Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Do A Chore

by Randy Murray on August 12, 2010

There are so many things you have to do! How are you going to get them all done?

Guess what? You don’t have to get everything done today. You get to choose.

Yes, some things, typically very few, absolutely have to get done today. But there are a number of other things, sometimes a LOT of other things, that can be done any time. In fact, I’m betting that the bulk of that load of things you carry around in your mind, all those things that nag at you, don’t have a deadline at all. You can turn them from a burden to a resource, a list of things you can do to help you break through productivity logjams.

When you are mired in projects that don’t seem to be moving forward, try this simple technique that can help you be more productive: complete an unrelated chore.

If you’re following and working at Getting Things Done (GTD), then you should have a file of tasks, either in an “Action” folder or organized into contexts, like things you can do at home, calls to make, at the office, etc. Pick one, anything that catches your interest at the moment, and is something you can complete. Then do it!

This will do three things to improve your productivity.

  1. You’ll actually get something done!
  2. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
  3. You’ll create momentum that you can take back to your larger project.

Be careful not to use this approach to avoid doing work that needs to be done. Limit yourself to just a single, short chore. Use this approach when you are not making progress on something important. And of course, you should always use this approach when you are not doing something and can ask yourself, “What do I feel like doing with the time I have right now?”

You get to decide what to do. That’s empowering as well.

What are you going to do next?

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The Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Do A Chore by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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