Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday. – Napoleon Hill
Do you put things off for another day, knowing you should be getting what you need to do done?
I know I do sometimes, I admit it … I’m guilty. Regardless of who we are or what we do, procrastination is something everyone deals with.
There are so many theories behind the reasons why people procrastinate but in my mind the reasons are not as important as the realities procrastination creates – the things that actually happen when we chose to slack.
The reality is, procrastinating can cause undue pressure – waiting until the last minute to do something can take a toll on you, both physically and mentally. It also steals hours of your time you will never get back and ultimately delays your overall progress in life and business.
The truth is I’ve gotten better at minimizing the propensity to procrastinate, it’s something I’ve had to work on, I made a conscious effort to change. Here are 3 things that have helped me procrastinate less and get more done in the process:
Stop Doing Stupid Shit
This is probably the best advice I’ve ever been given, concerning managing time and getting more done. The truth is we all spend way too much time doing things that are not getting us any close to achieving our goals, like jamming on the Gram, binge watching a series you were meaning to catch up on, or mindless chatting on the phone with a friend.
Blunt and to the point, at the most basic level ‘not doing stupid shit’ means ridding your life of mindless time killers that do nothing to help you get ahead in life. It means taking the time to think about the things you spend your time doing, and focusing on the ones that are important, incoming generating or a priority and doing them with intention.
Use a Timer, While Completing Tasks
Another great way to get more done is to time yourself while you work. You can use the timer on your cell phone, set it for let’s say 25 – 30 minutes. During the set time … put all your energy into the task at hand, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in 25 – 30 minutes when you concentrate all your efforts on getting what your doing, done.
The theory behind this is called The Pomodoro Technique ; a time management philosophy that suggests frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. After the set amount of time has passed, do whatever you want for a little bit – rest for no more than 10 – 15 minutes, then do it all over again, work for another 25 – 30 minutes until your desired task is complete.
I use this technique for everything; cleaning the house, folding laundry, writing or working on projects. True mastery of the method requires time and practice but if you’re consistent, I promise you’ll notice a difference in the amount of things you are able to complete.
Write What You Need To Get Done, Down On Paper
I know you maybe thinking to yourself, with all the technology available to us now-a-days why in the would anyone want to resort to list writing using pen and paper. The truth is pen and paper are still very relevant.
Not only does the act of writing what you need to do down, reinforce your ability to remember what you need to do, it also helps you to stay focused and provides you with a sense of accomplishment every time you
cross something off your to-do-list.
In addition to that, many research studies show that when tasks; (which in essence are smaller bite sized actioned items to help you achieve a bigger goal ) are written down the likely hood of you achieving them are much greater than if they are not. Written tasks make things super clear, easier to achieve and provides direction to get you from where you are now to where you need to go.
An ongoing written task list is like having a daily reminder to stay on track and continue working towards achieving your goals.
A lined notebook and your favourite writing utensil is all you need to start getting more done. I like to write tasks; to-do-list-items on the right side of the page and write any ideas, doodles and miscellaneous madness on the left. Don’t forget to add a date to your to-do-list , then just start writing … write down everything you think needs to get done. At the end of each day simply cross out whatever you are able to complete and move what you were not, forward to the next day. Being able to go back and reflect on all that have completed is really just an added bonus.
I hope these tips are able to help you the way they’ve helped me. If you have tips and tricks to help minimize the procrastination beast, let me know … feel free to share in the comments below: