What I learned from my 30-day ‘Get It Done’ Challenge

30 Jun

As you may know, in June I ran a free Get It Done Challenge where the participants (including me) committed to working for 30 minutes every day on a particular project.  I was working on a book I am writing and other members of the challenge were committed to doing all sorts of other projects – working on websites, social media planning, learning languages, gardening, decluttering.   We were an eclectic group!

Easy enough, eh?  Surely it’s pretty manageable to find 30 minutes every day for one month?

Well, today we reach the end of the Challenge and I want to share what I have learned from the experience.  What are the secrets to Getting It Done?

1) Accountability rules!

During the challenge we were all accountable to each other.  Every day, I posted an Accountability Thread in our special Facebook Group where the challengers could comment to show they had completed their 30 minutes for the day.

This was really powerful, as even if you missed a day (or a couple of days!) there was a reminder to get back on track.

What was more powerful for me was the fact I was leading the group.  I knew that even on days when I really didn’t feel like doing my 30 minutes, I had to step up and do it.  I was the one posting the Accountability Thread and keeping everyone else motivated.  This was key for me and meant that I completed 29 days of the 30-day challenge (the one day I missed was due to sickness, so I kindly gave myself permission to rest).

What can you take from this?  Be a leader when it comes to accountability!

If you have a challenge or project you want to complete, step up and offer to lead a group (even if it’s just a group of two!)  Be the one who arranges the trip to the gym, the running club or starts a group on Facebook committed to getting it done.

Believe me, when you are the one who is holding everyone accountable, you will keep going.

2) Accept that sometimes (ahem, maybe often), you really won’t feel like doing ‘it’.

There were about two or three days during the month when I felt super-motivated and keen to get on with my 30 minutes.  I felt inspired to write.  The muse was with me.

The other days?  Well, not so much!  To tell you the truth, most days I was thinking ‘Oh, do I really have to fit my writing in?’  I would drag myself to the laptop and start writing, feeling pretty sulky.

The thing is, once I got started, I kept going.  The words started to flow (on most days) and the 30 minutes went by pretty quickly.

If it had been a normal, non-Get-It-Done month when I was waiting for inspiration to hit me, I probably would have written very little.  Quite likely I would have got distracted and moved on to another project.

As I had made a commitment to myself and others, I just got on with it.  I didn’t wait until I felt creative, or motivated, or energised.  In fact, by getting on with it, I found that I started to feel more creative, more motivated, more energised.  I always ended my 30 minutes feeling better than when I started.

What can you take from this?  Don’t wait until you feel like it!

If you have a project you want to get done, just start.  Commit to spending a certain amount of time every day and do it.  Accept that you will feel grumpy and demotivated sometimes and get on with it!

3) Perfection is the enemy of done.

I don’t know who said this originally (and if you do, let me know), but Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) said something similar with, ‘Done is better than perfect’ and I completely agree.

When I sat down to write, I gave myself permission to just let the words flow and not to judge them.  I didn’t worry about quality, I just wrote whatever came to me.  I knew that at the end of the month, I could come back to what I had written and start to edit it, but for these 30 days I just wanted to get words down.

If I had sat there trying to write the perfect draft straight away, I would have been paralysed.  I can tell you I wouldn’t have been able to write half as much as I did.

Many of us have perfectionist tendencies that can stop us in our tracks.   Maybe you have something you want to do right now, but you are waiting for the perfect time or until you have everything in place?

Want to know a secret?  The perfect time never comes.  You will never have everything in place.  Give yourself permission to be gloriously imperfect and get started.

What can you take from this?  Just notice your inner perfectionist and then take action anyway.  It’s so freeing to allow yourself to be imperfect!

So, these are some of my learnings from the Get It Done Challenge.  Which one resonates with you most?  Comment below and let me know what action you will be taking after reading this.

Make a commitment now to be a Get It Done person!

Please help others by sharing.

2 Responses to “What I learned from my 30-day ‘Get It Done’ Challenge”

  1. Nikki June 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    A great motivator – although setting aside 30 mins to complete my application was hard (I often designated 30 mins elsewhere – better than nothing, right?), i have since finished my application but i am waiting on someone to give me my reference before submitting. Let’s see what happens!

  2. Jill Bennett July 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Great tips – I also believe good is good enough but we all want things to be perfect sometimes. I’m working on setting aside 30 – 90 mins a day for important work as I find resistance sometimes even when doing something important and enjoyable! What’s that about? Loving your blogs Nicola.

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