10P 10: How To GSD (Get Shit Done) – To-Do List PART 2!

T0P 10:

How To GSD (Get Shit Done) – To-Do List PART 2!

written by Cameron Brtnik

Here we go again…

It’s Wednesday…

You’ve still got a million things left to get done, and already half the week is over…. You glance at your increasingly-looming To Do List: buy fish oil (need more vit d!), drop off kids at practice, email clients back, pickup dry cleaning, take laptop to get fixed, call sister back, watch ep 6 of The Crown… You start panicking: “I’ll never get all this stuff done, why did I take on so much? How am I ever gonna finish this damn to to list!” Through further research, trying out new methods, and more trial and error, I’ve created more of my own techniques on being efficient and compiled them here in Part 2 of “How To Get Shit Done On Your To Do List” or the easy to memorize acronym “HTGSDOYTDL!” Check it out!

Now let’s Get Shit Done on that To-Do list!

1. Note To Future Self – You can see the future – Write a note to your future self (or friend, partner, or even dog for that matter) informing them: “I have finally finished {insert task}!” eg. “My first week of yoga class,” “Painting the bedroom pink” or “The second chapter of my book!” Writing this note your “future self” will help you to see the task completed in your mind, and motivate you to follow through! I mean, how could it exist if you never completed it in the first place?

2. Feeling Bloated – If your To Do List has grown too big (which it undoubtedly will), it can be frustrating and feel like you’re barely getting ahead. At that point, I move any “Non-Urgent” tasks to the bottom of the list. As I only assign numbers to the top 6 things on my list, they become the “Urgent” tasks to complete . By the end of the week if you haven’t gotten get around to these ignored errands, DELETE them. After all they can’t be that important can they? Option 2: If you can’t bear to delete them, start a “Master To-do List” where you can copy & paste these pesky tasks to collect digital dust.

3. For Ever-note – I know I mentioned this in my first “Top 10 on To-Do Lists, so do yourself a favour and start using the Evernote app. You can organize your Notes into folders, shortcuts and tags so you’ll never misplace your Notes (like those cursed car keys!). This leads us into our next two items on our list…

4. Labeling Theory – Have some fun with labeling your Notes! (I know, my life is sad.) Try labeling your Note with a unique title so you can easily search for it later, then ‘tag’ it with categories like “Job Search” or “Social Media Posts.” If it’s a Note you refer to often, add it to your ‘shortcuts’ folder. Now go ahead and have fun scrolling through your Notes! *Cheering ensues*

5. Find a Due Date – When making my To Do Lists, I often label them by time or date (I really do have no life). For example: “February Goals, Complete this Week, Today’s Tasks;” by setting a self-imposed due date you subconsciously push yourself to complete those tasks in a shorter amount of time. Remember: whatever helps you to Get Shit Done!

6. Living Large – CAPS LOCK THE TEXT FONT. This subconsciously works by making the task seem “bigger,” and therefore more important, than the rest. JUST DON’T KEEP IT ON WHEN YOU’RE COMMENTING ON YOUTUBE VIDEOS! Thank you.

7. Re-Adjust – Try changing seating positions. Go from sitting in your chair to kneeling on the floor, or sitting on the edge of your bed to standing up. It not only helps to regulate blood to your extremities (pins and needles be gone!), but helps “shake things up” so you don’t get too comfortable, or uncomfortable. Now try standing on your head.

8. Make Your Bed – I started doing this even before Jordan Peterson was a household name (and my personal “self-improvement guru”). I just realized one day that if, upon waking up, you immediately make your bed it programs your brain to be productive and puts you in that “success mindset.” Besides being a good habit, it will also make you less likely to crawl back into it after a long day of eating breakfast.

9. Just Begin – If you’re having trouble starting on even one of your To Do List assignments, just start a random project: it doesn’t even have to be on your list! Even if it’s “change the lightbulb” or “return library book,” you’ll be surprised how much one action snowballs into another. Keeping oneself busy creates momentum that transfers over to other things, like stuff you actually have to get done. So start cleaning out the fridge and you may just end up finishing the end of your brother-in-law’s weeding speech.

10. Change Spaces – If you’re struggling to Get Shit Done at home or from the office, try changing your environment: like specifically going to the actual place on your list. For example, I hate looking at my bank statements so I do my banking from the bank! Somehow being in the “real life” location helps me completely focus, and it does seem like the “natural setting” to be viewing bank statements – until security kicks you out for looking suspicious.

