Get Sh*t Done: 5 Productivity Posts to Pull Your Life Together

In today’s episode of Get Shit Done, A productivity column I made up just now, we’ll be looking at some ways to Get Your Life Together. While that may not sound as hold-the-phone compelling as “Pretend Your Bedroom Is A Bear Cave And You Are Hibernating” or “Drink a Fifth of Bourbon And Call Your Ex”, I assure you that there’s something to this whole productivity thing. And since Autostraddle loves you ever-so feverishly, we’ve brought a series of get-your-life-together posts in the past that aren’t to be missed. So let’s take a look back. Because hindsight is 20/20.

This Bear Has the Right Idea

1. We introduced you to, an awesome site for curating your resume/portfolio as a “social media consultant” or a “technology guru” or whatever kind of nonsense web 2.0 specialist you’re calling yourself. I know that you whipper-snappers are all over The Facebook these days. You think I don’t know? I know.

2. Google has a ridiculous array of amazing free products for us to devour (many made during Google’s glorious/famous “20% time” for employee innovation), and we ran down a list of 5 of these you shouldn’t miss.

3. One time Kelsey wrote a post and it was about how to cope with unemployment. Secretly unemployment doesn’t start with an “f” unless that “f” stands for “totally f’ed,” which it very well may.

4. We extolled the virtues of Notational Velocity and Simplenote, great software for getting things out of your brain and onto your Tumblr/Livejournal/Semi-legitimate pseudopublication.

5. Riese just wrote up some tips on How Not to Dress for Success, and if you are a) Funemployed b) Working from home or c) Unsuitable for public consumption, these tips will get your ass out of the house/apartment/futon in no time . For all of your “is the sun setting already, I haven’t even been outside yet” agoraphobic needs!

6. Rachel and I talked to you about some awesome software we use to write, make lists and generally kick ass/take names with our 7 Best Internet Productivity Tools article, which is honestly probably the most useful thing that has or will ever happen to you within the span of the next 35 minutes.

Do you have more tips you’re dying to share? Let us know in the comments, because sharing is caring.

[image credit @eGuidry, pbkwee]

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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. I just got my shit together in the penultimate way about two hours ago…fellow straddlers, I GOT A JOB!!!
    (If you live in DC, I will be happy drunk all weekend and want to make friends)

  2. Saying “I want to do ___ every day.” and then crossing off every day you do __ on a calandar. Works great for wannabe writers. If you don’t have a calandar to cross off, I just got my AS calandar in the mail and she is beautiful!

    • Additional tip : self-inflicted punishment every day you didn’t do __, ie eating something you don’t like.
      Or, for each day you didn’t do __, you give 2 to 10 dollars to a charity at the end of the month. (it has to be a noticable drain but not as much as preventing you to buy food and pay the rent)
      Or again, set up rules for yourself like “If I do __ then I’ll have the right to watch my favorite show/listen to music/eat chocolate/whatever today”. It’s a restraint but when you fulfill your task it actually feels like a reward so it’s awesome.

      Works great for me, but maybe I’m twisted and sick. Heh.

      • I think rewarding yourself works better on a psychological level than punishing yourself, but my problem is that once I reward myself I’m way too lenient and then I end up giving myself the rest of the day off. =/

  3. i always feel like finding a reason to go outside is a good place to start, even if it’s just to buy more toilet paper or something.


    for when you need someone to tell you what it’s like to be simply and happily productive when you can’t imagine it. without making you feel like you necessarily HAVE to be productive, in case, you know, it harshes your vibes.

  5. YO, using “agoraphobic” to describe lethargy/just not wanting to go outside is ableist and not really ok.

  6. I’m choosing to read every post on that list in detail so I can be really, really good at getting shit done. Then, when I feel fully prepared for getting shit doneliness I will go and read “Revenue Premium as an Outcome Measure of Brand Equity’ for class on Tuesday. After I clean the kitchen, walk the dogs and clean the turtle pond. Totally counts, right?

  7. Where is this mysterious list of awesome Google apps? It doesn’t appear to have a link (other than to the one about how awesome it would be to work at Google).

  8. Thanks for posting this. I’m not really sure whether I’m checking these links out to be more productive or as one of my several dozen procrastination methods, but either way they’ll probably help me with all of the shit I have to get done this weekend. :)

  9. It’s only recently that I’ve come to understand that other people have problems with motivation or lack thereof. I’ve never had that, I think because finding my self worth in my performance has always really motivated me, but I also don’t recommend it to others. It’s actually kind of a shitty way to live/maybe I should work on that.


