In my mind, my dream job would be a consultant of some sort. As a consultant, you basically get to share your knowledge and make money off of it. I imagine just a barrage of business lunches where there are no inane conversations, no deadlines, just me loving the sound of my own voice. I think I could do that really well. I’m a smart guy, there’s not much maintenance involved at all. I have never been the best at maintenance. Being on time, completing repetitive tasks, or anything requires a degree of consistency. I overlook things unintentionally that most other people can’t miss. I’m constantly finishing things at the last minute, and that’s the only minute I seem to be able to get anything done. I’ve got a pretty bad case of ADHD I guess, and both my parents are messy, so I may have learned some bad habits from them. But I’m an adult now, I have a job I love and really want to excel at, and do, when my head is in the game. But I’m still pulling all nighters when I really shouldn’t have to. I have a fair amount of work, but I know it’s manageable. Except I manage to not manage it. It feels like a never ending cycle of impossible optimism followed by mediocre results. And I know it’s my fault. It’s definitely me. I’m only 22, but I can’t go on like this if I want to succeed in any aspect of life. Ugh!
Anyway, my bosses are well aware of my issues, and recently took it upon themselves to mentor me in the ways of getting things done. They both are extremely organized, clean, and productive. They make being on the ball all the time seem almost effortless. Sure, they have their off days, but they never are off long enough to take their eye off at the ball. So I of course was very open to trying just about anything that would get me on their level. What they trained me to do was really simple, but it really worked!
The problem was that I had never really analyzed what drove my unproductive streaks. The weird thing is that I like doing my work, I actually enjoy it, but somehow could get things done. Why was I able to have laser focus the night before something was due, but not four days before? I always thought I just thrived under pressure. But that seemed like sort of a copout. What I found out, as my bosses monitored my habits, is that my problem is not that I can’t get things done, like always thought. The problem is I spend way to much time flirting with the idea of doing something. I’ll go for a walk, surf the net, smoke a cigarette, give myself undeserved breaks while neatly filing a task permanently in the future, until there is no future and I just have to face it.
After my bosses told me I did this, I decided I was just going to try DOING things for one day, without even really taking time to think about doing them. When I tried this, it was amazed at the results. I finished things so much quicker, I felt so much better, I wasn’t overtired or stressed, I felt like I had a handle on a life that I rarely have gotten to grip. And as soon as I accomplished those tasks, I felt more ready to face the other things that needed to be handled that day. It was like all these little task added up to equal me having a great, fulfilling day. I felt like I had worked, utilized my time, and not just skated by on my laurels. And the funny part is, I felt more creative, more energized for the big ideas I love so much. It was definitely a win-win, and while I too have my off days, I’m starting to really get used to be somewhat dependable.
So here are three productivity tips from the most unorganized procrastinator there is. Enjoy!
1.Getting the maintenance of life down will strengthen and give you the discipline to overcome setbacks and greet success with open arms.
2.When performing seemingly inane or routine tasks, make sure you take the time to acknowledge the part it has to play in the bigger scope of things. That way you will have a more palpable and motivating directive. There is nothing more demotivating than a lack of purpose.
3.It’s all about having a process. Knowing day after day that you have accomplished something palpable even if it’s just arduous day to day tasks, will give you the confidence to effectively execute bigger picture stuff.
Hope this helps someone besides me! Happy Scheduling!