Not getting tasks done or being able to stay on schedule is an obstacle to health, well-being, and career.
There are important issues and considerations – that if addressed – may decrease disorganization and the difficulty completing tasks.
Each chosen task, you may desire to do or complete has its own unique character. For example, anything you choose to do might be enjoyable, a diversion, or immediately gratifying when completed – therefore it will be easier or more likely to get done. People delay doing a stop smoking program, or a weight loss program, with the idea that smoking or being overweight isn’t going to be immediately harmful – so, the project gets delayed or not done. A smaller task may appear to be less formidable and easier to initiate. This gives credence to the wise advice to break down larger tasks or projects, into smaller pieces in the beginning. With the gratification from getting those initial smaller part competed, a momentum is created for finishing the rest of the larger project.
If you’re still not getting things done, even with advice from others, look for other derailing factors, as health issues – a person comes to mind with hypothyroidism who felt sluggish, no energy and couldn’t get things done – this improved with thyroid management and treatment. Another example is a person with depression and excessive anxiety who did much better after seeing a mental health counselor and therapist. Getting an evaluation by a qualified health care professional may be a consideration when continued difficulties are interfering with your life, work or relationships.
Sometimes, not being able to stay on schedule, get organized, or difficulty getting things done – is related to other underlying factors or conditions as:
- Mood disorders as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety
- Medical condition as thyroid problems, hidden infection, inflammatory diseases, or nutritional deficiencies
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or past trauma
- Neuro-developmental difficulties as autism spectrum disorder (high functioning autism)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD)
- Drug Abuse, Chemical Dependence or other addictions
- Environmental allergies and sensitivities, auto-immune disease
- Family disruption or dysfunction
- Major losses (as the death of a loved one, or the breaking-up of a relationship) or worries about financial problems, job loss, or marital problems
Sometimes simple improvements in lifestyle can do wonders for you. Be aware of the below issues that may need your attention:
• Reduce use-time and distraction from electronics, computers, cell phones, tablet, and, etc.
• Create more work and living space that is free from noise, distraction, and clutter
• Do a regular consistent exercise program to help with focus and mood – as running, swimming, biking, yoga, dancing, group exercise classes, walking outside in nature
• Do mindfulness and meditation practices for anxiety and stress reduction
• Establish a regular sleep routine in a conducive, quiet, electronics-free, sleep space – get adequate sleep and rest (7-8 hours)
• Use a daily planner, a to-do-list, or other time-management tools if needed
• Improve nutrition with more organic, fresh whole foods (avoid refined sugar and processed food) – eat more healthy fats, protein, high fiber carbohydrates, green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries
• Consider nutrition support as omega 3’s (fish oil), Vitamins C, D, B’s as B6, folic acid, herbals, and others recommended from a trusted source
• Avoid exposure to food additives, commercial, and household chemicals
Other areas that can be aided by a healthcare provider or an experienced professional:
• Seek accommodations for health needs or disabilities, in educational and job settings
• Use behavioral, cognitive, family, or other holistic therapies – to help modify problematic emotions, behaviors and relational issues
• Identify and address environmental illness, sensitivities, and allergies
• Reduce stress and anxiety – if needed with a trainer, teacher, coach or therapist
• Get help with attention, focusing, and organizing from an assistant, an executive coach or health care practitioner
Commonly, people have too many things on their to-do list and feel overwhelmed. In turn, they become easily distracted or diverted into doing some other non-important task – as watching TV, checking social media or reading emails for hours. So, it is better to develop the art of discerning what is essential by placing other non-critical tasks or to-dos on the side burner.
A good read to help you along the way is the self-help book written by Greg McKeown: Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He advocates for a minimalist approach to any task or obligation. Rather than focusing on multitasking and on doing added things that are often not needed, the author favors only doing the minimal tasks needed to get the job done.
Carefully pick what other activities that are musts or essential tasks for you to get done, and do those only.
Bravely, eliminate other activities that are non-essential for today or perhaps for any day: be proud and satisfied when you have taken control and have completed your day’s essential tasks and activities that you have prioritized. A simple formula perhaps, but this can work for you.
An excellent “task” app for a smartphone, where you can list essential tasks you want to get done, is available in Amazon Play Store. The “Tasks” app works well with “Calengoo” an app calendar and task manager on Google Play Store.
If you want a more technical organization plan or outside help, consider getting an executive or management coach or mentor. A popular book with career people is David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on personal and organizational productivity.
A positive goal is to get the essential and priority tasks done each day and to be mindful and organized as best you can in your daily activities
Be on the natural path toward well-being, peacefulness, happiness, higher consciousness, and service to others – with the intention of acting for the greater good of everyone, including yourself.
By Ron Parks, MD & Shan Parks, co-writer and editor
What has worked best for you to get organized and to get things done? Comment below.