    • All things in moderation. Lots of times, it’s good to derive confidence/self-worth from accomplishments.

      Though I learned more about this when I got to know a lot of mentally disabled people. These people were routinely considered to be completely worthless. It was generally assumed that they couldn’t accomplish much of anything, and that what they did accomplish wasn’t worthwhile.

      I saw that a lot of these people didn’t derive their sense of self-worth from “accomplishments,” and that they were keeping score a different way. Their sense of self-worth came from who they actually were as people. Duh. Of course, some were superficial jackasses like anyone else, but a lot weren’t.

      You are not your accomplishments. You’re you. It’s a hard thing to learn: not to judge people (including yourself) by what they are doing, but instead to look at who they are. Yes, deeds are important. But what if something happened that made you unable/unwilling to “produce” your typical “output?” You would have to learn to evaluate yourself according to a different set of standards. What might they be?

      Basically, don’t be so hard on yourself :).

  10. I always feel productive, because right after I do something, I write it on my to-do list and then promptly cross it off.

    • This is one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen. Why have I never thought of it before? I’m going to make a list now and cross everything out.

    • I thought I was the only person who did this! I usually make a to-do list halfway through my day so I can cross off a third of it or so as soon as I write it.

  11. soo basically teuxdeux and workflowy have changed my life

    at least i hope so, as i have half a wall filled with post-it notes of things i should be doing

  12. I’m funemployed. I started going to the gym. (Which is unfortunate timing, since gym memberships in this damn city are like $100 a month.) Going to the gym really makes me feel productive, even if it’s the only time I leave my house for an entire day. It’s easy to get cabin fever and feel like a big ol’ pile of poop. I once worked from home and never having any place to go started to make me feel bad. The gym is a) an excuse to leave, which is great b) makes you feel great anyway. I highly recommend it. Girls will be flocking to my door any day now with these ribs abs I’m getting. Ha!

  13. Ironically enough, I’m reading this while I have a gigantic exit project due monday that I’ve known about for around a month that I really should get to work on.

  14. I feel like i need to learn how NOT to get shit done, the military has turned me into a work machine. Being able to sit through a whole horror flick without trying to do 3 other things at once would be awesome.

  15. It was a beautiful day in San Francisco yesterday so I resolved to get out of my apartment and go to the bank. Since I was already out, I thought it would be great to have a book to read so I finally got around to getting a library card then proceeded to borrow four Paul Auster novels. I decided to continue this rare streak of productivity and went to Urban Outfitters to use the gift card my brother gave me for Christmas. I couldn’t find a single damn thing I liked in the entire three story store so I took myself to Buffalo Exchange to make myself feel better. Just as I was about to declare myself in denim heaven, the fitting room shattered my dreams with the fact that my ass had gained five pounds over Chinese New Year. Depressed and frustrated with the world, I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at the corner store and watched season one of Grey’s Anatomy alone in my room. And this is a productive day for me. I wish I had McDreamy’s hair.

  16. Did you see Google’s latest 20% project, the Art Project? “Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.”

    • Neat, I just found a new picture off that which is by an artist I like but I had never seen this particular picture (Thunder God by Hokusai).

      I wonder how they picked which pictures to have from each place. For instance they do not have any of Francis Bacon’s paintings from the Tate Gallery in England.

      • Diver, I’m a geek – I was excited Google was using street view indoors. I assumed “copyright” was at least a partial answer to your question, but it was more partial than I imagined.

        This NYT article goes into the strengths and weaknesses of the initial Art Project program and rollout in addition to some of the politics driving early participants. It’s also the only time I’ve seen the phrase “elephant dung, carefully shellacked” used in the NYT.

        • Damn, that article says there is a “find more works by this artist” link, but it is either missing for the artists I like, or I am a moron and can’t find it. Still, I really like the Google Art Project.

  17. Also, a good freemium mindmap editor is XMind ( It has integrated desktop and cloud-based versions, you can make your maps public or private, and it has a reasonably intuitive interface.

    It’s best if you want to work from the map on the screen or from an exported image file. The free text output is just a plain text dump; you have to upgrade to premium (US$50/year) to get rtf/doc output.

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