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
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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.
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!