How I get my tasks done right

There are very few people in this world who can drive a big task to completion. And that is normal, we all feel lazy when we are burdened with a big task. Our mind automatically starts to entice us with loads of other stuff we could do instead of doing the task at hand.

Well here is what works for me actually. I will take a car cleaning process to make my point. We all know how lazy we feel when we have to clean our cars. One look at the dirty car and we say “Let me do it later. I will finish my other tasks and get back to this one”. And pretty soon we forget about it. Here is what I do —

  1. First, identify all the possible things you can clean. For e.g. the mats, the windows, the wiper blades, the tires, the seats, etc.
  2. Tell yourself you will only do 5% of the job. I start off by telling myself that I will only clean the wiper blades today. And the rest of the things I can do another day. The mind automatically breaks the task down into “scrubbing the blades with a brush” and then “washing them in running water”. The whole process takes about 15 mins. By this point, the mind is happy since whatever it wanted to do is accomplished.
  3. Once a task is done, the mind gets motivated to do another one. So I go for the mats. I get those dirty mats out, dust them, soak them in water, scrub them thoroughly with soap, and finally clean them up with water. And there, the mats are done too.
  4. This motivates me to do another one, and one after it, and so on. Sure there is a point when the mind realizes that it has been tricked into doing the entire cleaning. The moment you realize this, stop the process. Most of us keep pushing ourselves even when we are fed up and that leads to unproductive work. This is the time to switch or maybe stop your work for the day. Take a stroll, watch something that takes your mind off the cleaning and return when you are good to go again.
  5. Never target to finish off everything in a single day. Plan the things by breaking them off into the smallest task possible. And then complete them one after the other and check them out in your mind’s notebook. The moment you feel bored stop and go for something else. The only way to get things done is by making the process a bit more fun.
  6. I usually never try to clean my entire car up in one shot. I do it till I am enjoying it and then I keep the rest for another day. This allows me to bring consistency in cleaning it. So although my car as a whole is dirty, parts of it are clean and soon one day the entire thing is perfect.

There are no difficult tasks in this world. Everything seems so because we try to finish it all at once. Just remember how you eat your food. You take one bite and a time, right? And within no time you are done with the whole meal. What if you tried to swallow the entire plate?

So the next time you get a task, just promise yourself you will only finish 5% of the task today.



Better than yesterday

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