10 Reasons You're Not Getting Things Done
I’ll be honest with you, I felt anxious all day on Sunday and every time I thought about having to go LIVE on Instagram on Monday I felt super overwhelmed. I couldn’t decide what topic to talk about. I was feeling like I didn’t have anything of value to share and my huge list of things to get done before my LIVE was really weighing me down. I felt like I was going all day, but things weren’t getting checked off the list. That’s when it hit me! Why am I not actually getting anything done?
So I went to you all for help and asked you to tell me what keeps you from getting things done. The response was overwhelming and incredibly humbling. So many of your responses were exactly like mine. That’s when I knew I had the perfect topic. If you have ever felt overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated by your lack of productivity then this post is for you! Today the top reasons why we aren’t getting things done and how we can fix it. Now these won’t be quick fix solutions, unfortunately, because life just doesn’t work like that. But with these tips and the support of your tribe you can definitely start getting more things checked off your list.
To view the second Instagram LIVE about this topic scroll to the bottom.
If only there were more hours in the day, right? We all wish we could have more time to get things done and do the things we love. Some days the time seems to drag and we just want it to be over and other days we feel like it’s going too fast and want to squeeze every last second out of the day.
I used to think that if I was a stay at home mom I would have so much more time to focus on my small business, but in reality the opposite is true. When I was working full time outside the house I only had a few hours after work to get things done so I always did them. Now that I have all day, I take all day and then some to get the things done that I need to do.
A big part of why you aren’t getting things done is because you aren’t able to manage your time properly. Time management is a great skill to have and is definitely something I continue to work on.
You might also feel like you are lacking in time if you are working full-time outside of the house. Your days are full with your job and then coming home and wanting to get more things done can be exhausting.
Things that can help you manage your time are:
Being realistic with how much you can actually get done in a day. Don’t overload your to do list with a million things. Instead try picking 3-5 things that will help you feel accomplished that day. Once those are done you can add more if you have the time.
Setting timers for certain tasks like cleaning or working. Clean for an hour, then work for an hour. Or set working hours and stick with them so you free up your day to focus on other things like housework or spending time with family.
2. Distractions/Social Media
We all deal with some form of distraction during the day. Whether it’s interruptions from co-workers or kids, notifications from social media popping up on our phones or random thoughts coming into our heads that takes our attention away from what we are doing. In some ways I think we have retrained ourselves to need distractions. Having the internet at our fingertips 24/7 isn’t always great for our productivity. I know for me if I think of a question while I’m working it’s hard not to drop everything and head to Google for the answer. I can also waste hours of time each day mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Even now, my kids are asleep and I can give 100% of my attention to writing this post, yet I’m fighting the urge to pick up my phone and check Instagram!
If you want to help limit distractions then I suggest:
Turning off notifications from social media. This can be always or for selected time throughout the day when you need to full focus on a task at hand. It’s easier to leave the phone down when you don’t constantly have little notifications popping up and pulling your attention away from what you are doing.
Get an activity tracker on your phone. There are apps that will track your activity on your phone during the day. It can help you to see where you are wasting time by showing you exactly how much time you have spent on social media or checking e-mail. There are even some that you can set to limit your time on certain apps. Once you have reached your daily limit it locks you out of that app until the next day. (If you have an iphone it now tracks your activity for you and lets you set limits on certain apps too! Go to settings and then screen time.)
Leave the house. For me, one of my biggest distractions is looking at all the tasks I haven’t gotten done in my personal life like the cleaning and organizing I’ve been putting off. If I want to get more done I schedule times to go to a coffee shop or the library to work. Luckily a lot of my work is portable so this works well for me. Especially if you are a SAHM , like me, putting yourself in a new environment with a limited amount of time to get things done can do wonders for your productivity.
Fear is a huge factor in whether we are able to get things done. Whether it’s fear of failure, success, not being good enough, or impostor syndrome, it all holds us back from doing the things we want to do.
