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How to Get Things Done (A Pseudo Guest Post By My Dad)

Melyssa Griffin

5 min

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I’m a former high school teacher turned entrepreneur who loves few things more than a good hug, hopping on a flight to anywhere, and teaching people like you how to live an abundant and limitless life.

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My dad is one of my biggest work inspirations. When I was a kid, he worked as a stockbroker and went to law school at night. After graduating and passing the bar exam, he became an attorney and has worked almost exclusively for himself, as opposed to working at a law firm. It might be a slightly different form of self-employment than we’re used to hearing about, but he still wears many different hats and has an enormous amount of work that he somehow accomplishes. I tell you all this because he is the epitome of a hard, focused worker (in my totally unbiased opinion!). Sometimes I wonder how he does it — stuffing himself in his office all day, doing work during our family vacations, and still managing to achieve great things, even with a vacuum or crying baby in the background. Since I’m starting my own journey to self-employment (this is my first week!), I decided to email my dad for advice. I asked him one question, which I think can apply to more than just self-employment…

How do you maintain such a diligent focus?

I found my dad’s suggestions to be really motivating, so I decided to plagiarize him share them here! Want some motivation to quit procrastinating and start DOING? Read on, my friends!

1. Find a job/profession that you like. He spoke specifically about jobs, but really this could be applied to anything. Quit saying “yes” to the things you know you hate doing and start opening up more time in your schedule for the things you LOVE! Does my dad’s story sound like yours? “When I was a stockbroker, I often came to the office late and typically “watched the clock.”  I didn’t really enjoy being there.  However, since becoming a lawyer, I get up early (when necessary) and, as you know, often work late.” Because it sure sounds like mine! By the way, my dad said that his calling (of becoming a lawyer in his specific field) came into focus when he was 34. I think many of us (me included!), feel like we need to have ALL THE ANSWERS right out of college, but oftentimes this just isn’t realistic and guess what? IT’S OKAY! My dad only figured things out in his thirties, but now he’s successful at and happy with what he does. Isn’t that all that matters?

2. Appearances matter – both in terms of you and your environment. This one hits home since I normally work in my pjs with a desk so cluttered, I have to carve a space for my laptop. My dad told a story about when he first started out and got a job working for another attorney in an old, run-down building. “It was in poor condition – bad carpet, a broken a/c unit (which was horrible in the Summer months), walls in need of paint, etc.  When I started there, he gave me my own office.  The walls had marks from wear and tear, so I took matters into my own hands, even though I had a limited salary.  I found a painter and had him paint my office (four walls) for $80!  I felt better about being there for 8-10-12+ hours a day. Now, I enjoy my office at home. I have a nice TV, a nice desk, enough room, great tile, a self-designed bulletin board, a view, and cool colors on the walls and ceiling.  I like being here, which eliminates the ‘I can’t wait to get the hell outta here’ mentality that so many people have where they work.”

A self-designed bulletin board? Cool colors on the ceiling? Isn’t he just the cutest? He also mentioned that my grandma used to encourage him to shave and take pride in his general appearance since, she told him, it would help provide self-confidence and good self-esteem. So basically, if we don’t take care of ourselves and make our environment a place that inspires us, we’re going to have a hard time finding motivation to actually get things done. Sounds about right to me!

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Here is my dad, stepmom, and sister. Take their advice, k?

3. Good work results = Good rewards.  Or in other words, work hard so that you can play hard. Though I still think my dad could probably use a little more vacation time, he does always seem to surprise me with all of the things he manages to do in terms of rewarding himself. This advice is simple, if you work hard, whether it’s at blogging, your desk job or anything really, there will probably be rewards (not necessarily monetary). Focus on the fact that the harder you work, the more benefits you will reap and use them as inspiration to get going.

4. It’s okay if you’re unmotivated to get started. I confessed to my dad that even though I LIKE what I’m doing, sometimes I just feel unmotivated to even begin. He shocked me by saying, “same here!” WHAAA? But he’s like, the hardest working person I know! How can this be?! “That happens to the best of us,” says ol’ papa.  “So, I wouldn’t sweat it.  I think the key to dealing with this phenomenon is to try to limit the frequency and length of these occurrences and to not get too down on yourself when it happens.” Doesn’t the fact that he called it a “phenomenon” make you feel a little better? It’s nice to know that just about everyone has a bit of difficulty getting started sometimes. In other words, I’m not a worthless hunk o’ junk. And not feeling bad about yourself when this happens? Yes yes yes!

