Five Secrets to Getting Stuff Done

New Yorker Cartoon - I can't decide to nap right now or in 10 minutes

The wall. We all hit it on occasion. For any number of possible reasons, we get stuck and just can't seem to get the things done that need to get done.

Here are five ideas inspired by entrepreneur Susan Payton from an article that appeared in Forbes Magazine to get motivated and back on track.

5 Secrets for getting stuff done

1. Give Yourself a Break

Sometimes you just need a quick break. Get up, walk around, look out the window, walk down the hall. Grab some coffee or a glass of water. Taking a minute to yourself will help you refocus on the tasks at hand. Note, a quick break shouldn't involve getting lost in your social media feed or getting bogged down in a long conversation with a co-worker.

2. Write it Down

Use whatever method works best for you, but as soon as you identify a task you need to accomplish, put it on a list. This may be a digital calendar, a Kanban board, or just a notepad.

This system works only if you check it regularly and keep it up to date.

3. Learn to Lie to Yourself

Most of us live and die by deadlines. How many times have you let a deadline sneak up on you before getting serious about doing a project? It's easy to fall into the trap of "I have a week to get this finished, and it will only take me a couple of days." Next thing you know, the week is almost up and you have a day to finish the task.

Satisfy your need to meet deadlines last minute while also combatting procrastination by lying to yourself about when something needs to get done by. Make that deadline tighter to help motivate yourself.

4. Set Goals

Set a daily goal to accomplish your task list. If it's quitting time and the list isn't finished, either power through or get to a stopping point.

A good stopping point is a place where the next task is simple to do. This makes it much easier to start the next day than facing something monumental.

5. Give Yourself a Reward

Treat yourself occasionally for getting things done. "If I finish this project early, I'll go play golf Friday afternoon." Doing this will make working an extra hour or two on Thursday more worthwhile and keep you focused.

Just don't use this trick all the time. You have to develop good work habits and consistently get things accomplished.

SmartDraw Makes this Even Easier

You can use any number of tools, including a pencil and paper or even Excel® to execute these steps, but it's much quicker and easier to use a tool specifically designed for the task, like SmartDraw.

You can quickly build a mind map of tasks and turn it into a project chart in a single click. You can also build a Kanban board to help you prioritize tasks and see where they stand in your workflow process.

It's the perfect way to help you get things done.

SmartDraw makes diagramming easy