4 steps To Get Stuff Done

A restored Jaguar Mk 2

A restored Jaguar Mk 2

These days there is a common answer to the question “how’s work?” and that is “busy”. So many people use this word “busy” that it has almost become a default answer to any question about work. It’s not true of course, nobody is really busy, we just think we are. Sadly, saying we are “busy” seems to have become a badge of honour. But if all these people are busy, why are they not producing anything worthwhile? What are they busy doing?

However, if you are a person who wants to really get worthwhile things done here’s how to get them done.

1 Decide what You Want to Do

In my experience, most people have no idea what they actually want to do. So they just get on and do busy work. Busy work is fine, but busy work is never going to take you any where. Filing documents, updating sales activities and sitting in meetings that end with no clear objectives are all example of busy work. They may make you feel like you are doing work, but you are achieving nothing at all. So, make a decision. What do you want to achieve. Is it write a book? Create a photography business? Rebuild a vintage car? What is it? Make that decision before you move on.

2 What do you need to make it happen?

Once you have decided what it is you want to achieve, then you should think carefully about what you need to make it happen. To write a book for example you will need something to write with. Either a pen and paper, or a computer with some writing software. Rebuilding a vintage car may need a few more things — an old car for example — but what ever it is you have decided you want to do, you need to think carefully about what it is you need to make the first step happen.

3 Begin small

I often think the reason so many people achieve very little is because when they start on something, they try to do too much at once. I’ve written three books, and each book began with writing about 1,000 words. It took me about thirty minutes to write, but it started with just a 1,000 words. Then it was all about writing as much as I could in the time I had each day to write. Some days it was only 500 words, others I was able to write over 2,000. But it always started out with a small amount.

4 Make it a regular activity

With projects like writing a book, rebuilding a vintage car or creating a photography business, you need to keep going. Start small, and do a small amount regularly. Most people fail at these projects because they don’t allocate enough time to work on them regularly. Once a week maybe all you can afford to do, but make sure that the time you allocate to the project is protected and you do it. If you can’t do it, reallocate time elsewhere in the week. Use your calendar or better still use an application like Todoist to manage your tasks.

And that is all it is. You can achieve amazing things if you first decide what you want to achieve, you know what you need to make it happen and you allow yourself enough time each week to work on it. Bit by bit you get closer to the finish and one day you will have achieved something. 

So go on, make a decision about what you really want to achieve and make it happen.

Carl Pullein is the author of Your Digital Life: Everything you need to know to get your life organised and put technology to work for you, a book about how to get yourself organised in the twenty-first century