5. Take breaks.  “It helps to keep a strong focus when you take an occasional break.  Go out to get coffee, run a couple of errands, take the dog for a walk, workout.  Hopefully, we come back to work after these forays ready to hunker down, again.” You said it, dad!

Now tell me, what do YOU do to stay focused and stop procrastinating? 

divider-dots

Now I have a little announcement to share with you all! Recently, this here blog surpassed 30,000 monthly pageviews! WHOA! It is still kinda totally crazy to me that people visit or read my blog at all and I don’t think there has been one day since I started that I haven’t felt totally in love with this hobby. Thank you to everyone — from the people who occasionally drop by, to those of you who leave comments on just about every post — I am incredibly grateful for your support. 🙂 I haven’t offered many discounts on my sponsor advertisements recently, not because I don’t absolutely love you, but because the income I make from ads does help me pay the rent. But as a thank you, I’ve decided to do a flash 48 hour sale for 20% OFF anything in my sponsor shop. Use the code, “monty” — my dad’s name! I also added one NEW sponsor spot for social media mentions only. With starting my own business and seeing lots of my new clients come from Pinterest, I’ve realized how useful social media can be for promoting blogs and businesses, which is why I decided to add this new option! 🙂 Thank you all again! Have a beautiful day. 🙂

p.s. I know my blog’s design is different. And I KNOW I said I was going to keep the previous one for at least 6 months. But people, you KNOW I can’t be trusted with these things, right? I think I’ve come to accept that I just have so much fun designing my blog….every two weeks. 😉 I hope you like it!

(photo)

  1. Melyssa

    October 29th, 2013 at 8:32 am

    meow

  2. Shannon

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I love the idea of creating an office you love! Since switching to working from home, I’ve felt that I often have the same cant-wait-to-get-outta-here feeling I used to have in my office. I think it’s because work on the couch or from my bed (I have a nifty lap desk for my computer) and it makes me feel lazy — no matter how much work I actually do.

    I’m going to take your dads advice and transform my working space 🙂

  3. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:30 am

    YES! Shannon, I am so with you. I recently switched, too, and I also work on my bed or on my messy desk and have found that I get SO distracted and just feel unmotivated overall. I’m moving soon and totally plan to buy a couple things to help me take my work more seriously. 🙂

  4. Molly @ The Move to America

    October 29th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Your Dad has some good advice!

  5. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Thanks Molly! I agree! 🙂

  6. Vanishing Point

    October 29th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Congrats on reaching 30000 monthly pageviews! With such inspirational articles, its easy to see why people love reading your blog. I know i struggle with motivation and reading your blog always gives me a bit of a lift. Its very well deserved!

    As for your new layout…i do like it, its clean, simple and understated…but i think i prefer your old one. It was colourful and very vibrant, i felt it really reflected who your were. But thats just my two cents 😉

  7. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Thank you for the congrats! I’m really glad my blog can give you a “lift” sometimes. 🙂

  8. Rachel Murphree

    October 29th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Congrats on the page views, and this is excellent advice. I love that it was more insightful than just “make a to-do list,” but tips like making your work space enjoyable.

  9. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Thank you m’dear! 🙂 And I agree — my dad is the king of giving me advice that I never would have thought of! He kind of makes me look forward to getting older for all the wisdom that seems to come with it. 🙂

  10. Anna @ Eat, See, Do

    October 29th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    There are too many great things to say about this post. Your dad is awesome! Much vigorous nodding to having the right space, taking breaks and, well everything else. The point about finding his calling at 34 is JUST what I need to hear. Thank you Melyssa. This is fabulous.

  11. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Anna, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this!! A lot of these things were just what I needed to hear too, so I am totally with you! I’ve started implementing some of them and can attest that they are totally helping, too! I hope you find similar success. 🙂

  12. Nikki Coglio

    October 29th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I LOVE this post! Your dad is so wise. I’ve been struggling with a lack of motivation and inspiration lately, so I really needed this. Thank you for posting!

  13. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:26 am

    YAY! I’m really happy to hear that it could be helpful for you, Nikki. 🙂

  14. Christine

    October 29th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Love this! He sounds a lot like my dad, who is also a very smart and hardworking man. I’m so thankful to have him as a role model as I’m sure you are too!

  15. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:26 am

    That’s awesome! Love smart, hardworking dads. 🙂

  16. Tanya @ Girlxoxo.com

    October 29th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    So I’m a new blog reader so big congrats on a blogging milestone * fist pump 🙂 * And your dad’s advice is so spot on! I think people think they are going to love whatever they do every minute of the day – and that just ain’t true.

