How to Trick Yourself into Getting More Done Without Burnout

Does it ever feel like you’re getting nowhere? You know there are things you need to complete, but nothing is getting done? It happens to the best of us. However, there’s a simple way to jumpstart your productivity and trick yourself into getting more done.

I’ve discovered the happy medium between sitting on my butt doing nothing and working too hard and then suffering from burnout. And in the process of finding middle ground, I’ve also learned to be more productive.

The Trick Is Simple Moderation

It was a rough winter. We got pounded with snow throughout February and early March. That made me complacent. I just wanted to sit around and watch TV. Then I realized that I was falling behind on things I needed to complete.

Rather than kicking myself in the butt and trying to catch up in a day, I’ve decided to take the route of moderation. I know it works. I’ve done it before. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Acknowledge that you’ve slacked off: That’s right. You have to admit your failure. Once you’ve acknowledged that you’ve let some things fall behind, you’re much more likely to have the desire to restart.
  2. Make a mental (or written) list of what needs to be done: Now you can make a note of what needs to be accomplished. Don’t freak out. If you’ve let things go too far it might seem overwhelming. However, the next two steps can work wonders.
  3. Start with little stuff: Don’t go all out. Start with minor things. Clean out that drawer. Sweep the garage. Write that proposal. You don’t have to paint the house and write a book tomorrow.
  4. Work for short spurts of time: This is key for me. I’m currently in the process of preparing to sell my house. Rather than working for hours on end, I choose to work 20-30 minutes at a time. I’m always surprised at how much I accomplish using this method. Work a little. Take a break. Repeat.
  5. Continue: Don’t stop. Something interesting happens when you work in moderation. You build momentum. Then you might find yourself working for longer durations and thinking little of it.

In the End, You Get More Done

We all know people who get excited to complete a task. They jump in with both feet running. They work super hard for a short period of time. Then they burnout. The job gets left half done.

In my own experience, I’ve discovered the trick to getting more done. It’s simple.

  • Do a little at a time.
  • Enjoy the process.
  • Watch the results.

In the end, you’ll surprise yourself. You might even ask yourself, “How did I do that.” What often feels overwhelming isn’t so bad if you just get started and work in moderation.

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