Getting things done

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If I ever allow myself to really think about all the unfinished projects I have, I feel physically sick. The paper I never pushed to be published, the Etsy shop that could be better promoted, poems, short stories, blog posts, knitting, sewing projects that never get finished.  The list could go on and on. I do finish many things, most things, but the amount of uncompleted tasks is ridiculous.

What stops us from completing these tasks? Is it laziness? I wish it was, but that would be too simple. We all have to overcome laziness at some point, often daily, just to get out of bed, to leave the house, go to work, etc. It seems, in my case anyway that what stops me is that horrid little voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I am destined to fail. It’s such a personal battle that it’s difficult to express and share with others that may be able to offer some words of encouragement. It’s a private and rather brutal battle that stops us from enjoying the present. How often are you dragged down by thinking about what you should/could be doing that you don’t even have time to think about where you are and what you are actually doing? You find yourself procrastinating instead of just getting it done.

I have always been a worrier, I’ve accepted that it’s part of who I am and I do love that fact that it sounds so much like warrior, when I say it anyway.  I think it’s important to care, but I am self-aware enough to know that I worry too much. I’m constantly working on it and I feel a strange sense of achievement if I get through a situation having worried less than usual. I really wish I was more laid-back. I’m one of these people who will leave things to the last-minute, which may suggest I am quite relaxed about it, when actually the reality is that I have spent so long worrying about a task that I have barely left myself time to get it done.

However, I did manage to get through many years of studying and very rarely submitted a paper late, suggesting that I respond well to deadlines. I try to give myself self-imposed deadlines, but they rarely work.  When it comes to an actual job, it gets done. I will work my arse off. But,  it’s often these things that I have to make myself do for me that I can’t finish, I can’t fully commit to. Why? I really don’t know.

I do know that I’d like to learn how to set myself stricter deadlines that I could take as seriously as those set in University. I would like to attack these projects with such vigour that I nail it and then have to move on to the next. I would like to just work on one or two projects at a time, be it a blog post, job application, story, scarf and that is what I am going to try to do. I am going to start tomorrow, just kidding, I’m going to start now. Who’s with me?

Does anyone have any tips on self-imposed deadlines? I’m hoping this blog could be good practice. What do you think?

Visit my Etsy shop – http://lelsloom.etsy.com/

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28 thoughts on “Getting things done”

  1. It seems like the things that truly matter to you, you get done. It might be because your work demands it of you. Or school demanded it of you. Or maybe at some points another person for whatever reason. But when it MATTERED, you got it done. So maybe ask yourself, does the task you are trying to accomplish truly matter to you? For example, I say all the time I would like to speak another language and I would, but I’m not willing to do what it takes to learn that language. I just want it to happen. It doesn’t truly matter to me. It would be fun, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s the case for your knitting or some blog posts or whatever else you are struggling to complete. What do you think? Does this idea resonate with you? Thanks for sharing your struggles . . .I think at some point we all have felt or feel the same way you do. You certainly are not alone.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, that does resonate. I still feel I need to push past myself to get things I want to do, done. But, yep, looking at my list there are some things that actually don’t matter. This should definitely help keep my list shorter.

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  2. Oh I can so relate to this! I love your worrier/warrior bit…my family call ourselves warriors. A pic I have on Instagram says a very similar thing…”Be a warrior, not a worrier”
    My best advice is work out what matters the most and focus on those. If the other things on your to do list aren’t vitally important,let them rest for the moment and come back to it later. Less pressure on yourself means less worrying ☺ I hope this has helped and thankyou for sharing with us xx

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  3. This could have been written by me! I feel very much the same – I was fine at university sticking to deadlines, very conscientious and never missing handing in an assignment, but when it comes to my own projects, they get left incomplete. I think in my case though, it’s lack of motivation. I start out full of enthusiasm, then other things get in the way or distract me. Like you, I’m trying to get better at finishing things, and have been working on drawings for a colouring book for about 2 years, which for me is dedication! I think that the blog is a great way to keep to self-imposed deadlines, although in my experience if you miss a post, it gives you an excuse to miss the next one and so on until you’ve not posted for months (oops!). Good luck with it though! I’ll favourite your blog so I can come back 🙂