  17. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Fist pump? I adore you already! Glad you liked his advice, too. 🙂 I totally agree — we have to seek out what we love if we want to love it! Thanks for stopping by, Tanya. 🙂

  18. Erika

    October 29th, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I loooooooooooved reading this! Your dad is so wise! This was such great advice! So comforting, too! 🙂 Loved it… 🙂 Yay for family pseudo-guest posts! Also, congrats on your HUGE number! THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!! Do it to it! Do it to it! And lastly: I’m really digging this new design! OOOH! It looks so sleek! 🙂 (And I personally am glad that you didn’t wait six months… I love all of your designs, but it’s always fun seeing something new and different!)

  19. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Your enthusiasm is contagious! I am grinning right now. 🙂 I’m really glad you enjoyed this advice! And YAY for liking this design too! I think I am coming to terms with the fact that my blog’s design is different every month ahha. I’m ok with that. 🙂

  20. Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

    October 30th, 2013 at 12:02 am

    ok seriously, you dad needs to offer classes or something : ) absolutely loved his advise! he reminds me a little of my dad who at the age of 30 decided that he wanted to become a doctor. and for 13 years (he started when i was 3 and finished at 16! i saw EVERY stage of his schooling!) he not only dedicated himself to his family but also to accomplishing his dream. these two men are such encouragement that it’s never too late! give your dad a high five for me, i love stories like his!
    congrats on yet another milestone friend!

  21. Melyssa Griffin

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:23 am

    haha I’ll let him know — maybe he can do my next e-course for me? hahaha. My dad’s situation was very similar and he got his lawyer’s license when I was around 16, too! It really is crazy to see all of the work throughout your childhood that goes into it, but those two guys are such awesome role models. I bet Mr. Chelsea (I don’t know your maiden name HAHA) is one heck of a guy!

  22. Vaida Tamošauskaitė

    October 30th, 2013 at 4:53 am

    love those tips! and absolutely agree with them all! 🙂
    and now I see where all this hardworking is coming from – you’re really so much like your dad! 🙂 well done you two – both very inspiring! 🙂

    And yeah! New design again. But wait, it was different, but new yesterday as well!!! hah, that’s great! new look every day! 🙂 You super fun with your designs – i’m loving them all! 🙂

  23. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Gosh I just adore you! Thanks for your kind words, Vaida!
    HAHA you’re so right, it WAS different a few days ago and then different again recently. Maybe I should just write a new post every other day announcing my blog’s new design? haha Indecision at its best! 🙂 Glad you like them at least 😉

  24. Anna

    October 30th, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Wow well done on reaching 30,000 monthly page views, that is amazing and you totally deserve it with all the great posts you do. I never really comment but wanted to today to congratulate you! I always love reading your blog and your inspirational posts always give me a boost 🙂 Your dads advice was very interesting. Also I love that you change the design of your blog often!

  25. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Thanks for the congrats and for your sweet, sweet words, girl! I’m also glad that you enjoy the fact that I change my design often — I always worry it’s annoying, but glad that’s not the case for you. 😀

  26. Rachael @ Pretty in Pink

    October 30th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    What great advice. And, congrats!!

  27. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Thank you Rachael! 🙂

  28. Asia @ The Cracked Lens

    October 30th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    love the new design!

  29. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Thanks darlin’! 🙂

  30. Elizabeth Lynn

    October 30th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Your dad sound like an amazing man–chip off the old block!! Congrats on 30,000, you and your blog are an inspiration to so many of us. PS–I love that you change your design a lot!

  31. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Well aren’t you a sweetheart? 🙂 Thank you on the congrats as well, Elizabeth! I really appreciate your sweet support! I’m also glad that you LIKE that I change my design a lot! I always worry that it’s an annoyance, but it’s nice to know some people dig it. 🙂

  32. Pinja

    October 31st, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Oh Melyssa, what a great post – yet again! Your dad’s career changing move (literally) is actually something I’ve witnessed in my own family recently as well. My parents both have worked at a desk job for as long as I remember. That is, until, my mom decided a couple of years ago she had had enough and went to school to become a nurse at the age of 53!! and my Dad who is now 50+ years as well has been unemployed for a couple of years searching for something he’d like to do and is now working at a factory nearby. something completely different from his desk job!

    These stories (as well as your dad’s hard work) inspire me to think I don’t need to be worried about my future so much and that I don’t necessarily need to stick with the career choice I have now. I can go to school for my dream job whenever I’d like – no matter how old I am!

