Here’s How To Actually Get Shit Done This Year News


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We made it, y’all — it’s officially 2017!

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And now everyone around you (maybe including you)
is talking about New Year’s resolutions. Maybe
you’re someone who officially makes a resolution
every year. Or maybe you’re someone who rejects the
idea entirely because you can do what you want
anytime of the year () or
because resolutions don’t always pan out the way
they should.

Either way, here’s something pretty much all of us
want this year: to get shit done. But that’s
obviously a lot easier said than done. So here’s
how to put all your big plans into action and
actually stay motivated and productive along the
way:

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1. First,
clearly define what you want to accomplish.

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A big reason why people don’t accomplish something
(whether it’s missing a deadline or ditching a
resolution) is because they’re too general, like:
“I’m going to exercise more” or “I’m going to save
more money,” Sharon Danzger, productivity
consultant and founder of Control Chaos,
tells BuzzFeed Health.

Setting vague goals can end up overwhelming you and
setting you up for failure, because your focus is
only on the end goal — rather than how to actually
get there.

Instead, set specific goals like, “I’m going to go
to the gym four times a week until October” or “I’m
going to save 5% of my paycheck every month for a
year” or “I’m going to write one chapter a day,
three days a week.”

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2. Break up
big goals or assignments into little, actually
doable chunks.

Break up big goals or assignments into little, actually doable chunks.

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Whether they take a few minutes or a few hours to
get done, you just want to feel confident in your
ability to finish them, Danzger says.

So if your goal is to save more money, write down
all the smaller tasks that will help you get there,
like: opening a savings account, researching
money-saving apps, taking an afternoon to figure
out your budget and how much you can realistically
save each month, planning what amount you’ll save
each month and when/how you’ll move the money over,
etc.

On that note, you should also get what’s familiar
done first, Dr. Amit Sood, professor of medicine at
Mayo Clinic and author of
The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness,
tells BuzzFeed Health. This helps you build
confidence so you’re not as intimidated by the
task.

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3. If you’ve
got a lot you want or need to do, list it all in
order of priority.

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Some might call this time management, but Sood and
Danzger both agree that a more accurate term is
“work management.” If you have a lot of shit to get
done, listing them out and prioritizing them is
key.

The trick here is to not get caught up in the time
it takes to get something done, but instead to make
sure that the most important stuff gets done first,
Sood says. Then, if you have time, you can get
started on the rest.

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4. Schedule
your most important stuff early in the day.

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Though you might feel the groggiest in the morning,
Danzger says it’s still the best time to get shit
done because you’re somewhat well rested and you
haven’t made too many decisions yet, so your mind
isn’t all that tired.

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5. Set some
ground rules for when you check email, apps, and
social media.

Set some ground rules for when you check email, apps, and social media.

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Because we’re already in too deep in this digital
world, getting rid of social media simply isn’t
possible, Sood says — but digital discipline is. He
recommends checking social media and emails only a
couple of times a day. This way it’ll work to
enhance your life (by keeping you informed and
connected to friends and family) instead of just
taking up valuable time.

Even if your job requires you to be on email
basically always, Danzger says it’s best to
designate a time each hour to do that, rather than
relying on pop-up email alerts that are more
distracting than helpful. If you need to, change
your settings so only important people (like your
boss) warrant an alert.

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6. Politely
say “no” more often.

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“It’s nice to help somebody out, and if you see the
benefit in helping somebody out then that’s great,”
Danzger says. “But we also have to protect our time
because it’s so limited.

So while it might seem like turning down an
assignment or an invitation means you’re actually
*not* being productive, it’s really freeing you up
to focus on the stuff that’s already on your to-do
list.

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7. Write
stuff down all the time.

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A great way to stay on track and spot any time- or
motivation-sucks is to put it in writing. Danzger
suggests spending 10 minutes each night jotting
down what you got done that day and what you have
planned for tomorrow. That way, when you wake up,
you’re already ahead of the game. You can also
write to-do lists, done lists, and even keep a

bullet journal if that helps you.

If you’re trying to start a new daily habit, like
meditating or making your bed, Danzger says you
should get a wall calendar and practice “not
breaking the chain.” Do this by crossing off each
day with an “X” when you finish what you have to
do. “Once you get to day four or five, you start to
create a small chain, and then you don’t want to
break it.” Genius.

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8. Save some
time for when ~shit happens~.

Save some time for when ~shit happens~.

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Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, amirite? So
when you plan your day, give yourself an hour or so
to deal with any setbacks that come your way, says
Danzger. “What that does is it changes your mindset
so that you’re not always pissed off when things
change and your schedule gets messed up,” she says.

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9. Don’t
obsess over everything being perfect.

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Absolute perfection in everything we do would be
fucking great. But let’s be honest, no one will get
it perfect every single time, and trying to will
probably hinder your productivity more than
anything else, Danzger says.

That’s why it’s important to remember the 80/20
rule, which states that about 20% of the effort you
put into work is responsible for 80% of the results
you see, she says. If you remember this, you won’t
stress so much over the smaller things — like
whether an email is worded correctly or if it comes
off as too aggressive or too vague — and put more
effort into the bigger things, like that report
your boss is waiting for. You really gotta pick
your battles, says Danzger.

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10. Find some
role models that motivate you.

Find some role models that motivate you.

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Maybe it’s the person posting workout tutorials on
Instagram. Or maybe it’s a CEO that always seems to
have their shit so delicately together. Maybe it’s
a celebrity that gives you life goals; or it could
be a friend/mentor/boss that you actually know IRL
who gives amazing advice.

Sometimes it just helps to have a person in mind
when you hit a roadblock and need some motivation,
especially if they’ve gone through something
similar, says Sood.

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11. Take
mindful breaks instead of just marathon-ing through
a task.

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Even though you might think you can work straight
through for eight hours, your brain can’t — it
needs time to recharge. But to make sure you don’t
get sidetracked by your breaks, Danzger suggests
doing something short and mindful — like taking a
quick meditation break, stretching, sipping a cup
of coffee, or making a quick call to a friend.

The goal is to immerse yourself in the experience
and try not to let thoughts about the past or
future creep in, she says, noting that this will
help reduce your stress and ultimately make you
happier. “Just focusing on the task at hand and
being totally present will help, so that you don’t
contaminate that time.”

You can read more about mindfulness
here.

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12. Reward
yourself when you actually do the work.

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NBC

If that’s the sort of thing that motivates you,
then BY ALL MEANS go ahead and get yourself that
ice cream cone or watch that movie — but only once
you’ve done what needs to get done, Danzger says.
“It also takes discipline, because there’s nothing
to stop you from just watching the movie anyway.”

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