Beating Procrastination in 6 Steps

Monday, January 13 2014

What should you really be doing right now?
Well, you've already started to read this, so we'll set the clock for a 2-minute break. You deserve it, right?

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20131127-FTA-TIMING-ALARM-STOPWATCH 2-minutesSome claim they work better under pressure, however procrastination is a plague that affects us all. The good news is that it can be controlled.

Most experts advise prioritizing in order to reduce your workload and focusing on one thing at a time (quality not quantity). The bottom line is that the satisfaction is so much greater when you are able to enjoy well-deserved, guilt-free time off.

  1. Admit it. The first step to beating any bad habit is recognition. Even "productive procrastination" is a distraction from your primary goal. It's OK to do other things as long as you are able to categorize them and include them in your planning of things to do.
  2. Plan Smart. Prioritize and center your energy on things only you can do, delegating busy work and tasks anyone can do. Separate according to importance. Identify one or two goals for today. Be realistic about what you can do and include down time in your planning. This may result in identifying only 2-3 things to focus on per day. It's OK. Don't be afraid to tackle challenging projects right away – you may find that a solution is closer than you think. Don't be distracted by that low hanging fruit.

20131127-FTA-TIMING-ALARM-STOPWATCH 59-second-mark[1 minute to go]

  1. Break it Down. 20131127-FTA-MANAGEMENT-ORGANIZATION-TIME split-orangeOnce you've identified your goal for the day, break it down into specific, small, and easy to execute tasks. It's important to be aware of how you work and the time you'll need to complete each one. Put it on your calendar. That being said focus on getting them started, not on the finish line. This will reduce the stress associated with meeting deadlines.
  2. Create Accountability. Many people need that external motivation to engage in a project or to be motivated to meet deadlines. Share your deadlines with others so they can hold you accountable (or check in with you) on your progress.
  3. Have Fun! It's very important to enjoy what you do. If you see something as a chore it will naturally lose its appeal. Treat your tasks as a game; don't forget to reward yourself when you get things done.
  4. Act Now. Set a time limit (use an alarm if necessary), even for activities that fall under the category of "productive procrastination" and breaks. Do it, now.

20131127-FTA-TIMING-ALARM-STOPWATCH timer-doneBeeeeeep! Times up! Back to work :)

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