Skip to main content

One Simple Trick to Get Motivated and Get Things Done

one-simple-trick-to-get-motivated-and-get-things-done

I admit it. I am the definition of procrastination. My brain tells me I have a million things to do but the rest of my body just can’t muster up the motivation to get started.

I’m not young. I just turned 60 and I’ve struggled with procrastination my entire life . I consistently waited until the last minute to do EVERYTHING. I was always the teenager who stayed up all night completing a homework assignment that was due the following morning but was given to me 2 weeks prior. I was always the person buzzing around like a maniac trying to get done the 5 hours of chores in the remaining hour and a half I had left to complete them.

Some will say it’s a mental problem and I need help. I say I just like the challenge of getting it all done at the last minute. It seems satisfying when I complete half my To-Do list in less than half the time.

But what about the remainder of the list, you might ask. Well, that’s where I needed help. I needed a plan. I needed a change Half of yesterday’s To-Do list spilled onto the next day’s list and before I knew it I was getting a lot of nothing done. The consequences of my procrastination were horrific. Behind in my bills. Behind in my laundry. Behind in my housework. Behind in life.

So I found a simple trick that I use to get motivated and get things done.

A List

An actual pen and paper To-Do list. I don’t know why it works other than that having an organized list of things to do staring me in the face gets me motivated.

One big reason for my procrastination was that I was mentally unorganized. It was an overwhelming feeling of too many things to do and not enough time to do it. Therefore, I had no motivation to even start anything.

But in turn, I just ended up with a sense of failure and worthlessness. I'd ask myself why was I so lazy. I was even depressed. I just lacked motivation. After all, some of the tasks were boring and repetitive (laundry, cleaning, shopping etc.) and there's not much reward in it (accept clean clothes, clean house and food in the fridge).

Making a list of To-Do's, organized my thoughts and my day's activities.

one-simple-trick-to-get-motivated-and-get-things-done

But That's Not All - A Timed List

A timed To-Do List is what makes it challenging. The mental challenge brings on the motivation. Challenging myself to complete each task in the allotted time gives me motivation. It's like a game that I'm playing with myself. The rules are mine.

one-simple-trick-to-get-motivated-and-get-things-done

Why Not Just Use My Phone’s Notepad and Save Paper?

Because on a phone it’s too easy to ignore my list. Before I know it, I've just wasted the first hour on checking my social media sites and surfing the internet - completely forgetting my list, which puts me right back to procrastinating and getting nothing done.
There’s something about a physical list staring me in the face that gives me the motivation to complete every task and complete it on time.

one-simple-trick-to-get-motivated-and-get-things-done

Check it Off

Don’t just look at your paper list of chores and duties. Check them off as you go along. Each checkmark represents a challenge won.

Set a timer for each task and compete against the timer to complete each task. You won’t believe the amount of accomplishment and pride you’ll feel when, not only completing the entire list, but completing it in less time then allotted.

Scroll to Continue

Allow Time to Procrastinate

Yep. Procrastinators need to procrastinate. It’s just part of our being. Allow time for your body and mind to “think” you’re procrastinating.

If you need to get up earlier to allow a couple hours of procrastination, then do it. My biggest problem is that I’m not a morning person. Sure I love to get up early, but I hate getting up and getting things done right away. I need some “me” time.

By setting my To-Do list challenge to, say 9 am, I get up at 6. It allows me time to have my morning cups of coffee until I get bored enough with myself. By 9am I’m more then ready to start my tasks.

Feel the Accomplishment

Don’t just look at your paper list of chores and duties. Check them off as you go along. Each checkmark represents a challenge won.

Set a timer for each task and compete against the timer to complete each task. You won’t believe the amount of accomplishment and pride you’ll feel when, not only completing the entire list, but completing it in less time then allotted.

Benefits of Self-challenges

You may not know it, but there are several benefits to challenging ones self. Here are just a few:

  • Challenges remind you that you are much stronger and more capable than you probably give yourself credit for.
  • Challenges clarify what you want in life.
  • Challenges are a great opportunity for growth.
  • Challenges help us build confidence in our abilities.

Procrastinators Unite

If you struggle with procrastination, let me know in the comment section below. Tell me what you have done to overcome your procrastination. Sharing ideas helps others.

Tell Me About You

Are You a Procrastinator? Take the quiz below.

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. It takes me forever to get motivated to do the things I need to get done
    • Always
    • Occasionally
    • Never
  2. I am always late
    • Yes
    • Sometimes
    • Never
  3. I feel bad about myself when I don't get things done
    • Yes
    • Never
  4. My procrastination has resulted in losing out on things in life (a job, going places with friends, etc)
    • Many times
    • Sometimes
    • Never

Scoring

Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. It takes me forever to get motivated to do the things I need to get done
    • Always: -1 point
    • Occasionally: +1 point
    • Never: +5 points
  2. I am always late
    • Yes: -1 point
    • Sometimes: +1 point
    • Never: +5 points
  3. I feel bad about myself when I don't get things done
    • Yes: -1 point
    • Never: +5 points
  4. My procrastination has resulted in losing out on things in life (a job, going places with friends, etc)
    • Many times: -1 point
    • Sometimes: +1 point
    • Never: +5 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between -4 and 3 means: ?

A score between 4 and 10 means: ?

A score between 11 and 15 means: ?

A score between 16 and 17 means: ?

A score between 18 and 20 means: ?

Quiz Results

If you scored between 0 and 50% - You are a procrastinator. Purchase a notebook and start the challenge.

If you scored above 50% - you are on the right path. You may need a little help, however, so go ahead and use the self-challenge to keep yourself on the right path.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Michelle Bentley

Related Articles