Getting Stuff Done: The Step-Down Method

No matter the situation, I always have an excuse not to be productive. From October to April I can blame my laziness on the cold, dark winter months, and the other half of the year it’s way too hot and sunny to sit at the computer and work on anything.

So to battle this procrastination, I’ve been working on a few techniques to get stuff done when the level in the motivation bucket is getting low.

     1. Try ‘stepping-down’ to a different task

If you don’t feel like doing something, is there something else, maybe an easier task that you feel more motivated to work on? If I sit down at the computer and realize I’d have to drag my way through writing a blog post, I figure I’m better of finding something that feels easier in that particular moment, rather than default to a zero-productivity activity like flopping on the couch with Netflix.

Is it practicing the guitar? Putting away the dishes? Going for a run? Stretching or meditating? Meditation is always a great default because the whole goal is to do nothing; and yet it’s immensely beneficial.

     2. Don’t get overwhelmed with tasks you don’t actually want to do

I once heard someone say that it’s either a ‘no‘ or a ‘hell-yeah!’ when it comes to anything you’re deciding to do. If you’re not fully in to it, just drop it and find something that gets your body moving and soul shaking. Don’t waste your motivation on pushing through something you’re not super pumped about.

     3. If it’s not 20 minutes, maybe it’s 5 minutes

Take for instance meditation practice, my course told me I should do two, 20 minute sessions a day. So many times I’d say to myself ‘well I only have 10 minutes so I can’t meditate this morning.’ Of course I should just find an amount of time that I want to and can commit to a task. If you don’t feel like practicing your Spanish for 20 minutes, how about 10 minutes? 5? Bring it down until you find a time (however short) that you’re willing to work on something.

     4. And sometimes it’s okay to do nothing

I write this blog as if I’m some expert instilling knowledge of some skill that I’ve long ago perfected. That’s the furthest thing from the truth- I feel so stressed out if I’m not always being productive, and lazing around feels so difficult to me. But being bored and non-stimulated is important for your brain to chill out and collect its thoughts (literally)

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