Posts Tagged ‘getting things done’

Today, the torrent that’s been my year-so-far has slowed down – momentarily at least – and I’ve risen, gasping for air, to the surface. How exciting! A few days to breathe, kick off a couple of other projects I thought would require the midnight oil burner, and maybe get some me-time.

Right. Tomorrow. #1. Start the …. #2. Sort the…. #3. Clean the…. #4. Get the….. #5. Go to….#6. Have lunch with…. #7. Call…..

Oh god, there I going making lists again.

Why can’t I stop doing that? What’s so addictive about lists – especially really, really long ones I can’t possibly get done in the one, tiny, weeny day I’ve had off in god knows how long.

I saw a sticker on a car the other day, in fancy schmantzy writing: Justify your existence. I wanted to shout, NO! Don’t you get it?? I want to stop justifying my existence. It’s all I ever do…

The endless to-do lists are a clue. So is my inability to stop and smell the roses (without noticing the weeds I have to pull out or that the poor things could do with some fertilizer).

…the thing is, I know I’m not alone out here. We get just a bit addicted to our busy-ness and we find it hard to sit still – in a conscious state that is. Yeah, we might vege out in front of the TV after our power wind-down (aka wine-downing), but we’re not so good at not trying to be everything to everyone, while keeping the house in order, the kids lives in order, and the business/finances in order.

When was the last time you looked at the chaos around you and shrugged. Or when your kid/significant other said ‘have you seen my…’ and you said ‘nah’ without budging an inch. Or when you, in a fully-conscious, living-in-the-moment state, just didn’t try to do everything.

I can’t remember the last time I did that. Except in my head. Because we’re programmed to nurture, reduce chaos, facilitate others, and look good doing it.

“Justify your existence”? Oh, we’ve done that already.

Rip!! Crumple!! Chuck!!

That was the to-do list for tomorrow. Hmmmm. I’ve just discovered my diaphram – and I’m breathing again.

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You know all those trivial things that drive you nuts? Well, this Wednesday rant, Louise and Sandra want someone to:

  • pick up the dog pooh in the garden (the dog eating its own pooh does not count – it’s just a whole different world of problems)
  • clean the fridge, which is starting to look like ferals-ville (oh, and fill it up with lots of healthy food and bevs – and some not so healthy ones!)
  • clean the toilets every day – in fact, clean the whole friggin’ house
  • stop asking us where stuff is that I’ve never used (even though I always know the answers)
  • do the washing, hang it out, fold it, put it away… yadda yadda yadda
  • and do anything else that will make us STOP being distracted from the things we really want to do. Like write. Or exercise. Or drink coffee… and stuff.

So there.

L & S

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Hi there! Every Friday we’re going to post our five favourite ideas for doing stuff – like getting started, keeping going, creating ideas, loving yourself, and more.

You’re always welcome to add your own favourite tips, or give us ideas for other ‘five for friday’ posts.

This week, we’re into getting started. Because, let’s face it, that’s half the battle.

We’re both as bad as each other. We take forever to get started on anything, but when we get going, we’re hard to stop. Make that impossible. We’re (over)doers, but sloooow starters.

Here’s our tips for getting started. You know you can!

  1. Fool the resistance. Tell yourself (or those voices in your head) that you’re only going to do one small thing, like write a sentence or two of your novel or sand one little bit of the wall you’re going to paint.
  2. Start easy. What’s the one thing you can do right now to make progress? It might be 10 crunches or a walk around the block to kick off your fitness regime (which is always on the to-do list, isn’t it?), or you might do some web surfing to research something in your novel…
  3. Give yourself permission to fail. Remember Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech?  ‘…who at the worst, if [she] fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that [her] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat’
  4. Shut down the critic (or if you’re a writer, the editor!). You don’t need to get it right, or have everything perfect, you just need to do it
  5. Think about how you’ll reward yourself… do you need to take ‘progress payments’? A reward for beginning. A reward for getting started. A reward for making it halfway. A celebration when you’ve finished!

Remember, the longest journey begins with the first step. So think about how great you’ll feel when you make it to your destination…  and get started.

Okay, we’re off to reward ourselves for finishing this blog!


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Today has been set aside for me. For me to write some profoundly academic things for my masters thesis, which is due        in like a nano-second (well it feels that way, ok?).

Did someone forget to send the memo?

So far I have taken calls about work, about Christmas parties (yes you do have to organise these things, this early), about a conference on the weekend. All things, that really couldn’t be left any later than tomorrow, and tomorrow is no better than today. Then I have spent my afternoon making phone calls and attempting to find somebody to remove the microbat from my kitchen light. There are very few such people – apparently.

Someone suggested I take the cover off the kitchen light and see if it ‘just flies away’. Yeah right. Or see if gnaws my fingers to bleeding stumps before I can run to the computer and google Hendra virus. (Actually I’ve already done that and apparently you can’t, but who wants to be the first?)

But what does it all mean, you ask? It means you really should pull the phone out at the wall in the morning, and you should never eat, lest you find bats in your kitchen – if you ever want to get anything done.


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