Want more ways to Get Shit Done? Read this: https://cambrtnik.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/top-10-list-how-to-get-shit-done/

***To my (three) readers: If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it my next Top Ten segment!

Cameron is a freelance writer and promoter of “Getting Shit Done” cbrtnik.com

10P 10: GSD or How To Get Shit Done!

mock up of empty picture frame on the desk
T0P 10: GSD or How To Get Shit Done!
written by Cameron Brtnik
    OPD or Obsessive Procrastination Disorder has caused a slowing down of my life, and even a reversal at times. I feel so behind that forward is somehow backwards; it’s like I can never get ahead. I worry that I’ll never achieve anything in the future because I’m constantly living in the past, stuck in place like a snail’s race, a car in a traffic jam, an insignificant particle traveling through space and time… (okay I have no idea where I was going with that metaphor). Common sense says: “Always put the most important tasks at the the beginning of your to-do list.” I’ve also heard the opposite: “Do the easiest tasks first so you feel a sense of accomplishment.” But which is the right answer? Unfortunately like most conundrums, there is no magic bullet. Don’t fret – I’ve compiled a list of “tried and true guidelines” that will help you, too, to finally Get Shit Done!
Rules that have helped me Get Shit Done –

1 – The Two Minute Rule – Whatever can be done in two minutes, do it right away! This has helped me Get Shit Done more than any other technique on this list, so if you take anything away, it’s this. I get the thing done right away and feel good about my “mini achievement.” And most importantly, have not added to the pile of “things to do” like a perpetual game of Jenga.

2 – Hold Yourself Accountable – Find an Accountability Buddy – someone who will hold you accountable if you don’t finish the task on time. This “motivational coach” basically acts as a boss who expects the job done by an agreed upon deadline. They may even help you complete your task, which is okay – there’s no rulebook to completing something, only that you get it done!

3 – FOLD (Fear Of Letting someone Down) – Similar to having an Accountability Buddy, if you committed to completing a project for someone, especially a friend or colleague, FOLD or “the Fear Of Letting Someone Down” forces you to complete that task. But don’t take on more than you know you can handle as that can have counterproductive effects.

4 – Under Pressure: Positive Procrastination – The old “leave it to the last day” pressure tactic has worked miracles for me. Back in high school, I often left assignments till the morning of. But come the “day of reckoning,” I forced myself to get up early, crack down, and whip out some of my best work. *Note: I don’t recommend using this one too much as it can physically and mentally burn you out.

5 – Double-Down – Are you willing to put money on that? If there is a sum of money riding on the outcome, this is often a strong motivator in completing a task by the due date. Think about a game of Poker: how motivated are you when you’re not playing for money? Do you care if you win or lose? Now put five bucks on the game and see if you don’t care. Now raise a hundred.

6 – Check Please – Write the tasks on your To-do Lists next to a checkbox (I recommend using the Evernote app as it has great features and your notes save in the cloud…whatever that is). As you go through your list and check that shit off, it feels good. And at the end of the day, you can lay back and stare at all those checked boxes and bask in the glory of success.

7 – Copy & Paste – When you’re cringing at the thought of checking your email, here’s a psychological rouse I created that’s helped me: Copy and paste messages into another app like Word or Evernote, read and write your reply in the app, then copy and paste it back into your email. This seemingly pointless work-around has helped me get over what I call WAS or “Work Avoidance Syndrome.” Psychologically, like doing work at a cafe, it can make menial tasks easier to complete. Try it and see if it works for you!* (*or your money back guaranteed! Now please send me money.)

8 – Set A Schedule – Set up a recurrent schedule to force you to Get Shit Done! For example, if you want to send out an email every month, make a phone call once a week or a text once a day, setting up an “auto-schedule” gets rid of the all the stress. Think of your favourite Youtuber or podcaster. They post content monthly, weekly or even daily or risk losing their fanbase (not to mention their sponsors). I find it inspiring to listen to a comedian like Bill Burr who posts his podcast not once, but twice a week! And he’s a self-proclaimed lazy buffoon. Now do you feel lazy?

9 – Chill Out – Listen to a “chillout playlist” on your headphones or in the background while working. This will calm and relax you, and put you in the right headspace to focus on your work. I recommend throwing on some Lofi Chill or any “study playlist” on Spotify.

10 – Celebrate the Good Times – The relief you feel when you finally finish that long-lingering project will be like getting a monkey off your back. You’ll feel free from the self-imposed oppression and guilt of not getting shit done, which means it’s time to celebrate with a (insert favourite drink here), lay back and marvel at how smart you are. Now go out there and Get Shit Done!

***If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it my next Top Ten segment!
Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto, and practitioner of Getting Shit Done cbrtnik.com