Never fear, your Get Stuff Done 1 x 31 prompt is here!
Today we’re looking at the list you made on Day 1 and reviewed on Day 2 for the third time so we can chunk it down into doable deeds.
Remember on Day 1 when I said your list could include a couple “wouldn’t it be nice if...” items?
Well, despite your inability to get these items done in 15 minutes or less or even 31 days or less, there is a reason these things made your list. It’s the same reason they show up as New Year’s Resolutions every year. Against all odds, you still want to accomplish them.
Whether it’s lose 20 pounds, write a best seller, give a TED talk, start a garden, adopt a child, or donate your work clothes to Dress for Success, these things are possible.
They are, however, going to require a different strategy than the one you’ve been using for your New Year’s resolutions.
You know when someone says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and they usually follow it up with, “It’s all small stuff?”
Well, the secret to any big project, dream, goal, or desire is to break it down into the small stuff. You will most likely not be able to achieve this goal by August, but you can be 31 days closer to it than you were in June. It’s up to you.
You’ve heard it a hundred times. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The journey of a thousand steps starts with the first one. The way to get impossible stuff done is to consistently take the smallest, easiest, least intimidating task on your road to Shambala. Then, one day, without even realizing it, you’ll be leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
So, get your list and let’s break it down.
- How many things on your list are absolutely intimidating?
- How many things overwhelm you just looking at them?
- How many things excite you?
- How many things are you looking forward to doing?
- How many things require an elaborate plan?
- How many things are neither dreadful nor desirable but just need to get done?
- How many things have to do with your health and well-being?
- How many things have to do with money?
- How many things have to do with relationships?
- How many things have to do with your business?
- How many things do you honestly feel you will do?
No judgment here. I just want you to be realistic about this challenge. If you don’t think you will do it, don’t want to do it, don’t have to do it, or don’t need to do it, cross it off your list. If you have no emotional incentive to do it, you won’t.
I don’t know about you, but in my world, more stuff gets done the day before I leave for vacation or on Friday afternoons between 4:30-6pm when my staff and students have gone for the weekend than any other time. I have written more since I’ve had a 40++ hour/week job than I ever did when I set my own schedule.
As much as I rail against deadlines and structure, nothing lights a fire under my feet faster than knowing I can no longer procrastinate, the buck stops with me, and I will pay the piper for dilly-dallying.
Which is why even though you have 11 other months to get stuff done, you and I are going to get stuff that matters to us done every single day this month.
Okay. Let’s review.
- You’ve made your list.
- You’ve checked it twice and uncovered your motivation.
- You are going to chunk it up, break it down, and take a small step or two on the most doable action items on your list.
For example, a couple of years ago, I got my groove back, lost those 20 pounds, and now have a lot of clothes that I hope to never wear again that are taking up significant storage space. I am determined to donate these clothes to the local Dress for Success organization this month.
The logistics of laundering, labeling, and lugging these clothes to the donation site an hour away on the second Saturday of the month from 10am-2pm are a bit daunting.
But I desperately want to reclaim my storage space and I’m committed to donating these clothes to people who can use them.
The only way for me to get this done is to chunk it up.
Here’s what’s happened so far. Day 1 I read the article about Dress for Success. A week later I called to ask some questions. I talked to someone who told me to email a staff member who would help me set up an appointment. A week later I emailed that person to set up an appointment. Since appointment times are during my work day, I need drop the clothes off on the second Saturday of the month. Since that is coming up quickly, this week I need to pick out and label the first round of clothes to go. Taking all of them at once is too overwhelming since I’m not exactly sure what they will take.
Do you see how one item on your list may take all month? Five to fifteen minutes at a time.
Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.
So, what’s on your list that you need to break down?
Does it make sense now why it was important to establish your why on Day 2? This isn’t easy stuff. If is was, you would have done it already. Knowing your “why” will get you through the “how“.
And remember, you’ve got the support of the group.
Share your questions, suggestions, ideas, or lists in the comments below.