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8 Steps To Get Yourself Away From Procrastination

8 Steps To Get Yourself Away From Procrastination

For many of us, the stresses and strains of life, in general, can be too much to handle. There is simply so much to think about along the way that getting to where you want to be can be hard work. Procrastination, as ever, becomes a significant problem along the way and can leave you chasing your tail a little bit. Getting away from handling a heavy workload is tough as that massive scale can make you only take on small increments as time goes on.

It’s not always an indicator of your ability – or lack of – but usually of an ability to stay focused and committed to getting the job done. When this happens, you need to be able to move heaven and earth to get yourself moving towards dropping procrastination from your life of problems for good. If you need help in breaking free of the grip of procrastination and never getting anything done, then this should offer the perfect solutions to you by making sure that you try and;

1. Set The Right Goals

The first thing you need to think about is setting the right goals. You might be looking at the end-game as the “right” goal. But, this is the wrong way to look at things. Instead, you need to look and find the best way for you to start building towards the goal. It’s not always about getting to the endgame, but making progress towards that. If you need to look at the goal in smaller increments, then it can help you stop procrastinating as the task feels less gargantuan in size. To minimize procrastination time, set yourself a deadline of 48hrs to work out what the right goals are.

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2. Identify The Motivating Factors 

When we have a motivation to continue to push on even when we feel tired, it can make procrastination a lot easier to overcome. However, this takes a lot of hard work and self-determination to manage, so it will take a considerable amount of work on your end to get to this point. Take a half day or half night and work out what is driving you, why it’s driving you, and how you can make the most of that situation in the near future. Just having a reason which motivates you can be so useful to ensuring that things actually get done.

3. Create a Concrete Action Plan for the Final Goal

How are you going to achieve what you intended to? Do you have a concrete plan for doing so? If not, you need one. When you don’t know how to go about something, it’s a lot harder to actually convince yourself to try and do it. To avoid this problem, you just need to start taking a few hours per day to work out the path to success. Break it down into a small army of minor tasks that can be achieved on an hourly or daily basis. This keeps you moving towards the grand endgame, which is so incredibly useful to understand.

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4. Create a To-Do List for the Day

Now we have a plan to work with and will be able to start moving towards something fresh and innovative in our lives, we need to start looking at building a To-Do list. Making a serious to-do list to follow is as important as seeing through all your objectives. Start by simply creating something that follows the Why, How and When pattern above. In no time at all, this will be built up with a structured list of tasks that can pay massive dividends when you are trying to start moving the project towards overall completion.

5. Set the Timer

How will you go about dealing with the procrastination side of things? You need to have a start date and a start time. Set strict deadlines that fit in with your personal and professional life and ensure that you adhere to them. Meeting targets in this fashion is great for your confidence and for helping you improve as an individual, in the long run, so make sure that you always consider this in your unique battle against procrastination.

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6. Commit Yourself to the Plan

It is essential to follow a schedule in order to be fully accountable to your process and move forward towards progress. When you have clarity, a plan, and a way of going about that plan it becomes so much easier to manage and prepare yourself to do the job that you are being asked to carry out. Remember that avoiding tasks because you could not remember you had to do them, is also called procrastination!

7. Find Supporters

You need to be able to shut off that voice in your head that tells you to come back tomorrow, and the best way to do that is with all of the above. To get the help that you need with self-discipline, find some supporters. Share your goals and plans with people who you know will support and motivate you. It is important that you find the right cheerleaders as the wrong ones will actually pull you down and demotivate you.

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8. Keep on Trying

As always, improving on any areas of your life is not an easy task. Make sure that even if you sometimes fail (even more often than you expected) you should keep on trying, no matter what. Be strong and accomplish your objectives. Remember, do not procrastinate!

Featured photo credit: www.neednudge.com via neednudge.com

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Carles Sabarich

Carles aspires to encourage people to live actively and take charge of their lives.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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