Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to get stuff done like a pro

Not that I'm a pro or anything. I'm a pro-crastinator, that I am. But I couldn't very well put that in the title, could I? But now you know. I've got a list longer than Santa's, believe you me, and I'm chugging along in starts and stops hoping I'll wake up one morning and the elves would've done their jobs and there'd be precious nothing left for me to do.

Hey, wake up! This is real life. If it's one thing I do well, it's procrastinate. For realz. So now as I look at all the stuff I still need to get done, I'm getting a little overwhelmed here. And I don't overwhelm easy, as a rule. So I console myself that I'm not the only one. Am I? Please tell me I'm not.

And so I thought I'd talk about how I juggle the crazy number of balls I have up in the air.

1. Make lists like crazy

You already know this. I've made lists on my smartphone. They didn't really work out. I'm more of a scribbler. I prefer to scribble on pathetic scraps of paper. It doesn't matter as long as you have an actual physical list you can see, you will have a mental picture and won't lose track of what you need to do as easily. That really helps.

2. Bite size, please

I tend to take it a step further and break down the complex tasks into chewable sizes so when it comes to crossing items off my list, it'll look like I got a lot done. Okay, so I need to trick myself into thinking I accomplished more than I really did. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Truth is it gives me great satisfaction to cross items off and watch that list shrink before my very eyes (provided I'm not adding on more items than I'm crossing off, that is!)

3. Grit your teeth and prioritize

Since my list includes many things I'm doing for a bunch of other people aka my kids, it makes prioritizing stuff a whole lot harder. I don't try to do everything at once. That would be foolish. I number everything according to priority. Obviously those numbers change, quite a bit. So renumber them and juggle as best you can.

4. Kick some butt

Some of us think we're superwomen. I'm guilty of that. I always think I can get things done quicker and better than anyone else. My tag line: Don't worry, I'll handle everything. Then one day, I looked around and noticed 3 not so little me's sitting around that I can recruit and train to work for me.

Excellent! Time to delegate, peeps. See, I never thought to delegate. But you know what, those kids we have sitting around on the computer all day, those kids can be put to work. The tasks may take a little longer or may not be done to your high standards, but that's okay, they are inexperienced now but they will learn.

5. Give yourself a pat on the back

My teens are pretty good at helping out. I wish I'd recruited them earlier. They're fast learners and more capable than I dared to imagine at first, and they work for free. Score! That said, I believe in praising and rewarding my crew for a job well done. Not that I mind a little reward myself after all that running around. So I treat everyone to their favorite eats, hang out and just chill afterwards.

So tell me, are you one of those lucky ones that the elves love to visit, or are you (like me) busy as a bee now that the holiday frenzy is gaining on us? Feel free to share whatever tips you have or that have worked for you.