How to do more of the must do tasks that you don’t want to do each day

One of the problems with setting goals is that you get really focused on getting the goals done and letting the ‘housekeeping’ part of your life slip.

I can easily write a 1000 words a day without even trying. I can get up at 6am to go to the gym and yet if one of the bulbs go in my hallway light I can procrastinate and ignore the problem, even though it is a simple task because I have no desire to do it!

These tedious tasks help make up your day-to-day life and are just as important as the goals you want to do because if you can’t even keep your own house in order how do you expect to achieve anything?

In order to address this issue I decided to write a list everyday of three must do tasks – these relate to all the little jobs that I don’t always focus or even care much for achieving.

The idea is that I am breaking down all my small jobs into tiny lists each day so that it doesn’t become a major or a massive endless list of all the household jobs that must be done.

Once the three must do tasks are completed I don’t need to worry anymore and can focus on other more enjoyable things.

My idea behind this is to be more productive each day – so that I get on with things that I must do or have been deliberately putting off – the activities where I keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”.

By tackling these must do housekeeping tasks I feel good about myself and am able to stay more focused on the goals I do enjoy because in the back of my mind I know that I have done my required duties.

So for example here are mine for one day:

1) Text brother in law to arrange his help with putting in new lights in the lounge

2) Pull up hallway carpet

3) Call Tom

As you can see these aren’t particularly difficult tasks – two of the three are things that I have just kept putting off and never got around to doing.

Task One

The first is sending a simple text to arrange a more difficult action, however once it is in motion from sending that message I am committed to having my brother-in-law come round and replace our light fittings. Estimated time is 10 seconds – who can’t spare ten seconds, I can multi-task this job for 10 seconds!

index

Task Two

The second is the hardest of the three but I need to do it because I have carpet fitters coming tomorrow. I know I must get on with it regardless of how long it takes. Estimated time 1 hour

This is the most time consuming task but when it is done, it is done, it’s off my mind and I no longer feel the pressure of having to get it done! I have estimated it as 1 hour, but it will probably take less time.

Task Three

The third is calling a good friend of mine who I haven’t spoken to in a while. This isn’t a difficult task having a conversation with a friend, but I have to be prepared to spend 10+ minutes talking.  This is a task I could easily do when I am bored for 10 minutes or when my wife watches TV – it’s easy.

Get more done…

Since doing this I have been much more productive getting the boring jobs done – I am probably getting about 90% completion rate, which is much better than none and every time I don’t complete a simple task I carry it over to the next day until I do actually do it.

The motivation is to get these done as soon as possible, because when sorted the rest of the day is mine to do as I please

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2 thoughts on “How to do more of the must do tasks that you don’t want to do each day

  1. Always good to have some kind of system to control how we approach the things we want to do. I’ve found the 1, 3 , 5 approach seems to work well. 1 critical thing, 3 important things that would be good ti do and 5 things that would be nice to do if I have the time. When I approach them in that order, it seems to work out for the best

    1. Hi Adam, thank you for your comment. I like your approach of 1, 3, 5. That actually sounds like something I do work in Project Management, called MoSCoW Prioritisation – where when you have a project you devise a period of time and then decide on the Must Have’s, Should Have’s, Could Have’s and Won’t have’s this time.

      Thanks very much for your comment
      All the best
      James

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