There are always things in business that we don’t want to work on. It could be different for each person, but no one likes doing absolutely everything. It could be a post you don’t want to write – but know should be written. It could be that you need to update a course you created. It could be almost anything. You want the finished piece, but you don’t want to do the task.
This is the kind of task that no matter where it is on your to-do list, you can’t force yourself to do it. You come up with another item to work on and complete, because you’d rather do anything else.
You may do this for a while, but at some point you need to get the task accomplished. No matter how much you put it off, you know you have to do it. So how do you “force” yourself to do the task?
Write Down the Reasons You Need to Get it Done
If the task is on your to-do list, it’s there for a reason. Why is it that you want to do this task? Write it down. You can use anything you want…paper and pen, notepad on your computer, it doesn’t matter. Write down why you have it on your to-do list. What will having it done give you? What will the benefits be?
Most likely one of two things will happen when you do this. You could say to yourself that it’s worth it, and you need to accomplish the task. You have enough reasons now to know why you want to get it done, and you’ll accomplish the task (or at least know why you want to). Another outcome is that you’ll decide it’s not a big enough deal. You don’t need to do the task right now, and it can go lower on your to-do list, or can be taken off completely.
Post About it Like It’s Already Done
Let’s say you decided above that yes, you do want this task to be done. Here is something that you can do to “force” yourself to get the task done. It’s something I’ve done a few times recently when I couldn’t get myself to work on a task, but wished it was finished already because I wanted the outcome.
Talk about it like it’s already done. Write up an email to your list mentioning how you did the task. Post about it on your blog like it’s already done. Write up a social media entry that mentions it. This works best if it’s something that someone that readers of your blog/email/social media can see, otherwise it doesn’t mean as much.
Can you see where I’m going with this? Before you hit “Send” or “Publish”…now you must accomplish the task! And now, you not only have one task that you didn’t do, but you have a second task that is already DONE, but you can’t use it (send the email, post the blog post, etc…) until you finish the task itself.
It’d say it was sneaky, but you’re the one doing it to yourself. I know it works because I’ve done it myself. Here’s a true life example. Last month, I realized that I hadn’t updated my Recommended Tools page (either on this website or on Relaxed Marketer) in a really long time. I knew it was a good thing to have updated…people like knowing what tools we use. If that wasn’t bad enough, the one on this site was so old that some of the websites that I was recommending didn’t even exist anymore! Talk about embarrassing.
But I couldn’t get myself to update the pages. Why? It’s actually for a silly reason. Updating the companies and the descriptions themselves was pretty easy. I was avoiding it because of what I’d have to do after I finished writing it out. Then, I’d have to go and create pretty-links for all of them. If that wasn’t enough, once I finished one website I wasn’t even done yet. I would then have to copy everything over to the other website, and then create pretty links for all of them again!
In other words, I was lazy. I didn’t feel like having to create maybe 40 or so pretty links over the two websites. Was it hard? No, not at all. It was boring. So every single time I put it on my schedule, I came up with another idea instead and worked on that during that timeframe. So it wasn’t that I wasn’t working, it was I was working on anything else but that.
So how did I finally “force” myself to update the Recommended Tools pages? You may laugh, but it worked. I wrote up a post called “Do You have a Recommended Resources (or Tools) Page“?
In it, of course I linked to my Recommended Resources page. I thought it was a helpful post, explaining why I thought having a page like that on your website was a good thing to have. I think that no matter what you’re niche is, having a Recommended Tools page is helpful. The problem is, I quickly finished the post…but I couldn’t post it yet! Once I posted it, and someone read it, they would see that my page was outdated. That wasn’t acceptable to me. So now, in order to post this helpful blog post that I spent time writing, I had to get the tools page updated. Plus, I had really wanted to post a new blog post to Relaxed Marketer either that day or the next. So if I couldn’t post that one, I’d have to write another post.
So with 2 things that were now being held up and not one, I felt like I had no choice but to make the updates to the tools pages. It didn’t even take that long. I just needed a bit more motivation, and having a blog post ready to go but couldn’t post it was the extra motivation I needed.
Within an hour of finishing the blog post, I had the tools pages updated and ready to go. That’s all it took for me to get it done. Will this work for you? I don’t know. But if having a piece of content that you spent time writing but couldn’t post because you hadn’t done something else first would bother you, then it sounds like it would help.
It is possible that absolutely nothing will give you the motivation to do the task. It could be something that for some reason you won’t do the task no matter what. If you try this and it fails, I have one more suggestion for you.
It is possible that the process of writing out the job will be motivation for you to do it yourself. But if after you write the job description out you’re feeling good, not bad about it, hire someone to do it for you!
The person you hire will get the task done, and won’t have to put it off any more. You won’t have to think about it again. The end result will be the same, and you’ll be done, just like that.
I know it can be hard to get yourself to work on every single task that you want to do for your business. The great news is that there are some things you can do to “force” yourself to do them. And if those don’t work, you can always get out of doing the task at all. Hire someone!