10 Tips on How to Get Going on a Task

053121 10 Tips on How to Get Going on a Task

How to get going on a task. If you are always doing things at the last minute, you are not alone. Many people have trouble getting motivated to start tasks. Large or small, homework, chores, or job responsibilities – getting started on all these can stress you out.

To help you with options to move forward, here are 10 tips to get you going.

  1. Evaluate whether the task is something you really value. Maybe it’s something that someone else asked of you and may not important to you.
  2. Imagine yourself doing and completing the task. Seeing the outcome may motivate you.
  3. Chunking. It means to break down your task into smaller, more doable pieces. It won’t seem so overwhelming then.
  4. Make action items. In addition, make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish and use verbs at the beginning of each item.
  5. Get it in your planner. Prioritize each task on your calendar and schedule enough time to do it, you are more likely to succeed.
  6. Use post-it notes to remind yourself of the tasks to complete. A little reminder never hurt.
  7. Be accountable to someone else. For instance, reporting to someone who will support your work and not criticize your efforts will be a great motivator.
  8. Look at what is getting in your way. If you have tried everything and still struggle, examine if outside (or inside) forces are getting in your way.
  9. Get help. Working with a friend will motivate you to move forward. Making any activity more social can add to the experience.
  10. Finally, plan a reward at the completion of a task. Make it small, but fun.
If you are always doing things at the last minute, you are not alone. Many people have trouble getting motivated to start tasks. Large or small, homework, chores or job responsibilities - getting started on all these can stress you… Click To Tweet

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.

13 Comments

  1. psychospiritualfun on June 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Reblogged this on Psychology, spirituality and mental health and commented:
    How to motivate yourself…

  2. Hazel Thornton on May 31, 2021 at 8:34 am

    Yes, I’ve been feeling a little stuck. I also find I’ve been lazy and sometimes forget the verbs in my action items! Thanks for the reminders, Janet.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Thank Hazel. I think we’ve all felt stuck over the last year and are relearning hoe to get going again.

  3. Diane N Quintana on May 31, 2021 at 9:17 am

    I like what you said about imagining yourself doing the task. That’s great advice!

  4. Seana Turner on May 31, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I’m interested in #2. I think there is power in imagining – visualizing – a result. Seeing myself have it completed can be powerful. It makes the completion of the task feel possible, which is not a foregone state of affairs. I can get stuck if I wonder if I can get even achieve the goal if I try. I need to believe it is possible. I think athletes excel at visualization, and I’m so glad you added it to this list.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      Yes, athletes do excel in visualization. I just saw something on TV about this.

  5. Gina Weatherup on May 31, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    I find steps #3 and 5 (chunking and getting it into my calendar) tend to help a lot. Chunking can look a lot of different ways for me; in my business tasks it’s almost always a to do list!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Gina – I chunk my to-do list. I mean I group to-dos by what activity they are. It more efficient to do all of one kind of task together.

  6. Katherine Macey on June 1, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    “Chunking” is something I teach people right from the get-go. Every small task accomplished builds confidence!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      Yes and it’s so much more efficient to do like tasks one right after another.

  7. Julie Bestry on June 1, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    When I catch myself listing a task without a verb, that’s the first fix to make, because the verb really does trigger the mental step that starts the action. And I’ve learned that if I can’t envision myself doing something, then I’ll never actually take that first step or continue with the follow-through. And for those sticky wickets, accountability is everything! Such good advice, Janet!

    • Janet Schiesl on June 1, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      Thank Julie.
      I like to list my tasks by action, so all calls are listed together, all errands (that take me out of the house) are listed together. Batching works well for me. Also, like you, accountability works well for me. I’m a people pleaser, so often do thing only because I know someone is waiting for me to report to them.

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