Do you ever sit in front of your computer doing random small tasks before you can actually make a start on your big projects? Procrastination is something that is in everyone’s blood. It is what’s standing between you and achieving your goals. I often found myself fill in my day with many random non-important tasks and then come to the realisation that I haven’t left enough time for something I was supposed to do. So I find a reason, or hundreds of reasons, to put it off for another. Day after day, I kept kicking off things on my to-do list that could have been waited for days or weeks, instead of making a start on this ONE BIG task/project that would help me to get one step closer to my goal! How can we be more efficient and avoid procrastination? Here’s a few quick and handy tips to help you to stop procrastinating and become better at time management.
WHY do we procrastinate?
- vagueness/confusion around objectives and how and why to accomplish them (write down goals, list specific steps)
- feeling of inadequacy, lack of confidence, inability in key area of task (identify and learn key skills)
- attempting to begin task while fatigued (protect energy level with diet, exercise, regular breaks/vacations)
- important tasks seem large and formidable upon first approach (resolve to do single step or limited time period)
DO NOT WAIT, the time will never be right
Some people always want to wait for the right moment to begin something. There will always be one thing waiting to be done, or the timing will always be just a little off. The truth is – the right moment is the moment when you stop procrastinate and just simply start where you are. Here’s a quick list to help you to get over the procrastination hurdle.
- Decide exactly what you want to achieve (state you goal or the big task that you need to complete whether for work or personal life)
- Write it down – thinking on paper is critical. It always helps to see it black and white!
- Set a deadline on your goal
- List the steps necessary for achievement
- Organize the list into a plan (prioritise them into a sequence, and have a visual layout)
- Take action on your plan immediately
- Do something every day to move closer to that goal
The secrete little trick for prioritising your tasks (a simple ABCDE methodology, for details please refer to ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy)
- Mark A as the task you must complete, something that is very important with major positive/negative consequences
- Mark B next to the tasks that you should complete with mild consequences
- Assign C for the optional task, something you would like to do but no consequences attached ( I found myself always completing the Cs before I even make a start on A, because Cs are often a lot easier to do and takes less time to complete)
- D should be the tasks that you can delegate, so delegate ASAP
- E are the ones that can be eliminated without any real difference.
(NEVER do a B task when an A tast is left incomplete!!)
If you are really struggling to make the first step to start, I would suggest you to ask yourself the following questions,
- What is holding you back?
- What sets the speed at which you achieve your goals?
- What determines how fast you move from here to there?
- What holds you back from doing the most important tasks?
- Why haven’t you already achieved your goal?
Trust me, you will definitely feel the endorphin rushing through your blood and the self-stratification once you get your BIG task ticked off! Once you get addicted to this rushing and self-satisfaction feeling, your subconscious will start to build this planning and executing habit into your routine life and you will found your day getting more and more efficient every day! The first one is always the hardest.
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