Hi, this is Garry from Next Actions

We all get those times where we can’t be bothered to do anything

We know we have a lot of work to do

We look at our task lists and think “pfft, can’t be bothered”

Join me now to talk about some ways you can move beyond this and get back to your productive self

It’s normal to have days when you can’t be bothered to do things

This form of procrastination can have many different causes

Some of them may be obvious, like having a late night and little sleep

Others may be not so obvious and need you to dig deeper to understand

The four tips I’m going to cover can be used in any circumstance and can help you to break through that barrier and get productive again

These are not presented in any order, they can be used alone, or in combination

The key, pick one and start working through it

Break things down

This is a too often an issue

We have a list of things and when we look at them we think to ourselves, I can’t do that it too hard

And example here could be “write this quarters finance report”

You look at it and think, “whoa that’s a lot of work” and this knocks you as you feel it would take too much

The key with this is to take that hard task and break it down into smaller sub-tasks

Yes you’ll likely end up with a large list of tasks, but each smaller one will be easier for you to do

By breaking things down, and making them easier to achieve you are tricking your brain

You’re able to say to yourself, I can pick up the first task off the stack and do it

Then once that is completed it gives you a little mental boost and you move into the next task with increased energy

You complete the next task and start to feel like you are on a roll, which helps you to move into the next one

This continues until, before you know it, you’ve completed the list of sub-tasks and your hard task is now done

So with our report example you may break it down into some sub-tasks like

Get a copy of previous quarters report

Get sales figures for the quarter

Get cost figures for the quarter

Put sales figures in to the finance spreadsheet

Put cost figures into the finance spreadsheet

And a long list of small, achievable items that you can be working on

This method of breaking down larger tasks or projects into smaller more achievable items is a key step in improving productivity

The smaller the task the easier it is to achieve

Ticking tasks off your list gives you a boost to your confidence

It makes you feel like you are achieving things, which in turn makes you want to achieve more

This leads you to quickly move through these small tasks which in turn help you to achieve greatness

Use the Eisenhower matrix

The Eisenhower matrix is an excellent tool that can help you decide what to work on

For each task you are asking yourself 2 simple questions

Is this important?

Is this urgent?

Then based on each of the responses you are able to put that task into one of 4 different quadrants

Important and Urgent

Important and Not Urgent

Not Important and Urgent

And Not Important and Not Urgent

The key when doing this is to be honest with yourself

When assessing the importance and urgency don’t just write everything as important and urgent, yes I have seen people do that

You need to be honest, is this really something that is Important?

What would happen if it wasn’t done?

Here, writing an estimate for a $5000 piece of work is Important as it could lead to some good income,

Constantly checking your email is Not Important, as that can be done later in the day with minimal impact

With Urgency, think about the time it needs to be done by

Does this need to be quickly, or can it wait a while?

If you don’t check the meat in the oven then it will burn, so this is Urgent

Checking the exipry date on food in your fridge is Not Urgent as it can be done at any time, and you always check the date before using things any way

Always remember, Importance beats Urgency

Always work on the Important and Urgent things first

When they are done move on to the Important and Not Urgent items

Only once all Important things are done should you move on to the Not Important ones

Pick your top 3 tasks and hide the rest

If your using some of the more sophisticated software tools you can do this with the software

You can hide tasks until previous ones have completed

But if you are using pen and paper this is harder

Here it is best to pick three of the tasks and write them down separately

These are the tasks that you want to work on

By writing them on the separate paper you are then hiding away the remaining items

You can then work on these 3 items and complete them

Once you’ve done that go back to the main list and pick another 3

Keep repeating this

You are now only having to worry about the 3 items you have picked

And guess what, its easier to complete 3 tasks than it is to be constantly looking at that bigger list

Pre-prepare things

This is an often overlooked area

Pre-preparing makes things easier for yourself

A lot of the time we look at things and say “I can’t do that because I dont have the right things”

But by pre-preparing you take away that excuse

You have the things you need

This is best explained through some examples

You want to exercise in the morning.

Before going to bed you get out your exercise clothes, put training shoes be a chair and a bottle of water in the fridge

When you get up the next day the first thing you see are the exercise clothes so you put them on

You go to the fridge and take out the cold bottle of water

You go to the chair and can put on your training shoes

Bang, you had everything you needed to do the exercise and can go straight into it

An other example, you’ve got a massive list of things to do, so much so that you shudder when you look at it

To help with this, before you go home from work you spend 5 minutes and you pick 3 items you want to work on the next day

You write these down and put them on your keyboard

The next day, when you get to work, the first thing you see are the 3 items you want to work on

You can now start on these straight away

You don’t need to spend time worrying about the size of your task list

You can get straight in and start working on it

By pre-preparing you are reducing the barriers that stop you from doing the work

You are moving away from the “I can’t” mindset and straight into the “doing” mindset

Do you have something that makes you go “I can’t be bothered with that”?

Can you share it in the comments below

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To summarise

We all have days where we think “I can’t be bothered”

By using one, or more, of the tips we have dicussed you can trick your brain out of this mindset, and into a “doing” mode

These tips are

Break things down

Use the Eisenhower matrix

Pick your top 3 tasks and hide the rest

Pre-prepare things

Try using these the next time you can’t be bothered.

You may be surprised how quickly you can get back to doing

Use these and you will get the results you deserve

If you’re struggling with getting things done why not give me a call

I can work with you to develop ways you can beat this block and get back to delivering the results you deserve

Please reach out to me on 0415 591672

I am based in Australia so please use the international dialling code +61 if calling from another Country

You can also email me on garry@nextactions.com.au

or visit nextactions.com.au where you will find a link to book a free short introductory call

Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover

If you do please drop a comment below

And I’ll add to the list of upcoming videos

Don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to my channel so you get new videos as they come out

I’ll talk to you again soon