Stop Procrastinating, Become Efficient And Manage Your Time Effectively – In 10 Easy Steps
We all waste time. The more effective among us waste less of it – and squeeze more productivity out of the same 24 hours that all of us have in a day. If you’ve been a victim of the procrastination habit and felt frustrated or upset about not being able to get more done, then these 10 simple steps will set you free.
1. Evaluate the problem.
Too often we ignore a problem because we have no idea how big it is. So take stock of the amount of time you waste in an average day. You’ll be shocked at how big a time sump even a simple thing like watching TV can be. Tip: Use a timer to measure the time you spend on each activity.
2. Assess the impact.
Take a few minutes to project ahead the impact this waste of time has on your future. What things are you being forced to abandon, postpone or give up because you lack enough time? Those are the ones you can pursue once you stop procrastinating.
3. Set your goals.
Now that you plan to beat procrastination, be bold and courageous about your goals and targets. Where you once worried about having enough time in your day, you know that there is time enough to spare – once you cut down on the waste and become more efficient.
4. Make to-do lists.
Put items on the list that will take you closer to your biggest goals. Make sure to factor in 2 things:
- a. that you budget for enough time to get the tasks done
- b. that you allow for unexpected delays and interruptions
Without this, you may end up experiencing to-do list frustration, when the items on your day’s list remain undone at the end of your work.
5. Establish rituals
Your tasks that take you towards your new goals must be carried out regularly. Make their execution a habit. Practice each task intentionally for 3 weeks, until it becomes second nature.
For instance, if you find it difficult to begin a new task because you’re tempted to watch TV, then set time limits and stick to them. Stop procrastinating. Watch TV for half an hour, and when the timer sounds, switch off the TV and get right back to work. Do this regularly, and soon it’ll become effortless.
6. Accomplish in installments.
The best way to eat an elephant is to do it in small bites! Even mammoth challenges become achievable when broken down into smaller components. Don’t try to complete major projects in record time. Give yourself enough time to do a good job. After all, as your to-do list only has important tasks on it, it’s important to do them well.
Well begun is truly half done. Starting something new (or going back to work that had stalled) is difficult only until you gain momentum. So stop procrastinating, grit your teeth, and get through that part. The rest becomes easy. In fact, once you’re engaged in the activity and hit your stride, it’s hard to stop!
8. Reward yourself.
The completion of a major project is very satisfying. But it also takes a while, and you need some encouragement along the way. So get into the habit of rewarding yourself for reaching milestones. It doesn’t have to be something big – just a positive reinforcement that you’re doing well. A movie, perhaps, or going out to dinner.
Don’t get distracted or lose concentration. Turn down invitations from friends or family. Turn off the TV and even your mobile phone, if it’s an interruption to getting work done. Put your full attention on the job at hand, and focus on it until you’ve completed the task. “How To Focus” is a Ming Vase Time Management guide that can help you deal with this better.
10. Good enough is good enough.
No one is perfect. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Do your best. Stop procrastinating because you’re afraid of not doing a great job. That’s only cheating yourself out of the reward of a job well done. And you can always improve upon something later, instead of obsessing over it without taking steps to execute.
There you have it. 10 simple steps to stop procrastinating and get things done. Time Management Tao is about simplicity and effectiveness. It’s a way to live so that your time utilization is optimal and efficient. All you have to do is:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
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