Doing What Needs to Be Done

It's good to organize tasks and know what needs to be done. But the important thing is the execution of the organization. I've noticed in my own life that I can prioritize and give a task a certain amount of time to be done, but then real life happens and I don't always get everything done. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't get everything done that he wants to.
Of course I assign the least important things to the end of the list, so they are the ones that don't get done, and sometimes I think that that is not so bad because they are the least important things. But then I notice that I have gone weeks or months and they are still not done.
Some of the things on my to-do lists are things I do regularly, every day or every week. Again, the least important things are at the end of the list, and sometimes I don't do them every day or every week, even though I really should.
I undertook to remedy this, and have come up with some ideas that might be of value to anyone else who might want to organize their life, but still doesn't get everything done that they really need to or want to.
1. Change the time or the day.
If I expect to get something done in the morning and it consistently doesn't happen, maybe I can get it done better if I expect to do it in the afternoon or evening. I have changed the day each week that I try to read certain kinds of books, and whereas before I ran out of time and didn't do it, now I have time to do it, and it has enriched my life a great deal.
2. Rewards.
I sometimes reward myself for doing things that are hard and that I don't really want to do, but feel that I must. Sometimes I ask myself, if I have the discipline to not reward myself until I do the thing, then why don't I have the discipline to do the thing without the reward? There are times when I indulge in the reward, especially if it is a snack or something very desirable to me, without doing the task. I might even tell myself that I will do the task, I just want the reward now. I might even do the task after rewarding myself for doing it, but that is out of order and not as effective. I imagine I'm not the only one who has any problem with discipline. This method of getting something done works for me, if I'm willing to work it.
3. Changing the way I do it.
House cleaning is not my favorite thing. I admit I have sometimes let it go for too long. I decided that was not acceptable. I came up with a system that makes it easier for me. The first week of the month I clean thoroughly. Every other week for the rest of the month I clean, but much less thoroughly one week, and I clean just the floors the other week. That way, when I clean only the floors it feels like I'm giving myself a break, and I'm happier to do it. When I have to clean more thoroughly, I remind myself that the previous week I cleaned only the floors and I can stand to spend a little more time this week. The first week, when I really clean, I tell myself it's only once a month, and I can put up with that. Everything that needs to be done is different, so I can't say how to use this method on everything, but it's something to think about in cases where we don't really want to do the task.
4. Whom you do it with.
Sometimes involving another person can make it more a priority in our lives. If we walk in the morning before going to work, it will probably be more a priority if we know someone else expects us to do it with them. It is easy to let it slide if we feel we haven't had enough sleep or if it looks like it might rain. It's easier to do something if we feel we will be accountable to someone else if we don't do it.
5. Deadline.
We might need a deadline to goad us to get something done, and we can assign our own deadlines. If it is really something we intend to do, we will do it, and we can then get it done by the deadline. Sometimes we need to not have a deadline. If we feel there is a deadline and there is no way we can possibly do the thing by the deadline, we might be dispirited, and perhaps not do the thing at all.
6. Environment or place.
If I had to go to a gym to exercise, I wouldn't go and I wouldn't exercise. Since I exercise at home, I rarely miss exercising five times each week. I had a bunch of roommates once who went and signed up with a gym because the gym was offering a very good rate for membership, and that is the last time any of those roommates went to that gym. To get something done well, we might need more light or less light, we might need it to be warmer or cooler. We might need to do it at home, and we might need to leave home and go somewhere else to get it done. Again, everything that needs to be done is different, so I can't say what environment or place anyone needs to look for. But if there is something you are not doing that you know you need to do, try changing the environment or the place.
7. Why and If.
Sometimes we don't know why we're trying to do something. Sometimes we need to decide if we even really want to do it. If we put off these considerations, the task might stay on our list of a long time and never get done. If we know why we need to do it, it might help us get it done, and if we decide that we are just not going to do it, we can take it off our list and stop feeling guilty about it.


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