I was at work today when a colleague asked how I keep myself motivated. Well, the short answer is that sometimes...I don't! Thankfully those times are few and far between, but I firmly believe that "you need to know when to surf and when to wax your board". Some days it won't all come together and some days it'll all flow along like a dream.
The wonderful Brian Tracy describes it as "Eating the frog" - basically about picking off the biggest and most horrible tasks first and then doing the smaller ones that you'd really prefer to do last. Most people fill up a little too much of their day by doing the smaller tasks first, which means that they have to leave the bigger ones until tomorrow because they've not enough time to complete them today. Classic procrastination!
I was at a but of a loose end today, no meetings or places to be - and for times like that there is nothing better than having a location specific to-do list. I hammered away at a few "frog eating" tasks that I'd been meaning to do for a while, but had put them off and was starting to feel a bit bad about not completing them. After a couple of items, I noticed that I'd started feeling really good about the effectiveness of the day.
By the end of the day, I'd done about 10 things that I'd been putting off for ages and you can imagine how great that feels. I was in such a good mood that the next day I came into work fired up to do the same all over again.
So, next time you are at a loose end, think of the positive feeling that you'll get by crossing off a few of your worst tasks, take a deep breath and then just crack on with them!!