Here's how to have success:

  1. Swallow the frog. Mark Twain once wrote that if you knew you had to eat a frog at some point during the day, the best plan was to swallow the frog first thing. Otherwise in the back of your mind all day is the nagging thought that you have to swallow one. It nags. It creates a heaviness. For items that are harder to accomplish, tackle them first thing when you’re fresher. This creates a freedom and momentum to tackle the rest of your day.
  2. Evaluate if you really need to do it. To some extent this comes down to your values. Every time you say “yes” to a task you’re saying “no” to something else. If this task is optional, decide if this really lines up with your values and your current time/energy capacity. Don't just tackle it because you added it to your list 3 months ago.
  3. Schedule it. If you really need to do it and you’re avoiding it because you know it will take some time, put it in your calendar and protect that time from other activities.
  4. Prioritize it. If you have one list of tasks to complete, you may need to create more to be organized. Try creating lists by day or week while keeping a master list. Put projects on separate lists as they require more of a project management approach.
  5. Create an incentive for yourself. For those particularly unpleasant tasks, create a reward for yourself – a trip to Starbucks, a new drill you had your eye on, take a bath, watch a favorite show, etc.
  6. Set a timer. If you think the task is going to take awhile and it’s unpleasant to you, like cleaning (at least in my world), set a timer for a time period, like 45 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a break and do a different activity for a pre-determined period of time.  - maybe 5 - 10 minutes. Then come back to the task with your mind refreshed.
  7. Get support. Ask someone to be your accountability person to ask you how things are progressing.

Getting nagging things off your list will inspire you to take on other things in your life in other areas. It frees your mind and creates new possibilities. Life has all sorts of challenges. If you give your challenge areas some intentional thought and get help you can conquer those tasks that have been weighing you down. You can do it!

Do you have those items on your “to do” list that seem to resurface every summer? You move them from year to year until eventually you scratch them off, undone, deciding you didn’t have time to do them. Sometimes removing our perceived “to do’s” is freeing. Re-prioritizing perhaps. But often times it’s defeating. Maybe it was a task like moving plantings, cleaning out a closet, or cleaning the windows. Sometimes those tasks are optional, other times they need to be done. The problem is there’s no urgency, no fire. So they sit. Staring at you. Reminding you of your good intentions and lack of completion. Making you frustrated. Feeling like you’re not enough.

Getting Those Summer Projects Done!

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