No matter what it is that you are wanting to do, don’t let fear stop you from doing it. You are enough, you are good enough and you have value to give the world. I’ve done a lot of things this year that I had been afraid of for a long time and I can tell you I am a better person for having done them. For example, I had always been too afraid to go LIVE on social media, but felt the urge one day to try. Now I go LIVE just about every week. I still get super nervous and scared, but I do it anyway because it helps me grow.
My biggest advice for dealing with fear is to just do it! Yes, it’s scary and yes you may fail, but if you don’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone every once in a while then you’ll be missing out on how great you can be.
4. Lack of Knowledge
Not knowing what you are doing is a huge factor in getting things done. I used to think I had to know everything about a topic before I could even begin, but I’ve learned that is not the case at all. If lack of knowledge is holding you back, know that it’s okay to not know everything right away before starting. For example, I’ve been planning to start a YouTube channel since I started my blog, but I had no idea where to start so I kept putting it off. Last week when I realized my LIVE had saved to my phone I decided it was a sign that I needed to just start and figure it out as I go. I still have a ton to learn like how to edit videos and gain more subscribers, but I’ve taken the first step and sometimes that is the most difficult part.
It is okay to learn as you go. Just start and as you learn more, you’ll be able to do more. It’s a lot like starting a business. You don’t have to have every aspect set up and running before you begin. Start with the basics and as you master some things you can start adding more.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are no stupid questions. I know it may be hard to admit that you don’t know something, but if you never ask for help then you will stay stuck where you are. There is a huge community of makers and small business owners out there that are more than willing to help you learn what you need to know.
5. No Motivation or Energy
We all have slumps or days where we don’t feel like doing anything but lounging on the couch watching Netflix and eating junk food. And sometimes having those days is just want we need. Other times we can find ourselves in a bit of a rut and don’t know how to pull ourselves out. Not having motivation or energy can definitely keep you from getting things done, but it doesn’t have to.
I’ve learned over the years that action produces motivation. We can’t wait for motivation to come or we might be waiting forever. If we just start doing something and take action then the motivation will follow. Same as if you don’t feel like doing anything, if you start doing something, even if it’s small, you will start to feel better and want to do more. Start small with something like crocheting a few rows on a project or doing the dishes, a simple task that doesn’t overwhelm you. Before you know it you will be crossing items off your list.
If you need a bit of extra motivation there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for getting things done. Sometimes if I need a little boost I will reward myself with a trip to Starbucks or a treat if I get a certain amount of items crossed off my list.
6. Too Many Things On Our Plate
Having a huge to-do list can be paralyzing. There are so many things to get done that we don’t know where to even begin. Just the task of choosing what to do first seems overwhelming. If this is the case for you, don’t worry, there are things you can do to help you finish your projects.
Figure out what the top priorities are. Are there projects that have specific deadlines? Is your dirty house contributing to you not getting things done? Start with the most pressing items first or the things that will help you be able to get more done.
Break your projects down into smaller bits so they don’t feel so overwhelming. For example, if you have “write blog post” on your list it can feel like it will take forever to get that done. Instead break it down into smaller steps such as “write 1st draft”, “take pictures”, “edit pictures”, etc. When you are able to take it step by step it won’t feel so overwhelming and you’ll be able to tackle the smaller tasks more easily.
If you still feel overwhelmed by your list of projects just start with something you like and go from there. Bit by bit you will be able to check things off the list and clear your plate a little bit. It can also help to not add any more projects or items to your list of things to do until you have completed your current list. This can be hard for most creative people, but becoming a “One WIP Wonder” is something I strive to do.
7. Not Having A Plan
It can be extremely hard to get things done when we don’t have a plan in place. We wonder aimlessly trying to make sense of what needs to get done. It becomes all to easy to loose track of information and deadlines.
If you don’t have one already make yourself a schedule for your business. Or even a schedule for your day to day life. A schedule puts structure to your week and helps you to know what to focus on each day.
