You look over the list in an attempt to find some items that can be moved to a later date. But wait. Isn’t that exactly why the task list is as long as it is now?
Procrastination has beaten you once again; it is the first thing that comes to mind. “How can I get out of some of this stuff today”? A question asked by millions every morning before they begin their day of work.
Some of us are so heavily affected by this condition that it really and truly does prevent any progress toward reaching our goals. We’re stuck and we need to admit that procrastination is an issue for us.
So what exactly is procrastination anyhow?
Webster’s or Wikipedia’s versions aside, it basically boils down to the putting off of things that we should be focusing on NOW and choosing to do something more favorable or enjoyable. We don’t like the task at hand, but rather than deal with it and get it out of the way, we push it off into the future.
So what can we do about this cycle of inaction on critical tasks?
Acknowledge the facts
The first step in a plan of correction is to be honest with ourselves and admit that we are procrastinating in the first place. Let’s not rationalize this away as managing our work load and spreading things out. At some point we have to get down to actually tackling the things we least like to do.
Try a few of these tips
Everyone is different so we all have to try various methods of changing our behavior to see what best motivates us to move toward change.
- Stop listing all of the easy stuff first and take on some of the more difficult things and be done with them. Get them completed and out of your line of sight.
- Buddy up with someone and give them a copy of your tasks, asking that they make an inquiry or two on your progress. A little peer pressure can sometimes be a good motivator.
- Break some of the larger tasks into smaller steps and begin the process. Be sure to complete each step and the entire task before moving on to something else.
- Be certain to place a time limit on each item, leaving nothing open ended.
- Post your task listing on your bathroom mirror so that it is the first thing you see in the morning. You will not want to see it there very long.
- Setup your Smartphone to remind you of each task daily. Do not change the reminder date when it appears, this takes us back to square one.
- Setup a reminder system on your computer as well, you need these things in your face for a period of time until you become more efficient at getting things done – on time.
Some key points to ponder
There are times when we have put off a task because we just did not want to deal with it, just was not in the mood, only to find out later that it was not so bad after all. We overestimated the difficulty and caused ourselves a little bit of a setback in time for no reason.
Have you ever experienced that?
I know I have, but I’ve learned to get things out of my face so I can move on to where I really want to be.
In our recent survey, many expressed the need for better time management skills and techniques and we will cover this in greater detail as we move forward, but find a little quiet time soon and think about how you can improve upon the way you are currently handling things.
Recognize that nothing in life ever gets fixed until we admit that it is broken. Once we clear that hurdle it is time to take action. Do not allow small things to become huge problems, deal with them early and turn your attention to becoming more productive.
Shhhh! Please don’t tell anybody, but I’ve had to fix these types of things in my life too.
Ask yourself this question.
Say “self, do I really have a handle on my time and if not, am I going to change this for good this time?”
We are going to get into some tools for helping with time management in future post, so to be certain that you don’t miss out, join our community by subscribing via the RSS Feed.