10 Ways To STOP Sabotaging Your Day And Get WAY More Done
I was out for a run the other day, and about half way through started to get a wicked cramp. I kept going, and after a few deep breathes I saw the issue. My shoulders were turned in, my body was hunched over and my head was down, eyes on the ground beneath me. No wonder I had a side cramp! I was literally crunching my body in on itself…
As soon as soon as I straightened up, pushed my shoulders back, stared straight ahead and stretched my stride- the cramp eased away. I realized what happened was I sabotaged myself, if I had kept the right posture and consistent stride I wouldn’t been stuck in the first place!
Like with the cramp: there are so many times in life where we get in our own way and it holds us back from moving forward and accomplishing more.
Whether your cramping your own style right now, or want to avoid doing so in the future- below are 10 tips for getting out of your own way to get more done:
1. YOUR NEW MANTRA: “I WILL”
It seems silly, but simply saying to yourself that you will get something done has a huge impact. Once you commit in your mind that you not only ‘can’ but ‘will’ do it- it becomes real. And imaginary tasks don’t get completed.
Action step: Next time you find yourself shoving aside a task on your list- simply make the promise to yourself that you WILL do it.
*Tech tip: Use the Everest app to set a goal for yourself and be reminded of it daily. (free)
2. CLEAN UP!
Having a disorganized space is exactly what cramping your style means. It should be the definition. You are cramping your mind and creativity into an already cluttered space. A clean and organized living or workspace is not only refreshing but extremely motivating. It clears and opens your mind!
Action step: Take a look around you, can you file some papers? Throw away some trash? Don’t just stop there, make it an inspiring atmosphere. Add a few photos, candles, inspiration boards, good lighting, whatever will get you in a creative and motivated mindset.
3. CHUNK OUT YOUR GOALS
If I were to look back at all the tasks I avoided heavily in the beginning- I would find one common struggle: I looked at it as ‘too big’. It can be daunting to start a project that just seems so big and overwhelming. To avoid being crushed by it’s immensity, break it down into smaller, realistic chunks. Every project can be broken down into bite size bits, use them to make a checklist.
For example take the daunting task of writing an E-book. Overwhelming right!? Not if you break it down into smaller chunks such as: Research, Idea Collection, Drafting, Revisions, Graphics. You can then take each of those sections and break down the specific steps on a to-do list. You’ll soon find yourself flying through what seemed completing overwhelming to start.
Action step: Look at your overall project and break it down into at least 4 ‘chunks’. From that point create a checklist for each ‘chunk’ and get started on the first one, NOW!
4. BRAINSTORM TO GET THE JUICES FLOWING
Do you ever feel like you can’t start a project because you feel you don’t have enough ideas to get going? Brainstorming is such a simple concept but not many people really utilize it.
Action step: For at least 10 minutes, throw as many ideas as you can think of ‘at the wall’. Don’t judge the ideas or yourself, just let the thoughts come! Afterwards, take a look back and filter through the ones that work, you’ll be surprised at what you come up with!
*Tech tip: Try using the Inkflow app for a fun and highly visual brainstorming session (free)
5. TIME YOURSELF
This is a major one for me. I underestimate or overestimate the time it will take to complete a project all the time!
If you have this problem as well and it causes you to get frustrated or distracted you need to try this action step because it forces you to really focus and not get distracted during your work time, and also helps you not become frustrated by working too long because you know you are guaranteed a break very soon.
Action step: At the beginning of your project, set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, get up and do something different for 5 minutes. Doesn’t matter what it is. Go to the bathroom, stretch, make coffee, dance, read an article, whatever! Then set the timer for 20 or 30 minutes and startagain. Do this until you finish the project.
*Fun tip: You can obviously use the timer on your phone for this action step, but in case your’e interested in something a little more inspiring- these hourglasses from Anthropologie might make you want to time yourself everyday:
6. BE AN OUTSIDER
Getting out of your own way can mean getting out of your own head. Look at the situation from a fresh perspective. Pretend your friend is trying to complete this task or project and has come to you for advice. Really get into character in your head.
As humans we can get so wrapped up in ourselves and our own issues that get too personal with the situation and loose our sense of reason. This practice can help bring a new look to the situation.
Action step: Pretend a friend is coming to you for advice on how to start this project, what 3 actions would you suggest to get them started?
7. GET SOME SPACE
Stop what you’re doing. Just take a break! We’ve been trained to attach problems until their solved but sometimes that causes more issues. Walking away and taking some time from your project can bring you back refreshed and full of new ideas.
Action step: Put your project on hold for a reasonable amount of time (obviously don’t miss deadlines), but this might be an hour, a day or a week. Go work out, read a book, get coffee with a friend, whatever action will help take your mind off the project so that you can come back fresh.
8. ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING ELSE
Have you cleaned your apartment, paid all your bills or completed some other smaller task and found yourself incredibly motivated? Feeling a sense of completion is sometimes the biggest motivator.
I personally know if I’m stuck feeling lazy or unmotivated to work on something- I clean the apartment. Like every room, really quickly. After that it’s amazing the amount of energy I have! I’m so pumped I got something done that I can’t wait to move onto the next task.
Action step: What task exists around you that would take 15 minutes or less to complete? Got it? Do it.
*Tech tip: For short but satisfying accomplishments that help you improve life skills try Acceleread or Duolingo. Acceleread is an app that trains you to speed read with short lessons. Duolingo is a language teaching app that also has short lessons for learning a new language.
9. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Experts don’t talk about the benefits of eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep for kicks and giggles. All three are proven to help you be your healthiest, happiest and most motivated self.
Not eating, sleeping and sitting all day at your desk is not going to produce your best work. So take care of yourself, and your work will follow suit.
Action step: Get at least 7 hours sleep. Wake up and drink a whole bottle of water. Do some form of workout for 30 minutes. Eat a healthy balanced breakfast. THEN start working.
10. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Do you like to think you can do everything yourself? Welcome to the club! It can be hard to ask for help, or delegate out responsibilities that are draining us, but it can be such a powerful move in helping you move forward.
Action step: First step is to talk to someone about your project or situation, this at least makes you feel like you have a ‘teammate’ in the task. After that, if there is something you can pass off- find someone to help!
So there you have it, 10 ways to get out of your own way and get more done!
What ways do you get out of your own way? Do you have any successful experiences with the above thoughts? I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below with your insights.