Personal Productivity

Motiva8 – 8 sure ways to stay motivated while on your to do list part 2

How to finish what you've started without losing motivation
wrote this on July 25, 2012 / 1 comment

In our Part 1 of our previous post – Motiva8 – 8 sure ways to stay motivated while on your to-do list, I talked about the four lists that will help you build the motivation you need to end all your tasks with enough motivation to fuel you in the weeks to come.

In part 2, we’re going to focus on the lists that can help you achieve and identify productivity killers..  Let’s begin with arranging your resources.

For that purpose, I have two lists that I like to call the “avoid” and “attract” lists. Those lists are there to make sure you control time and the interactions with the people around you better, let me explain…

#5 The Avoid list - stay motivated by avoiding undermining behaviors and people

Even though it’s just a check list, it’s never-the-less an important check list. This list makes sure you avoid people who drag you down or suck your energy. Your time is your most valuable resource.  If you unknowingly spend time on tasks that don’t promote anything (or even worse, knowingly), you’re not likely to ever complete the important tasks.  These “non-important” task are perhaps your biggest challenge in completing your goals.  Be wary!

Also to consider, if you insist on perfection in task completion, you’re missing the point. When trying to complete tasks you need only to do your best, going above and beyond will cause you to waste that precious resources called time (again) and will send you into an endless loop of modification and reviews.  If it’s good enough, move on! Grab any task, define what success is, and don’t over-due it.

One last thing, don’t treat success or failure as absolute conditions, yesterday’s success can be tomorrow failures and vice versa. Always be willing to change the outcome if you failed, always try to maintain success if it was gained.

#6 The Attract list - stay motivated by attracting the resources you need prior to action

The attract list is a list of resources that will help you complete tasks by attracting the right behaviors from you and the people around you.

Although not really something you can put into a list, you should really pay attention to the language you use when describing a task. Make sure you use positive language and address the task when you’re around people with enthusiasm rather than negative attitude (i.e. “that boring task again”). The way you talk about your tasks and goals can predict the outcome even before you started.

Second, you want to hang around people who influence you positively, people who do more than just talk…Doers.

Those are just some of the things I do to attract behaviors and people that can help me achieve my goals.

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#7 Your regular tasks lists - stay motivated by working in the now

After swallowing the frogs, taking out the two-minutes tasks and setting the right environment to complete actions, it’s time to touch those “regular” items.

Start arranging your “regular task list” and make sure you make note of the expected outcome.  Outcome visioning (as David Allen, the author of the GTD book calls it) helps remind you WHAT you’re trying to achieve. Ask yourself what it looks like, what sounds it makes and what would it feel like once completed. Try to answer the “what” questions around the task before you start.

After completing this list, you’ll reach the next step.

#8 The next action list - stay motivated by seeing the future

Every task you completed has an action that follows, that’s the law.  Arranging all your pending tasks in a different list will make your original to-do list shorter, preventing the freeze that potentially accompanies long lists (I don’t know about you, but I avoid long lists just because they are long).

Make sure that each and every item on your short motiv8 lists has a “next action” and once all the items are in place, your lists are prepared. Now, it’s time to drive some action (which you can read all about on this post that explains how to drive action after your lists are done) and start the doing part, enjoy!

* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.

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