Today’s Productivity Tip: How to Get Started When You’re Feeling Stuck

Jumpstart Monday | Get your week off to a great start with the Day-Timer blog. Each Monday we feature a new tip to help you gain a more productive week at work and at home.
Today’s tip: Do the Next Thing

Starting a busy week can leave you almost paralyzed and not knowing where to begin. There’s only one surefire way to get yourself moving forward and conquer that mountain of tasks:

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Try This:

Whenever those overwhelming feelings take hold, here’s your answer: Just do the next thing. Yes it sounds incredibly simple, but when your mind is cluttered with a multitude of tasks and concerns you need a narrow focus of energy.

Here’s how:

1) Close your eyes and visualize the most important task in front of you

2) Write this task down in your daily planner or a notebook

3) List the first physical step you must take to get started, make it an achievable activity

Some examples:

    • Clean off the top of your desk
    • Sort your inbox
    • Review yesterday’s notes
    • Return an email or phone call

 4) Do it!

5) Do the next thing — carry the momentum into the next logical step

Here’s Why:

Crossing that first item off your list gives you a tremendous sense of achievement. It’s a real motivational push that sets in motion the process of getting stuff done. Remember: You can’t get anything accomplished until you accomplish that first task. Get it done. Then, move on and conquer things one-by-one. You’ll be amazed how quickly your stress level will dissipate. Go have a productive week by narrowing your focus to one task at a time!

[photo by sebilden]

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at