It can also help to get a calendar and write down all of your goals or deadlines for each project. Being able to see the whole month at a glance can then help you know what projects to work on each day. You can also then create a plan for how you want to launch a pattern or new product.
I’m sure we are all guilty of doing a little procrastination now and then. Most of the time we procrastinate when we don’t understand a project completely, lack motivation or something seems too difficult.
In order to stop procrastinating you need to get to the root of the issue. What is making you procrastinate? Is it that the project seems too difficult? Do a bit more research to give you a better understanding of what needs to be done. Is it that you don’t have motivation? See the tips from number 5. Whatever the root cause is, once you pin point that you can more easily stop the procrastinating and get it done.
Remember to break things down into smaller tasks so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. It also can help to do the things that you are dreading first. Get the non fun things out of the way so you can really enjoy the other tasks you need to do.
9. Lack of Resources
Whether it is lack of money, time, knowledge or equipment, sometimes we aren’t able to do the things we need to do because we have a lack of resources. This can be especially difficult if we don’t have the money to invest in our projects.
Start by saving as much money as you can each month until you have enough for what you need. Maybe you need new equipment in order to start making a new product or the funds to invest in a website or blog. It’s never a good idea to go into a bunch of debt in order to fund your side hustle, but it’s also okay to invest in yourself when you can. Most of the time you will get your investment back in the end. For example, it cost me over $200 to start my website last year, but once I started blogging and placed ads on my site I was able to make that money back and then some. I took a risk and invested in myself and it paid off.
It’s all about figuring out how best to invest your resources. Let’s say that you need money in order to sign up for a craft show. Keep in mind that that investment is going towards gaining knowledge and more exposure too so even if you don’t make the full amount back it can still be a good investment.
If you need more supplies, such as yarn, you can also consider reaching out to larger companies to give you support. I know many bloggers and small business owners that are able to get most of their yarn and supplies provided to them by a company which in turn they help promote on social media and their websites. Don’t be afraid to ask because you never know what opportunities they may have for you.
Make the best decision for you right now. Invest in what you can and increase your investment when you feel comfortable and as your business grows.
10. Kids, Family & Jobs
We are so much more than just makers and small business owners. Many of us are also wives, husbands, parents and career holders. We play many roles in our lives and while it would be nice to give all of our attention to our craft it just isn’t realistic.
One of the biggest struggles I have is balancing working from home and taking care of my kids. Just this morning I was trying to get pictures taken and do some stories for Instagram and my son kept whining and crying and trying to take my phone from me. It was extremely frustrating and finally I had to just stop and give him some of the attention he deserved. The juggle is real and I wish I had the answer to making it easier. I can’t even tell you how many times each day I am saying “just let me get this one thing done first.” I feel incredibly guilty no matter what I do because I can only focus on one thing at a time, either my business or my other responsibilities.
That being said, there are some things that can help make the juggle of balancing our roles a bit easier. If there are certain times of the day that are just too difficult to get things done then it’s okay to not worry about your list during those times. It may mean that most of your work is getting done at night, but it can reduce the frustration you feel during the day. Same as if you have a full time job. You probably only have the last few hours of the day to work on your projects and that’s okay. Work at the times that suit your schedule and life.
If you are a stay at home parent like me then it can help to get your kids set up with an activity that doesn’t require a ton of supervision so you are able to squeeze a few minutes of work in during the day. I love when my kids can play in the water table outside while I crochet and keep an eye on them. It keeps all of us happy.
It can also help to have dedicated work hours for your small business. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a workaholic and I constantly have to remind myself that it’s okay to step back and give attention to the other areas of my life. By setting up specific work hours during the day or week, you relieve yourself of having to work all the time. Get done what you can during those times and know that there are some things that can wait.
I hope that you found the information here helpful! If you have more tips and tricks to add I would love to hear them. Leave a comment below and let me know what keeps you from getting things done.