    You and your dad are such an inspiration to all of us and I just LOVE that! And I totally dig your new blog design as well. I don’t find changing designs annoying – instead I actually feel inspired by that as well as I’m the kind of person who likes to whip up new designs a bit too often as well 😉
    I hope you’re having a great week 🙂

  33. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    November 1st, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, Pinja!! It really IS comforting to know of so many people who can completely change up their lives at any age. Your mom going to school to be a nurse at 53? So.AWESOME! I love that. Her story also reminds me that every year is so precious. Since 53 is only 10-ish years away from the typical “retirement age,” I can see most people settling for what they have because maybe it wouldn’t be worth it to change everything for “only ten years.” But I love that your mom is following her passion no matter what!

    And yay for blog design changes!! I’m so glad you like this one and that you’re not annoyed by my indecision. 🙂

  34. Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    October 31st, 2013 at 5:28 am

    I 100% agree on the change getting dressed and making things presentable can make to the day. When we first moved to Sweden and I was no longer working I forced myself to get up, shower, and get dressed everyday including at least some lip gloss because that way I felt like doing the chores and making the day worthwhile!

  35. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    November 1st, 2013 at 3:13 am

    That’s awesome, Bailie! I’m noticing the saaaame exact thing. That if I at least put some effort into MYSELF, then I have SO much more motivation to put effort into everything else! Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  36. Iva

    October 31st, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Great advices! I always had troubles with organizing my work and I work most efficient when I’m close to a deadline 😀

  37. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    November 1st, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Thanks Iva! I know how you feel — I am very deadline oriented too!

  38. Ron

    October 31st, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Melyssa,

    I think your dad shows great wisdom here. By the way, he was the best man in my wedding 27 years ago.

    I want to add one additional thought about work – that I’ve found to be quite liberating. It comes from the Bible. Work only became burdensome “toil” because of man’s fall into sin. God made us in His image. He is a working God. Thus, even before the fall into sin – man was made to work. It is how we were designed.

    How is this liberating? Since I know I was designed to function as a worker, I can quit thinking of work as simply a distraction; or as just a means to make money. No, it is in our DNA! I can embrace this and eschew laziness. This biblical worldview helps me to be content in my work. I can view work as not something simply “in the way.” I’ve taught this to a number of people over the years and they’ve told me it has helped them. I hope it might encourage your readers.

    I’m proud of you!

    Your friend, Ron.

  39. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    November 1st, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Hi Ron! It’s nice to hear from you. 🙂 I enjoyed the example you shared and I completely agree — if we can shift our mindset to think about “work” in a different, more liberating way, then it can transform how we view all the things we need to do. Thanks for sharing that!

  40. Яна Фролова

    November 26th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Hi, Melyssa!
    Thank you so much for sharing these great advises!
    What about the 4th, i’ve got a small “technique” of starting to do things i’m very much unmotivated to, named “10 minutes”. I just say to myself – “ok, my dear, it’s so hard and so repelling – i’ll pass 10 minutes doing it, only shortshort fastfastpassing 10 minutes, and if it’s really terrible, i’ll just leave it, promise!” And in most cases, after i start, it appears to be quite …normal thing, and i end with completing it in an hour or a half)

  41. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    December 2nd, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Love that idea! Seriously, so smart! I think I’ll try that the next time I have a task at hand that I really don’t want to do. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  42. Erica

    November 29th, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Your dad knows what’s up! I love seeing dads guest post on blogs, because they’re either 100% hilarious or 100% spot on with the advice! I’m vowing today to take this all to heart and get to WORK. Thanks, Melyssa (and Mel’s dad!)!

    lovelovelove,
    Erica
    cominguprosestheblog.com

  43. Mel @ The Nectar Collective

    December 2nd, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    hehe glad you liked his advice, Erica! He tends to be good in that department! 🙂

  44. Erica

    December 4th, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Dads are the best for that!

  45. Katya

    December 17th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Love this post! So I’m out of college, and still stumbling around of my purpose and career path, any ideas on not feeling like a failure because I don’t have it all figured out yet? 🙂

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Hey! I’m
Melyssa Griffin

I believe that an unstoppable mindset can be your #1 business tactic. So, my job is to lead you back to yourself and to help you reprogram the limiting beliefs and patterns that are keeping you small. 

Around these parts, I share my best business secrets, as well as help you cultivate a life of true freedom, purpose, and fun. I’m also big on bear hugs, anything unconventional and creative, and teaching people like you how to live an abundant and limitless life. Let’s get weird.

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