One of the biggest roadblocks for me getting work done is procrastination…
ACT AFTER YOU PLAN
Star with a written plan of action to avoid getting distracted. Keep your plan simple and straightforward.
• Start with the one thing you must get done today to feel productive. It should be a manageable item you can complete in 10-15 minutes.
• Break the day up into a number of “action sessions” for other tasks.
• Balance the time spent planning with time spent creating or doing.
• Avoid over-planning — another method of procrastination.
• Before ending your day, spend 10 minutes reviewing your progress.
• Take time to plan your actions for the next day.
Your tasks should match your values or purpose. If not, you will find it hard to summon the energy to tackle them.
• Bring each task into congruence (agreement/harmony) with your
basic mission. If you can’t, take it off of your list.
Don’t put any “to-do” on your list that takes more than 30 minutes. If it takes longer, it’s actually a series of smaller “to-do’s”
• Break each step out and list it separately. You don’t have to tackle all the steps of a project in one sitting.
• Spread a large task out over several work sessions. You will see greater progress as you check more items off your list. You will avoid getting bogged down in one large task or project.
DECIDE TO SCHEDULE IT
Determine how much you can do or tolerate at a time.
• Don’t push yourself too far or you’ll get bored or frustrated.
• Plan these project “pieces” into your daily activities.
• Set a “completion point” for accomplishing each small task.
• Completion points give you an end in sight to look forward to.
GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH
Don’t try to do everything perfectly. Perfectionism often causes procrastination.Perfectionists would rather put it off than do an incomplete job.
• Rather than perfection, aim for progress.
Any small step toward completion is an accomplishment.
JUST DO IT
Do the worst job (or part of the job) first and get it out of the way. Once you tackle the part you are dreading, the rest is a breeze.
• Stop spending time planning and just jump into doing it.
• Set a time limit — “I’ll file papers for 5 minutes.”
• Alternate unpleasant jobs with tasks you enjoy.
• Delegate out items you can’t make yourself do.
PLAN AROUND INTERRUPTIONS
Interruptions tend to occur in identifiable patterns. Notice when interruptions occur, by whom, and why. Take steps to prevent those interruptions before they occur.
• If they can’t be prevented, learn how to delegate to someone else.
• If they can’t be delegated, learn how to delay until you are finished.
REMEMBER TO MAKE IT FUN
Make the project and environment as pleasant as possible. Play music, open a window, have a cold drink, etc.
• Give yourself the best tools and work space for the project.
Take a few minutes to organize your work space.
A clean desk allows you to focus without visual distraction.
• It’s only a chore if you think of it as a chore.
Find an “accountability partner” to track your progress. Schedule a regular time to check in with a friend or colleague.
• Rewarding your accomplishments encourages productivity.
Give yourself a break, a treat, a nap — whatever is a reward for you.
• Reward every step along the way, not just the end result.
The bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the reward.
Last but not least – if you need something to block the internet so you don’t get distracted by social media and the like, I’d recommend the following app…
This app is for Macs only. There’s one for PC users called Freedom, which is a similar, but I have not had experience using that one personally.
All for now – onwards and upwards…