Success Lesson: How to get out of a rut and get more done

Some people are naturally driven. They just have a natural inclination to get things done. Self improvement to these people is just doing the things they’re used to doing on a daily basis.

But the fact of the matter is, these kinds of people are a rare breed. Most people need some kind of jump start from time to time.

And a lot of us sometimes just get stuck in big fat productivity rut. I’m not even immune to it myself.

If this does happen to you, it can be very dangerous. Productivity has a certain inertia to it. If you’re up moving, and getting things done, you’re much more likely to continue to get things done.

But if you’re laying around, being lazy, and just not doing a whole lot, you’re much more likely to continue doing that same exact thing.

Your 5 Step Plan

The thing to understand is that productivity ruts are bound to happen from time to time. Don’t feel bad. It’s easy to recover and get back on your horse.

Here’s your 5 step plan to do so.

Recognize You’re in a Rut – This isn’t too difficult to do, but it’s a hugely important step in your road to recovery. To be productive again, you first have to recognize that you’re in a rut, and admit it to yourself. Commit to taking steps to getting back to being productive, and then ask yourself why it happened? Did you get overwhelmed? Did you get sick? Was there something that happened in your life that affected your emotional state? Whatever it was, recognize why it happened, and take note of that so it won’t happen to you again.

Plan Your Catch Up List – This is the step where you take an inventory of all of the big things you have been putting off. Simply write down everything that means something to you to get done and commit to it. It’s ok to put off trivial things in the meantime, and it may even be a good time to outsource some of those things. Focus on the big payoff items and get back to doing stuff that matters.

Carve Out a Little Extra Time – You’re behind, so you’re going to need a little extra time than normal to get caught up. Minimize things like television, excess social activity, reading, etc while you get caught up. Don’t eliminate leisure altogether, but allow yourself an extra 30-60 minutes per day to grab some extra time.

Just Get Started – Now get started on your list. Sometimes too much planning can reduce productivity. Take some time to think about what you need to do, but the most important thing here is that you just get moving. The longer you put off what you need to do, the more likely you are not to do it.Just get started and let your momentum carry you along.

Chip Away at it and Get it Done – You’ve got a lot to do to get caught up, so make sure you understand that you can’t do everything on your catch up list at once. To avoid getting overwhelmed, break down your big projects into smaller tasks and just chip away at them each day. Continue to work on something each and every day, even when you normally may not. This will help you avoid the feeling of, “I’m never going to get caught up.”Using this tactic, you’ll eventually finish your catch up list and get your life back to normal.

Now ride the momentum you’ve gained getting out of your rut and use it to catapult yourself to working further towards your long term goals.
Cody Wheeler is a Self Improvement blogger at Academy Success and author of The LifeHacker’s Manifesto. He believes there is always a better way, and we shouldn’t ever hold ourselves back from doing the things we dream of doing. Grab The LifeHacker’s Manifesto and start finding a better way now.

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