Back in September 2014 I wrote about doing “Just Two Hours” of work a day. This was meant as a way for someone who can’t muster the will to do any work to get started. My rationale was that if you can trick the brain into thinking your work isn’t a big deal by doing just two hours, you could actually get something done. Even a small amount of work is greater than nothing.
Today, I’d like to expand upon that concept a bit with an idea I had called “Do One Thing Today”.
Not for the seasoned veterans
If you are relatively productive already and just need a few tips to get more work done, this post may not be for you. If that’s the case, check out my other articles on productivity.
This is for that guy out there that has every intention of starting some monumental task only to have another week go by that it doesn’t get done. I’ve been there. I know exactly what that feels like and it wasn’t until I started to get disciplined that I really made a change.
However, I have figured out that if you are doing nothing, taking baby steps could be the way to build up your productivity and reprogram your brain to accept doing new work.
Who this is for
This is for anyone starting off doing work for themselves. It took me a long time to really get down a system or holding myself accountable and cranking out work. Before I got it down, there were a lot of days where I got distracted and wound up doing nothing. If you find yourself losing a whole day without doing work, give this a try.
This is also for someone who may not have a lot of free time. Maybe you’re coming home from a day’s work and working on some side project. You have maybe an hour of free time before you have to go to the gym and prepare dinner. Then it’s back to bed for another day at the office tomorrow.
I’ve been there as well so I know the feeling. So many days working at my old office job that I had intentions of getting started on my exit strategy after work. What ended up happening is I’d crash on my bed and take an hour nap and waste my free time. Other times I would have so many options of stuff to do that I’d get distracted by something.
This is also for the people out there who are cranking out work, but may not be doing the most important thing. Sometimes we start doing busy work for ourselves and our brain gets tricked into thinking we’re being productive.
The technique here is extremely simple, but often can be very difficult to do with all our fears and anxieties. All you do is figure out the most important thing you have to do each day. One task that takes precidence over everything else…and do it.
Very simple stuff here. Get up, do your most important task. From there, decide what to do after, but make sure you complete your one task before considering anything else.
Whatever the most important thing for you to do that day in order to get your business moving, make sure that you do it.
That’s it, do the most important task every day.
Why this works
If you are finding that you aren’t getting anything done during the day, it’s only a small step for your brain to take when deciding to do one thing.
If you only have one important task on the docket for the day, it’s easy to accomplish it.
The barriers your mind puts up when starting work for the day will be much lower when all you have to do is one task.
After you complete your one task, you will feel accomplished. You can then start building momentum and perform more tasks.
It’s important to take action. Even if the action you are taking is small, you have to get moving on your work or you’ll never get it done. Doing one thing will obviously lead into doing more than one thing, so get started and do it.
If you find yourself slacking and not getting any work done, go back to basics. Make sure to get one thing accomplished. Make it an important thing.
Build from there.
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