There are many different types of productivity plans and programs. They all take a somewhat similar approach to getting things done. Most of these systems require planning and diligence in order to execute a predefined set of tasks. However, there is one, very old, very simple system that doesn’t require this and still means you will get a whole lot done. It is the “Do It Now” mentality.
The system is simple. Think of a task. Do it. Now.
No planning. No software. Just action.
As simple as it sounds, there is but one rule – finish it. So perhaps, the Do It Now mantra could be better understood as “Start it now. Finish it now.”. This productivity mentality has it’s place in the world of getting things done, and it shouldn’t necessarily be used everywhere at all times. “Do It Now” is best suited at tasks that take no more than one hour from start to finish. No planning.
It’s easy. If you see something that needs doing, or one of your colleagues asks you to work on something, take action, straight away. No hesitation, no delays, no procrastination.
Here’s how to use this system mentality.
Know what needs to be done. It should have a measurable start and measurable finish. It can be some smaller activity of a larger group activities. For example, you couldn’t tackle “repair car” as a Do It Now activity, but you could tackle “Check Oil”. If it helps, write down the task, to make it real. One of the biggest enemies of any todo system is procrastination. It’s that big ugly monster with pointy teeth. The act of writing down the next action you need to take, gives your mind a goal, something that it needs to finish in order to achieve a sense of completeness. Writing the task down also helps narrow down the task into something that can be achieved.
Focus. Committing to your task and don’t let distractions gain your attention. If you’re working or studying, turn off the television and music and find a quiet place. However, if you’re stuck in a noisy environment and you are working on a computer, such as I have been in some workplaces, simply plugging in some earphones is a great way gain focus. You don’t even need to put any sound through them, let them act like earplugs. I’ve found that tuning into some very soft and calm background music, with no lyrics, can block out even more surrounding noise, and give your mind something to focus on when you need to realign with your objective. Focusing on your objective is the surest way to ensure the best quality result and in the smallest amount of time.
Do it. Now. Get stuck into the activity that you’ve identified. However, unless you under significant time pressure, there is no need to rush through the activity. Taking the time to do it right will render a better quality result. If the task you’re doing is to be given back to someone else (such as a colleague), ensuring you spend your time producing quality results will definitely be in your favour. It shows you are careful, methodical, and are more than capable of getting the job done, without having to re-edit numerous times.
You need to track your activities and achievements in order to improve. If you didn’t write down your task when you identified it, write it down as soon as you’ve completed it. Now, either put a nice big tick in front of it, or cross it out. It feels good. As you go through your day and complete your “Do It Now” tasks, keep adding them to the same list and cross them out. Mark a line or write the date at the start of each day and watch the number of tasks you’re able to finish every day increase as you become more focused on your objectives and train yourself to take action right away.
Getting things done is easy when you take action. Being a procrastinator myself, I’ve been implementing a number of ways to get things done. The “Do It Now” mentality is one of the most effective. By mentally taking charge of what needs to be done, and being aware of the ever lurking procrastination monster, you can get focused on the objective, jump in, and get it done. The resulting sense of achievement is fuel. It’s like adrenalin. The more you get things done, the more you want to get done.
How do you use the “Do It Now” mentality. Leave your comments below.