The Secret to Getting Things Done

Sometimes I have a task at hand and know exactly what needs to be done, but it is so hard to start doing it. It might be something like doing the dishes. Or going for a run. Or maybe I have some sketches I told myself I would do hours ago. When I pass the pile of dishes I think to myself “I’ll do it after I finish doing whatever it is I am currently doing”. And when I am done doing that I still push the thoughts of doing the dishes away. I know it needs to be done sooner or later, where is this procrastination coming from?

It happens to all of us at some point. I used to do this a lot more often before, until I discovered a simple trick that always solves the problem and get the dishes done in no time.

Whenever I catch myself procrastinating I think to myself what the absolute first step would be in order to get the task done and then I set a deadline for myself. If you don’t have a deadline, you will let the task at hand fill out a time space that is unlimited, which leads to tasks taking way longer than they should.

What I’ve learned is, as soon as you take that tiny little first step, the rest is easy. I am not saying getting to that first step is easy. I don’t know why but that’s just how it is, at least for me. All I need to do is get that tremendous amount of energy and motivation to transport my body into the kitchen and grab the sponge. I know if I get all the way to that point, I will not want to go back. After that point, I am pumped to do the dishes. And that’s the secret to getting things done. It’s always that first step to just GET GOING that is so hard to overcome sometimes.

So if you’re like me when it comes to this, just remember to take the initial step as soon as you can. If you have sketches to do, put a blank piece of paper in front of you, grab a pen and draw a single line. If you have writing to do, open up notepad and write “I have just opened notepad and now I am going to start writing the things I need to write”. If you told yourself you were going to go for a run at 4 and now it’s 4.30, stand up and stretch for 1 minute and put on your running shoes.

You’re not going to go back to the couch after that amount of effort.