Feb 23, 2009

Stop Procrastinating!

"Procrastination is a crime that only leads to sorrow. I can stop it any time; in fact, I will...tomorrow." -Author unknown

You will never make your dreams come true if you do not learn how to manage your tasks. Procrastination brings temporary relief but relief with consequences. It helps to realize that procrastination is a habit. Habits can be broken. Here are some strategies to help you break this life wasting habit:

1) Get organized. Make a list of what needs to get done as well as things you would like to do. A list will free your mind from having to remember everything. Once you write things down, you only have to remember where you keep the list.

2) Prioritize your "to do" list. This can be done by setting deadlines. Get yourself a calendar with plenty of room to write "to do" items. A notebook can also do the trick.

3) Bite off only what you can chew. Be careful not to overschedule yourself. Be realistic in what you can get done. If you have a large task that is overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable projects. For example, planning a wedding can be broken up into: mailing out the invitations, ordering the cake, picking a china pattern and so on. It won't feel so overwhelming if you take a task at a time.

4) Change your expectations. Believing that things must be done in a certain way can really prevent you from getting things done. Are your standards too high? Are these your standards? Do you make unreasonable conclusions such as, "If I don't get it done perfectly then I am a failure."
I encourage you to keep high standards but you may need to recognize that your 80% effort may be someone else's 100%. Don't spend hours striving to do things perfectly if your good enough is truly good enough.

5) Schedule your activities that need to get done when you are at your peak productivity time. So, if you are an early bird or a night owl, take this into consideration.

6) Make a decision. Often people delay because they cannot make up their mind to follow through. Make a clear and committed decision to get things done. Sometimes it is better to risk the possibility of making a mistake than to not make the decision at all.

7) If you have several small things on your list, do these first. It creates a sense that you have less to do because your list is now shorter.

8) When you complete a task, draw a line through it. This helps you feel like you are getting somewhere.

9) Do unpleasant tasks first. Putting off dreaded activities only stirs up negative thoughts and feelings.

10) Schedule rewards. Many experts suggest that you should give yourself a reward for getting things accomplished. They propose a cookie or a piece of cake. I don't like this idea because you will just end up being an overweight achiever. Instead, tell yourself that when you finish your task, you will go to some desired place or do some enjoyable activity such as going to a movie or going out with friends. Knowing that your list is completed will help you relax and make the most of your reward activity.

11) Anticipate Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. This is how procrastinators get themselves into trouble. Provide yourself with a cushion of time just in case something goes wrong. When I was a procrastinator, I thought I worked better under pressure. Now that I have reformed myself, I love the peace of mind of knowing things are done.

12) Minimize Distractions. Remove or turn off things that distract you. Turn off the television, silence your phone, or hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

13) Make a game out of unpleasant tasks. See how quickly you can do it or give yourself points as you go along. If you are doing the task with someone, make it a race or a competition.

14) Visualize the task completed. Develop a mental image of the completed task and how you will feel at that time. Seeing the end in sight can be quite motivational.

15) Eliminate all but the essential. Don't bog yourself down with things that really don't matter or are not appreciated. Delegate tasks if possible.

16) Do it now! Whenever you catch yourself thinking, "I can do this later", think" DO IT NOW!" Every time you follow through and do it now you are reinforcing the positive habit of action.

If all of this talk about getting things done is making you anxious, simply take a breath. Remembering to breathe is good advice when it comes to getting started. Then take a step towards doing something. Enjoy the happiness and increased self esteem that will be yours as you conquer procrastination.

0 komentar:

Post a Comment


Time Management Tips for Your Life Copyright © 2008 Black Brown Pop Template by Ipiet's Blogger Template