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  4. Oh my I feel like I have the same exact problem! I know there is no way that I can be this lazy. I made a list on my whiteboard, and I even broke the list down so that maybe I was only doing one little job at a time. Maybe it is worrying or this feeling of overwhelmingness that stops us. I am good when it comes to a job and working. I am not so good as a college student. I normally get easily overwhelmed with all the tasks I have to do, and I end up dropping my classes. I dropped my last two classes last summer. I would have been able to graduate last year if I had finished! I do hate this feeling. I am glad I am not alone!

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  5. I can relate to your plight. I have two things on my god-do list that have been there for months. I just write them over and over again on my list.

    Your fear of not being good enough is borne out of limiting beliefs. Use your successes in the past to spur you on now. You did it once you can do it again but, as the others say, if the task is truly important.

    You could find an accountability partner to help keep you motivated and on track.

    I use bullet journaling to help with productivity and prioritising tasks so the important ones get finished first.

    All the best of luck.

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  6. You and me are one in the same!! I am constantly kicking myself for not having my priorities straight, but I read something once that said – where you spend your money is where your priorities lie. And I feel like the same goes for how we spend our time. I have so much to do, but I’m online writing for my blog. And then I stress about how my application and registration isn’t done and school starts in 2 weeks!!! My priorities just aren’t where they should be.

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  7. Your post really resonates with me – there are definitely thugs I have yet to finish or continue pursuing Bc I say “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired.” At thre end do the day, I think sometimes we fear not that we fail but we might actually succeed and when you do succeed can we continue keeping up posting on your blog, making new videos, shooting out new content on a daily basis? It’s a lot of responsibility but if it matters to you, like really matters to you, you’ll always have the time and desire to complete your tasks and goals.

    I gave in YouTube videos Bc I’m really not that good at them lol

    For me, what motivates me to keep writing is keeping a hard journal and wiring down all my ideas and transferring them to my actual blog within a week but that’s just me.

    I think for you, maybe writing a list and determining what is most important to you and figuring out what you can do now and what you do later

    Hope that helps!

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  8. I am the person who has 10 new ideas a minute, 50 projects that I decided that I’ll actually do and 1000 started projects hidden somewhere and forgotten and out of all that, I managed to finish like 1. It’s really annoying because my own brain gets distracted with new ideas while I’m trying to accomplish one that I started.

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  9. This is litterally me. It’s so nice to find out someone feels exactly the same! I have a lot of ideas for projects, stories I want to write and I could go on… It’s just like I can’t make myself do it, because I just want it sooo much. The thing you wrote about always meeting the deadline, but starting at the last minute I could also relate to so much. I worry way too much too and usually I never start my projects or never finish them.
    I wrote a poem about this, so if you want to check it out be my guest:)
    https://ihaveabadsenseofhumor.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/started-unfinished-restarted/

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  10. Holy crap! I could have written this post! For me, my self-imposed deadlines come in the form of my monthly goals. I don’t always make it through all of them, but I get through more of them than not. May try giving yourself a month to just work on 3 things you’d like to get done?

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  11. We create our own success and failures!! Our mind is a wonderful and complex thing but can create such barriers. Self belief is the key! Ree Love30

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  12. This is a really good read, very relatable and honest! I like your writing style too 🙂 I tend to make a to do list every day, and put things in the order that I want to get them done, and try to stick to that so I don’t skip anything 🙂 nice blog!

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  13. I have the same problem! It seems like if I’m not choking on a deadline I’m not likely to get anything done at all. I wonder sometimes if we’re subconsciously conserving mental energy for the things we *have* to do by not doing the things we’d really like to do.

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