I'm one of those people who never breaks a promise to a friend and (almost always) meets deadlines at work, but I have a hard time being accountable to myself. I make tons of To-Do lists, but easily let myself off the hook when I feel like being lazy. I think it's fine, good even, to be lazy once in awhile and not be hard on yourself, but it also feels great (and is part of being a grownup) to feel like life and its many tasks are under control.
I've discovered that the secret to getting more stuff done in my life was to buddy up and start a "GSD Club." Mine has two members (myself and my sister) and one agenda: Get.Shit.Done.
Membership in your GSD club should be limited to likeminded friends or family members who also need a bit of prodding and encouragement to get those To-Dos crossed off. You need not attend regular meetings, but I recommend regular check-ins, particularly on the weekends.
8:10 am Bridget: Morning. What are you GSD'ing* today? I have to get bins at Lowes, put in the air conditioner and mail packages - mailing center later?
8:33 am Carrie: Can you get me lightbulbs at Lowes? Yes to mailing center. Those Zappos returns don't mail themselves. 3ish? Making MH sauce** today, playground w/kids and paint that end table.
10:04 am Bridget: Lowes done! Left bulbs by door.
10:06 am Carrie: Awesome - tx!
11:28 am Carrie: GSD report: sanded and primed table!
11:34 am Bridget: Great!
1:33 pm Bridget: [pic of a.c. in window]
1:35 pm Carrie: Nice!
2:45 pm Carrie: 1st coat on, can we push mailing to 3:30?
2:46 pm Bridget: yep, meet on Union.
[meet up to mail packages + reward selves with ice cream]
5:06 pm Carrie: sauce made and 2nd coat on! [pic]
5:11 pm Bridget: High five!
*we realize that, grammatically, this makes no sense, but this is how we talk. You can impose grammar rules in your own club if you like.
Clearly, choose a GSD partner (or two) with a generous texting data plan and tolerance for hearing about the minutia in your life. Check-ins help my sister and I each stay on task and perhaps be a tiny bit competitive with each other— not to do more necessarily, but not to be the total slacker in the pairing either.
For particularly onerous or annoying tasks we often meet up and help the other person out. Getting a cheer or a "good job" from someone else after a thankless task like, say, cleaning out your refrigerator is more motivating than just giving yourself a little pat on the back.
So, good readers of Apartment Therapy, - go forth, buddy up and Get Shit Done! (or "Stuff" if you prefer!)