Do you ever wonder how hours can go by and you still don’t get enough done? More than a few of those days can turn your to-do list into a never-done list leading you to believe you lack focus, motivation and self-discipline. If you can relate, then stop being so hard on yourself and keep reading to turn your to-do list into a TA-Done list.
What you need to know is there are 5 pitfalls most people with unfinished to-do lists aren’t aware of. As a result, they procrastinate, worry about being unproductive and constantly feel behind. I’ve been there and it’s no way to live. The great news is you can get ahead of these pitfalls so you feel accomplished and have time and energy for what you enjoy most.
Clients like you who once worried about their productivity and felt like they never had enough time to actually enjoy life incorporate TA-Done Strategies into their life. As a result, they have more quality free time and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.
Here are the 5 pitfalls to avoid so you can be productive and actually enjoy the life you’re working so hard to create:
Procrastination Pitfall #1: The Pursuit of Pleasure
If you were given the choice between pleasure and pain, you’d probably choose pleasure. In fact, most people avoid or put off to-dos that feel boring, hard or stressful. The truth is almost everything you have to do in life has something unpleasant about it.
Can you relate to the Pursuit of Pleasure? If so, here’s your TA-Done Strategy:
- Identify the pleasure factor, which is usually the outcome or what motivated the to-do item in the first place. Example: Your resume hasn’t been updated in years and you’re in the market for a new job. Then the pleasure factor might be getting calls for a job interview, or better yet landing a job that actually feels fulfilling.
- Set a timer to get going. Most people overestimate the pain of a task, so give it a go. You might just find it’s not as bad as you thought. Even as a little 5 or 10 minutes can be enough to create the momentum you need.
If you give it a try and still struggle to stay on task, make arrangement to get the painful parts handled quickly so you can move on to focus on the parts you enjoy more. This might mean asking for help, delegating to someone you trust or finding a way to make it more enjoyable like listening to music or working from a cafe.
Procrastination Pitfall #2: The Values & Priority Gap
Most people add things to their to-do list without considering how it fits into their current priorities and values so they’re left with a stressful list of things they feel like they *should* be doing and feel guilty when it’s not all done. As a result, they put things off. Then things pile up and there’s not enough time to get it all done.
Does your to-do list have a Values & Priority Gap? If so, your TA-Done Strategy is all about prioritization.
Prioritize your to-do list based on your current priorities and core values. Consider how important each action item is to the big picture before you add it to your list.
Procrastination Pitfall #3: Overwhelm at the Helm
It’s hard to get anything done if you feel overwhelmed. Since most of us prefer pleasure to pain, we’ll make ourselves feel better by doing things that feel easy. The problem is these items are usually lower-priority items. So while you’re technically taking action and being busy, the task you’re avoiding hasn’t gone away.
If you’re suffering from Overwhelm at the Helm, then your TA-Done strategy is to simplify.
Break the project or action item into smaller, more manageable tasks based on what feels good to you. “Reach out to 5 contacts” feels less overwhelming than “update resume” for someone who likes to connect with people and is just starting a job search.
Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these don’t seem like the first steps you *should* be taking. You create momentum when you’re achieving things, which help you feel less overwhelmed.
Procrastination Pitfall #4: The Perfectionist Machine
You’re at the mercy of the Perfectionist Machine when you feel your efforts aren’t worth it if the current condition is not perfect. You tend to think “I don’t have the right skills or resources to do this perfectly now, so I won’t do it at all.” As a result, nothing gets done or you waste time criticizing yourself.
Does the Perfectionist Machine resonate with you? If so, your TA-Done Strategy is to shift your perspective and consider you have everything you need right now to take the first step.
I get that it can feel impossible to get moving when your mind focuses on your ideal scenario. Make it easier on yourself. Redefine what success looks and feels like so you can stop wasting time being hard on yourself and start feeling successful, accomplished and proud of the progress you do make.
Procrastination Pitfall #5: The Spiral of Indecision
If you can’t decide what to do, you’re likely to put off taking action in case you do the wrong thing. As a result, you spend too much time thinking about your options and nothing gets done.
Have you gotten sucked into the Spiral of Indecision? If so, your TA-Done Strategy is to decide to decide. And then let it go.
Unresolved situations and pending decisions create never-ending to-do lists. When in doubt, go with your gut. If it’s not a Hell Yes, it’s a Hell No!
Awareness of these pitfalls helps improve your productivity because it sheds light on what’s really driving your procrastination and more importantly, what you can do to turn things around to maximize your success and happiness.
Now that you’re aware of what can get in the way of your productivity, it’s time to take action so you can actually enjoy the life you’re working so hard to create.
In the comments below, tell me...
Which procrastination pitfalls are most common for you?
Which TA-Done Strategy will you commit to implementing in the coming weeks?
How do you plan to use what you just learned to improve your productivity and have more quality time for what matters most?
Written by Natasha Lindor