1. Clear your desk.
Cleanse your mind, your body, your work space. Everything in it’s right place.
2. Gather information.
Research is the most important aspect to any finished product. It is the bulk of your work and the foundation for your ideas, so do it well, do it in detail, and do not feel pressured or rushed. If the panic that inevitably comes when feeling like nothing is actually getting done, stop, breathe, relax. Re-look over everything. Re-gather your thoughts. Keep going. You have everything you need and you have just re-discovered it. Start with renewed purpose.
3. Open a new page.
You have de-cluttered, then re-cluttered by allowing all that new information in. Now out of all that organized chaos bring forth a beacon of light, a shining clean slate. Leave all the past behind. This is your new start, this is where you and yours begin.
This is up for debate and will have to work by situation only. Organization only works if you are in need of structure. It will help clear your mind and gather the troops of your thoughts all together. You can redirect as you see fit and as things get clearer and clearer. It is a visual map of where you will be going next.
b) Just Do It.
Free for all. no holds barred, guns a-blazing. Just do it, get it all out, any way you need to. You will inspire yourself along the way, just get remember to get out of your own way. You can look back and edit afterwards (caution: sometimes though, you can’t) and you may find there’s not much to change after all. You will do what you set out to do. Trust yourself. When you become so wound up you don’t think you can get anything done, you STILL will be capable. Take a time out. Let life take over.
i) Be aware of time.
The more constrained you are the harder you will work, but you must plan accordingly. One misstep and rather than the gun merely pointed at your head it will become the gun that shoots you instead. No one wants that. Be wary of the ticking clock that is life, and plan accordingly (or at least try).
ii) Take breaks.
Nothing good is going to come out of a fuzzy mind, don’t waste time when you know your whole self isn’t in it. You will be much more productive when you step out of it, rest your spirit, and come back rejuvenated and ready to go. But beware – all breaks are not created equal! Be careful of distractions that disguise themselves as quick and mindless, but may easily suck up your time and energy, causing you to lose sight of your end goal. Avoid these soul-sucking black holes of escapism by setting yourself up in a structured getaway, one that has defined limits and boundaries, so that when time is up you know it and are ready to go back to work.
iii) Do not lie to yourself.
Honesty is the best policy nowhere more than when it is with yourself. Know your own habits. Know your own vices. Make no assumptions or excuses that the future you (whether that be in twenty minutes, twenty hours, or twenty years from now) will be a much different person than current you right now, and then shrug off whatever responsibility you don’t want to shoulder right now onto theirs. Life will be much more manageable if you just do the things you know will benefit you in the moment they arise anyways, and not waiting for the situation to mature while sugarcoating the image of your own future self to act better. Be honest. It will make your decisions stronger and your resolve more liberating because the decisions will be all from you.
Go over everything you have just accomplished. I know at this moment it may feel like a sigh of relief because the bulk work is done. And it is! So take a step away from it, breathe out your relief. But be careful, this is when everything hangs in the balance. All that hard work, all that effort can be thrown away if you do not manage this point of transition for you are NOT finished. Give yourself a final push, the finish line is near but it is not over until it is over and do not doubt it can still end with you feeling like you ended up with NOTHING if you don’t maintain focus and composure. You are sitting precariously, straddling both worlds (finished and unfinished business), but you are not complete until you are over fully on the other side. Don’t fall through the cracks. Do conscientious work, and when it is finally all over, you will be damn proud you did.
Revel in your own accomplishments, no matter how much time passes. Don’t belittle your work once you are no longer working on it. Remember your struggle, your strengths, and your weaknesses, and carry those lessons in your back pocket at the ready, prepared for all that trickster called life is going to throw your way!
NB. The most crucial step in this whole process, is perseverance. And hard work. You have to be willing to put in the time, to lock yourself down, to give up the joyful fancies of the external world and settle in for some good, hard, work. To be the most productive you can be you need to be willing to sacrifice. Just remember that the world will still be there when you’ve finished, and it will be the better for it with the addition of what you will have contributed to it. A day spent indoors is not always a day well wasted. Quite the contrary, my dear Watson! And don’t forget the Golden Rule: Work will always take up as much space as the container that holds it. Whatever amount of time, and effort, you have dedicated to a task it will happily eat that up, no ‘we’ll be reaching our destination early tonight’ here folks! On a final note, you CAN accomplish as many goals, priorities, or jobs that you set out for yourself. Don’t aim too low, spread out, be determined, and don’t take no for an answer. Expect more from yourself!