How To Immediately Tackle Items On Your To-Do List

Posted on Posted in Misc

This is going to be a little about a book I’m reading called “Rework” by the amazing company of 37 Signals. Many people in the design and development world look to this company for fresh ideas to implement into their businesses. The ironic thing is that they talk about how to stop talking and start doing and that’s exactly what got them where they are today. Those of us reading the books seem to think that reading them will help us somehow.

And it will…if we actually implement.

The First Step

So the initial leap of faith is always the hardest right? Not always so for me. What happens is that I am all gung-ho about trying something new but I forget that I won’t see any results from it until I spend some serious time with it. Things like working out for a week won’t make much difference in my appearance, but I always seem to expect results immediately. Or blogging for a month with little readers when I should know it takes months or years to built a Platform. We all do it.

We live in an ADD society and when things don’t have immediate satisfaction, we give up. I’m challenging myself to not do that and I’m asking you to do the same.

Lets remember that many of the famous painters like Monet and Van Gogh died before anybody ever really paid attention to their paintings. Or that it took 2-3 years for Facebook to even be available for people outside of college to signup. Our first step should really be a step back to look at all those ideas we’ve been wanting to do, pick one, and do it.

Just Do It

I guess Nike just said it best. There’s really nothing special about their slogan but it’s worked for years and it still holds true to every piece of our lives. Just start reading your bible everyday. Just start doing 1 blog entry every week. Just start working on that side project you’ve been thinking about for 2 years. Just hug your wife (or husband), 5 seconds won’t make a difference in you being late somewhere but it will impact your relationship astronomically. Just do it.

Use the “hot potato method.” Get things off your plate as soon as they get there and don’t procrastinate. I heard once that procrastination is just another term for laziness. I find that to be very, very true. Why keep a list of 43 things you need to do in a day when you could have done 10 of them in 15 minutes if you “just did it” instead of “planning” how to do it. If you plan how to do your list you’re just adding another item to your list.

All That’s Fine & Dandy But…

But what? You don’t want to get things done? You don’t want to see the light at the end of the tunnel? You don’t want to make the effort or put in the time or have the motivation? But nothing.

I’ve said that far too many times and this is as much of a rant for me to personally change things as it is for each and every one of you. Maybe you’re implementing things right now already. That’s awesome and we’d all love to hear how you’re implementing them and how it’s effecting your life and productivity and energy level. Leave it in the comments for us to benefit as well.

But nothing. Just do it.

What have you been doing lately or is “on your list” to do that you could tackle immediately? Share with the rest of us any insights you may have into how to get motivation to “just do it!”

  • Great thoughts here Jared.  I have items on my To Do List, and then added others, so I could cross the second item off to make myself feel better about doing something.  Only to realize, that my main item was still left untouched.  I think your ADD and First Step section is hitting the nail on the head.  How often do I start books, only to stop a chapter or two in because I don’t see the full effect or feel the list of what needs to be done is going to be too long.  Let’s press on!

    And now I need to quit messing around on the computer and do something…
    Thanks.

    • Haha, nice! Hope you got more than 1 item knocked off today!