Procrastination is a real thing for a lot of people. Sometimes, despite knowing how important it is to be productive, for some mysterious reason, days can fly by without any progress. When you get the sense that you SHOULD be doing something & you NEED to do something (in order to finish whatever it is that needs to be done) but you’re not putting conscious, direct, and intense energy into actually doing it, this type of resistance can be resolved. A few simple tips and tricks will get your work done! –
What’s Holding You Back?
Reflect on your habits and gently ask yourself: “What’s holding me back from developing a proper routine?” Start by writing your bad habits first before moving into the psychological blocks. Maybe you haven’t set aside a specific time to do everything on your to-do-list. Or you’ve set aside the wrong time. Or you have no clue how much time a particular task takes, so you consistently underestimate the amount of time that it requires. Or you imagine you have to do everything by yourself, so then very little actually gets done. Or the tasks you’ve set out to do are too complex, so when you begin you’re spending all your energy trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing (instead of actually doing it). Or you don’t know what you need to do. Or you knew at one time, but you forgot. Or your space is just so disorganized that you spend too much time looking for what you need to get started. Once you identify some of these answers, consider trying one of the following strategies:
Try This, If: You Haven’t Set Aside A Specific Time To Get Your Work Done
Block out at least 30 minutes in your calendar each day, Monday through Friday, and then show up at the appointed time. Treat it with the same level of respect you would a meeting with someone else. Start on time, end on time, turn your phone off and only reschedule for an emergency.
Try This, If: You’ve Set Aside The Wrong Time
Too many people treat their tasks as an activity they “hope” to have time for at the end of the day after everything else is done. If something is important to you, it should be given the best time of your day. If you don’t know when to get things done, try first thing in the morning (even if you’re not a morning person); they say that’s the best time to start a new habit.
Try This, If: You Have No Idea How Long Your Tasks Will Take
Sometimes tasks can take longer than expected. Keep track of your time, particularly for repetitive tasks. This will not only give you an accurate assessment of how long things take to get done, but it will also help you to set realistic expectations for the future.
Try This, If: You Think You Have To Do Everything Yourself
Ask yourself what tasks you must do and what tasks can be delegated to other people. Often there are many tasks that can be delegated or outsourced to others (ex: gardening, housework, etc.). Don’t use “I have to do it myself to get it done the way I want it” as a reason for doing everything yourself. Getting it done is more important than getting it done perfectly.
Try This, If: The Tasks You Have Set Out Are Too Complex
Take a piece of paper and a pencil and map out whatever it is you need to do. When I feel overwhelmed by a big task, I write the big-overwhelming-goal on the right side of the paper and a stick figure (me) on the left side. Then I work my way backward from the overwhelming thing to myself by asking: What are the steps that need to be accomplished to complete this? I keep breaking it down into smaller and smaller steps until I’ve reached the tasks I can do today. It will also help you to uncover if there are aspects of a project that you don’t know how to do so that you can pinpoint areas where you will need to seek assistance.
Try This, If: You Can’t Remember What You Have To Do
Make a list. Get all of the things you need to do out of your head and onto a piece of paper in one place. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, electronic, or synced with some gadget or gizmo; a note card, post-it note, or your paper planner will do fine to capture all of your to-do tasks. Determine what needs to be done that week and then place each of those items in a specific time block on your calendar. If they don’t all fit (and they probably won’t) then figure it out how to delegate, delete, or renegotiate the deadlines on the least important items.
Try This, If: Your Space Is Disorganized
Set aside time to organize your personal space in a simple and easily maintainable manner. For example, if you find yourself working on multiple computers and can’t keep your electronic files straight, consider ways that you can either access your other computers when you’re away from them (GoToMyPC) or keep all your computers automatically synced with Dropbox.
Each of these strategies can be super-charged by attaching support and accountability from friend & family. For example, praying daily is easier when you have a prayer partner. Also, organizing your office doesn’t have to be drudgery if you partner up with another disorganized colleague and help each other. Or better yet, find a highly-organized person — they often love to organize others — and offer to exchange their organizing skills with one of yours. And as always, there are tons of professionals who are happy to clean, coach, edit or organize you if you have more money than time. Once you learn and implement a few new strategies, you’ll be much better off!!