Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Getting Things Done

I recently read the book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff and it really gave me insight into my own behavior. When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was reading this, she remarked about how I got so many things done and how project-oriented I am. She was very surprised to hear me say that I had problems getting things finished. The bad part is that she is only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finished projects. She doesn’t realize how many unfinished projects are below the surface. Then I feel so guilty about the unfinished things that it makes it hard to get back to them. I feel like if I can hide them, they will quit making me feel so bad. But that really doesn’t work for me because I know they are still there, and I can’t get them out of my mind. It actually will keep me awake sometimes thinking about all the things I need to finish.

One of the things that I want to try is to stop getting derailed or distracted by all the other wonderful things I want to do. When I am working something, I don’t want to do, I think about how important it is that I need to start something else. Now I will have 2 things started and not finished. When those either bore me or frustrate me, I will start another thing. Eventually, my to-do pile can multiply astronomically, and I will have nothing to show for it. On these days, I usually tell my husband that I was “spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.”

If I follow the method the author recommends, I should be able to get more accomplished. I started out doing a bullet journal which has really helped me keep track of the projects I need to complete but the list keeps growing until it is overwhelming. What I’m going to do is make a list of 5 things I want to accomplish that day. If new things pop up that I want to do, I will add it to another page labeled “future projects.” As I finish the 5 projects on my list and work on the next day’s plan, I can pick an item off the future projects list and cross it off. This will help me stay focused on the main 5 things I want to accomplish that day. If I finish all of them early and want to add a new one on, then it is a stellar day for me. If I don’t finish something, I will move it on to the next day but no new ones get added until the original 5 get finished and I will have a new “original 5” to start fresh.

I will stick to this plan for a month to see how it goes. One other chapter is to use data to see if progress is being made. I will be able to look at the “data” in my bullet journal and see if this plan is working for me.

This may be a good plan to help my students get things finished. Maybe they have a list of things they want to do or have started to do but never finished. If they can learn a good habit of finishing things early in life, it may be a job skill that will help them in the workplace.

How do you get yourself to finish things? Please share.

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