10 Hacks to Get You To Your Next Task (When You Don’t Want To)

10 Hacks

We’ve all been there. We’re staring at our to-do list and there’s most likely more things listed that we would rather not do than things we would like to do.

Rather than ball up the list and throw it away (or delete the app you’re using if you’re more new-school), check out these tips (in no particular order) below to help you rough it through your difficult tasks:

1 Do the task first thing in the morning

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” -Mark Twain

Why is it suggested to get your most dreaded task out of the way first? Because generally, we are more energetic and more productive in the morning time. Think about it: it’s the start of a fresh new day and you’ve (hopefully) gotten some rest the night before. You’re likely more energetic than you will be after a long day of work (even if you’re doing something you love!) which means by the end of the day you’re less likely to want to exert energy on something you don’t enjoy. Capice?

Plus, it’s a slick way of setting your day up for success – by getting your not-so-desirable task out of the way first, you leave room for the more interesting tasks. *And you now have something to look forward to.

2 Bribe yourself

I’m just going to shamelessly put this out there. There are just some things that I won’t do without having some type of prize at the end. Maybe “won’t” is too strong a word. I guess it’s more like having something to motivate me makes the journey to “The End” a little sweeter. So to help me get through whatever I have to do, I will often bribe myself like I’m a 5-year-old being begged by her mother to please eat her peas.

It doesn’t have to be much, or something that I don’t readily have access to. For instance, if I’m having a particularly rough time creating a graphic in Photoshop, I’ll tell myself, “Ok Kortney. If you keep working for the next 15 minutes without stopping to hop on Twitter or Pinterest, you can take a break with Twitter or Pinterest.”

Yes, I totally talk to myself like that. And it works! Showing up is half the battle but staying focused is where the real work comes in.

3 Reward yourself for your achievements

This is similar to bribing yourself, but it actually works in reverse. With the bribing method, you  start out with something that causes you to work towards it. With this method, you don’t necessarily have something in mind when you do your daily tasks.

For instance, you might have a weekly or monthly task of gathering all of your business-related receipts and balancing your books. This is something that is most likely on your calendar to do, one of those appointments you can’t miss. Since this is a recurring event, you might just do it without thinking much about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is easier to get through if you don’t particularly enjoy it! Give yourself something special at the end of a long week or particularly difficult task – you’ve earned it.

4 Record your achievements

I started keeping track of my personal and business accomplishments at the end of last year and that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Often, we grind away and do things that don’t always have a clear-cut or defined “end.” This means that the gratification for completing certain milestones can feel like it never comes or that we’re not making progress.

The good part is this is not necessarily the truth!

Having a success jar (or somewhere you record your accomplishments) is such a help in pushing through the rough times. The great thing about a success jar is there is no limit or no boundaries on what types of successes you can put in it. One of my successes for 2016 was purchasing my first real pair of running shoes. That was huge for me! That move showed my commitment to my personal health and well-being and was actually a set up for several other things that happened in my life.

5 Set an end goal

Part of my philosophy in life is to have purpose in all that I’m doing. Having set end goals help you stay focused so that you can push through to completion and have a clear message throughout the process.

6 Brag about yourself

It’s always fun to include other people in on the things we are proud of – especially when it involves something we’ve done! This social media age we live in makes it incredibly easy to share what’s going on in our lives. Why not use that to your advantage when you’ve done something worthwhile? The internet needs more good things on it anyway.

7 Think about your “why”

Most often, when we do things we really don’t like doing it’s because we have to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can actually help the process along. For instance, one of the administrative tasks creatives all over generally don’t care for is business taxes. Think about how it makes you feel at the end of every month, quarter, or year when you sit down with your books and have to tally up all of your income, expenses, sales tax, and other things listed on your taxes. Does it give you a feeling of euphoria? Or does even the sound of the word taxes make you die a little on the inside? Wherever you are on the spectrum, if sitting down to balance your books doesn’t make you super excited to get out of bed that morning, then it’s more likely one of the tasks you might put off until the very last minute.

A note about taxes: for most people, they’re not one of the most fun parts of business ownership, but they are definitely here to stay and are a great way to gauge how your business is doing.

8 Don’t reinvent the wheel

Sometimes when I’m getting through difficult tasks, I tend to take this approach of trying to figure out new and ingenious ways of getting through said task. I had to learn that 9 out of 10 times this was a procrastination attempt to keep me from doing the actual work that needed to be done. Sometimes there just isn’t a new and ingenious way of doing something – just do it!

9 Be accountable to someone (or someoneS)

If you’re working in a group or team setting, this is a no-brainer. But what about those times when you’re all alone and whether or not he task gets done rests on your shoulders?

No pressure, right?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to let myself down a lot quicker than if I’m having to report to another person. Why not let a business buddy or close friend in on what you’re doing to keep yourself accountable and on track? There are fewer forms of peer pressure that I recommend more.

10 Delegate

Is the task something that can be outsourced to someone else? Maybe there is someone else on your team (or an assistant if you’re really fancy) that’s a better fit for the job at hand. If it’s not feasible to entirely let the task go, consider bringing in some help to make the process a little smoother for you. Ever hear of a Tax Party? Me neither, but here’s to you for making it a thing!

Not everything we do as humans will be sprinkled in gold glitter and flowers – but those things must still be done in some form or fashion.

Did these tips help you make “eating the frog” a little more bearable? What are your tricks for getting no through difficult and undesirable tasks? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.


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