10 ways to get things done!
Do you want to know how to get things done?
There are numerous books on how to get things done and I've probably read most of them over the years. Is there a special secret? Do only certain types of people get things done? How can I get things done?
These were my most pressing questions. Yet, when I look back at my life and career, it wasn't that I never got things done - it was more that I wasn't quite sure what/how/when to get things done. Once I realised that there isn't a formula and that it's much more about a process, I relaxed!
I only really learned about side-projects (also known as side-hustle) around 2008. I started meeting people who all seemed to have some side-hustle, while working in a full-time job. I was intrigued. Well, that sent me on a quest of my own side-hustle, which eventually, and many years later, ended up being Mapology Guides.
Here's what I've learned over the years how to get things done:
1. Just be
I took pressure off myself by simply 'allowing ideas to infiltrate me'. There was no time line, no accountability. I just opened my mind, ears and eyes to what I found interesting, maybe wanted to fix or had a passion for. I literally collected thoughts and ideas in a sketchbook.
2. Creativity cannot be forced
I honestly can't tell you when the 'it' moment happened with Mapology Guides. Ideas need room to grow, to flourish, to make sense. It was a very slow process. Try not to force things. Sit back, enjoy the journey. You'll be surprised how this works. You will know when you know. Be patient.
3. Create a welcoming space
That's super important to me. An environment that allows my creativity to flow, for the muse to visit. We are all different, so what works for me might not work for you. The questions to ask here: how does your creativity flow? Loud music or stillness? Do you work better in a kind of Starbucks environment where you can hear the coffee machine going and loud noise from others? Maybe you need to be in a white room with nothing around you? Whatever your poison, choose carefully and respect your needs. It can make a huge difference to the results. Also, I like to mix up my environment to keep things fresh.
4. Give your brain fuel
Yep. And I don't mean eating a sandwich at your desk. Our brain needs glucose, not sugar. Many people are unaware they actually suffer from brain fog. It's much harder to get things done if you do. The subject of nutrition is far too complex to unravel here. All I will say is the better fuel you give your brain, the better it will serve you.
5. Baby steps all the way
I'm a great believer in baby steps when it comes to bigger projects. Whatever it is you want to do, build - break it down into achievable, bite-size chunks. Like that you won't overwhelm yourself and it's far more achievable. I did that with Mapology Guides. Every week I was chipping away at small steps.
6. Ask for help
When I started having a vague inkling of what I wanted to do with my side-hustle, I made it my mission to go and ask for help. I'm sure I wouldn't be here if I hadn't. Asking for help seems to be a struggle for many. Think of it like this: people can either say yes or no! If they say no, go ask the next one. You'll get used to the no's and they won't bother you after a while. Also, people really love helping, remember that.
7. Do deep work
There's a difference between work and deep work. Deep work requires our complete focus. No distractions. If you can manage 30 minutes of deep work a few times a week, you will move mountains - it's that effective. I was very strict about that myself. Most people can find 30 minutes. It's about setting priorities.
Probably my No.1. That's just for me. I worked out many years ago that without some kind of accountability, I don't get (important stuff) done. So now I have accountability for many things. Before I started Mapology Guides I had an accountability buddy. We spoke once a week and that helped me tremendously.
9. Swap skills
There's many groups out there for people who are running a business or wanting to start a business - they already know what it is. Maybe you want to write a book, become a maker or simply re-write your CV - whatever it is, go look for people who have those skills you need. You can swap them for skills you have that they may need. Basically, having any kind of help from others will keep you accountable, move you forward and give you support. You'll be inspired to get things done.
10. Have fun on the way
Tell yourself that getting things done can be very joyful, give us fulfillment and confidence. Once you're on your way you'll know what I'm talking about. In fact, there doesn't need to be an end result or outcome. Maybe the process itself will teach you things about getting things done and what works and doesn't work for you. That in itself is amazing. All you have to do is just make a start!