The One Thing You Need to Do to Really Get Stuff Done (and it's not what you think!)

So lately we’ve been talking less about productivity and more about what to do when the going gets tough. We’ve talked about how to deal when things suck  and when you’ve just had it. While these are topics we can all relate to (and I really hope they’ve been helpful!) they may have left you wondering how it relates to getting stuff done. But there is a surprising connection!

I bet you’ve noticed when you are in a good mood you feel like you can get it ALL done. You’re zipping through your to-do list, making plans with friends, can’t wait to get to the next thing. You’re crushing it and feeling awesome!

And then there are times where you are in a downright crappy mood. Maybe something has happened and you are going through a rough time or maybe you find yourself brewing over something that happened a while ago but thinking about it is putting you in a bad mood. Everything feels like a chore. Your to-dos take longer and it feels like you are just slogging along.

It’s not in your head. 

Different emotions give you different levels of energy. Emotions such as anger or guilt or even apathy are called catabolic energy and they physically make you feel down, depressed, blah and really low on energy. As humans, we ALL have these feelings, it’s part of our experience. But it doesn’t feel great and this kind of heavy catabolic energy can really cloud everything in our lives, making it very difficult for us to live to our fullest potential.

On the other hand better feeling emotions such as forgiveness, responsibility, concern, compassion, self acceptance, joy and passion give us anabolic levels of energy, which is like stepping into a ray of sunshine that fills us up with a good dose of positive vibes. This is when you have the boost of energy to get things done, problem solve, feel creative and inspired.  

So when you really want to get stuff done the one thing to do is become aware of your thoughts and emotions so that you can tap into that good energy.

You may be thinking, “Yeah — that’s great — but my husband pissed me off this morning and my train was an hour late or there was incredible traffic and now I have less time to prepare for my meeting this afternoon.”

And I’m going to tell you, “Yup, this is really annoying. Of course you feel frustrated and annoyed and totally stressed out.”

Now that’s out of the way — what is the next thought you can think of that will make you feel a little better? For example, “Ok — I have a door on my office so I can shut the door and hit do not disturb on my phone and my boss will let me move our status meeting until tomorrow so that gives me enough time to prepare. My husband is kind of cute too”.

Instead of fuming you’ve started to problem solve and as a result your energy is shifting into a space where you can be more focused and productive. When you start to become more aware of the control you have over your thoughts and how that makes a difference in the way you feel, you’ve tapped into a true super power.   

So this week I challenge you to be more aware and catch yourself when you are choosing thoughts that upset you and slow you down. Then bring that thought to something slightly better and be aware of how your energy starts to gently shift and you start to get back into your groove.