people to make things happen. That means emails, phone calls, and meetings. But what you can do to maximize your productivity is to schedule all of these communication tasks so they fall on the same day.

I have my calendar set up so that I have 1 or 2 creation days in a row, followed by 1 or 2 communication days per week. That doesn’t meant that I don’t check email or that I can’t take a call on my creation days, but I try not to break my flow as much as possible. And likewise, my communication days can still allow time for creating, it’s just not the focus.

This set up works great and helps me get it done. But maybe for you the best set up is creation in the morning, communication in the afternoon. Find what works for you, but be aware of the time you’re spending communicating and consuming versus the time you’re spending implementing and creating.

Over To You Now…

Now I’d love to hear what you think about the shelf-life of ideas concept, and what you’re committing to finishing. Put it on the line, and make space for it to happen… be sure to leave a comment below!

 

31 Responses to Get It Done With These 3 Simple Tricks

  1. I am working on writing 10 blog posts for another blog and this comment video couldn't have come at a better time! I have so many ideas and sometimes I find myself outlining on article before I outline another-NOT productive! Today I pledge to finish article 6 and outline article 7 in that order :)

  2. Very helpful information. I especially appreciate the advice on having creative and communication days. Priceless!

  3. I loooooove the idea of ideas being out there in the ether – that explains why when you ‘try’ to think of an idea, it is really hard, but when you are just chilled, they just pop up. Makes it really important to act on those ideas when you have them.

    Fab ideas. I really do need to get into not switching tasks too much.

    Re ideas that I need to get into action: my poop power idea is coming together so I’m putting it up and out there – that’s what I’m working on! Yeah!

    • Go Claire! And yes, it’s funny because when you try to force ideas it’s not always easy… but you can brainstorm around existing ideas to get names, specifics, addons, etc. :)

  4. Thanks so much for these great MSH (Make Sh*t Happen!) tips Nathalie! As someone who is building a business on the side of a full time job, I’ve found it extremely challenging to compartmentalize my days into business and work (and hopefully fitting in some play!) I’m a creative at heart and often and have moments during the day when I am filled with inspiration and have to write my ideas down but struggle to find the time to go back to those ideas later (I do lots of networking in the evenings after work) and often just end up with a notebook filled with great ideas but no actual content. I really like your tip to have designated creation days and communication days and an definitely going to put this into action!

  5. Great tips, Nathalie! Especially #3. It can be difficult to switch between left and right brain tasks and separating them out by day can help you dig deep.

    Another tip that I use is a balance between structure + flow. I have a structure of weekly goals, but let myself be in the flow of each day, each moment. For instance, on a creative day I have a list of creative goals and then I pick which one is exciting to me in that moment. If they are all exciting, then I pick based on priority. I ask myself, “If I can accomplish one thing right now, what feels the best and is the most important?”

  6. This concept of creation days versus communication days is pretty much going to rock my world.

  7. I honestly felt myself cringe during the “Pick a date, announce it to the world,” challenge…because that’s exactly what I need to do for an informational product I’m developing. Deep breath. I’ll do it.

  8. Thanks Nathalie! I had an idea for a new coaching program this week- one that provides daily coaching to help people get outstanding results through small, consistent action. There is absoutely NO room on my launch calendar to make this happen, but I'm going to beta test it anyways! I think you were right on in saying that ideas are in the ether- and I'm going to get this out there while the idea is fresh!

  9. My business is 4 months new! I am a creative individual with so many ideas I need to reign them in. I believe that your blog is what I need to get organized.

  10. Nathalie, I love you for pointing out that ideas have a shelf life. It has happened more then once I would have this amazing idea that will truly change people’s lives, and then, rather then putting it into planning and action, I’d just sit on it. Sometimes I wouldn’t even write it down. Until two days later I see a Facebook promotion that looks an awful lot like my great idea.

    I’ve stopped doing that. everything gets written down, sometimes I “launch” it on Facebook or my newsletter the moment it’s in my head, just to put it out there. Make a claim, and also let people know they have something great to look forward to. :)

    Great tips, thanks!

  11. I love the shelf life idea most because so many times I find myself with an amazing idea then I wait for the right time and forget about it. Now I have a note pad “my idea pad” where I write my ideas and make notes of the details I have in mind.
    I still struggle with making time for communication and business only days but I am getting better at it.

    Great video as always Nathalie.

  12. More than 70% of what I've achieved this year has come from picking a date and announcing it BIG time to the world and then staying true to my word to deliver and achieve it. It's an amazing way to get big hairy audacious things done and enlist support of friends and your community along the way which makes it way more fun.

  13. Natalie, you hit the nail on the head. Yes, why not having communication days and creation days! That is exactly what works for me! And don’t forget the off days! Switching of completely lets you shine like no one else!

  14. I heard how you said do not change tasks frequently. How do you do this when their is a to do list a mile long and you are moving about and run into 15 things that have to get done – that day.

  15. The last one is very powerful!

    I have already known, that I can’t do both at the same time, but now I will solve the problem by specializing in one thing at a time. This need to be said out loud to me. Thank you for putting the tip out there!

    Your site has a wonderful layout. I really enjoy spending time here, but of course the content is also convenient!

  16. I love your tips, Natalie. I totally agree with the thought that ideas have a shelf life. I honestly can’t count how many times I’ve heard of something doing something great, and I say to myself “Wow I once had that idea!” Also love your tip for alternating content and communication days.

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Just came across your site today Nathalie and wanted to say THANKS! Fun to read, really good content, and great ideas.

    Pick A Date works for me. I have been putting off starting my personal blog for the last 3 years. As soon as I announced to a friend and my husband that I was going to do it by so and so date, there was no way I was backing out.

    I’m also all about setting aside focused time for different tasks. I still find myself slipping a bit into the …. I’ll just check Twitter or FB real quick. Not good, but hey! who isn’t a work in progress. : ) Thanks for your work! Jill