Stop Procrastination In Its Tracks And Get Your Time Back
We’ve all heard the quotes when it comes to procrastination. ‘Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today’ or ‘Action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow’… and so on.
Yet, millions of people procrastinate daily. So why do we not do what we know we need to do?
The answer is simple. When you view a task as unpleasant and tiring, your mind immediately starts cooking up excuses to prevent you from being in discomfort. This is your self-preservation instinct at its finest.
Your mind is trying to protect you. While this is good when it comes to dangerous situations, for the most part it’s unnecessary and actually holding you back.
Knowing how to act is crucial to avoid procrastination. If you keep procrastinating, your work will pile up and your schedule will become a mess.
You won’t reach your goals or meet your deadlines. It’s impossible to have work-life balance when you’re always playing catch-up. So, here’s what you need to do to stop procrastinating…
What’s The Plan?
Make a list of ALL the things you need to get done. List them in 3 categories:
Get the urgent matters out of the way ASAP, then focus on the important tasks and finally clear the other tasks as and when you can.
Do You Have 2 Minutes?
Many times, you may feel like you’re not in the mood for an activity. This could be exercise or writing or cleaning your house, etc. Whatever the activity is, your mind is already making excuses for you to avoid doing it.
You’re thinking of skipping the workout. Or maybe you’d rather organize the folders in your laptop than write that blog post you need to.
Clean the house? Pfft! You can always do that next month.
Your mind NEVER lacks excuses and they’re all very plausible and highly convincing. Quite frankly, we usually don’t need that much convincing to procrastinate.
So how do you beat this problem?
Simple. Just give yourself 2 minutes to do the task. Tell yourself that you’ll just exercise for 2 minutes or clean the room for 2 minutes. It doesn’t matter what the task is. Just aim for 2 minutes.
You’ll often find that once you get started, you’ll usually go on for 30 minutes to an hour or longer.
It’s always the initial step of getting started that’s the most difficult. 2 minutes tricks your mental resistance because writing or exercising for 2 minutes is not as intimidating as doing it for 30 minutes or an hour.
Employ this technique whenever you catch yourself about to procrastinate.
Shorten The Deadlines
Parkinson’s law states that, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
What that means is that if you give yourself 3 days to complete a job, you’ll take 3 days. However, if you gave yourself 8 hours to do it, you’ll rush and get the job done.
So, giving yourself shorter deadlines will help to motivate you by lighting a fire under your butt to get you moving. You can’t procrastinate when you have a deadline that’s approaching really fast. You’ll get the job done quicker than you thought possible.
You Get Motivation After, NOT Before
One of the cruel twists of life is that very often, you get motivation only after you’ve completed the work. If you wait to be motivated to do a task, you’ll be waiting a long time.
However, if you just go ahead and do it, you’ll gain some self-satisfaction and feel productive. Now you’ll have the motivation to quickly complete the next task and so on.
It’s this momentum that will keep you going and you gain self-confidence and a new-found respect for yourself. Now you’ll be truly motivated to keep up your winning streak.
Start doing first, and the motivation will come later – and you’ll not even think of procrastinating once you’re on a roll.
Avoid procrastination at all costs and know that it doesn’t change anything other than cause your responsibilities to pile up. Life begins outside the discomfort zone. Challenge yourself to get started today and right now.
And now you have mastered procrastination, let’s look at how you can use automation to make even more use of the time you have.
Automating Or Batching Tasks To Aid With Time Management
One of the best ways to increase your productivity and free up more time for leisure will be to automate your recurring tasks or outsource them. This could be done in a variety of ways.
One fantastic strategy to stop wasting time at the bank will be to have your bill deductions automated. You could plan things out in such a way that money from your account is automatically deducted towards your outstanding bills.
Online banking is all the rage these days and yet thousands of people queue up at the tellers just because they’re not ‘tech savvy’ and don’t wish to learn something new.
If you’re working from home or you’re a busy entrepreneur, it’s these automated tasks that will save you precious hours and also prevent any hassles in your workday.
Instead of washing dishes by hand, you could use a dishwasher. Instead of drying the laundry on a line, you could use a dryer. There are many machines that will help to simplify your chores.
You could also create a roster for your kids where each one gets a specific chore to complete daily. It could be doing the dishes or vacuuming the house or one of the many daily chores that threaten to suck up your time.
It would be wise to hire a professional to do time-consuming tasks that can be tiring. One very good example is mowing the lawn. Rather than sweating it out and spending an hour pushing your lawn mower, you could easily hire a pro to do the job.
They’ll do it in a fraction of the time for a small fee. The amount you pay for the service will be worth every cent because your time is worth much more.
Emails And Work-Related Tasks
If you’re an online entrepreneur, there are tons of email management software and other tools that simplify your job. You can queue emails for an entire week that are set to be sent at a specific time and day.
The same applies to other activities such as scheduled blog posts, social media posts, etc. Automation is a time saver that you absolutely must use if you wish to be effective.
Which brings us to the next point…
Batching your tasks is without a doubt one of the best productivity hacks ever. So what is batching?
For example, if you’re planning to write 10 articles, batching will mean doing the research for all 10 articles at once. Then you’ll outline them all.
Once you’re done, it’s time to write them all. By batching your tasks in this way, you’ll be more productive and move at a faster pace. It’s similar to the type of labor specialization you see in factory product lines.
This principle applies across the board. Write all your emails at once. Schedule them at one go and so on.
Instead of doing each task from beginning to end and then repeating the process over and over, batching will save you countless hours in the long run.
Use the methods above to manage your time effectively. Time management is life management. The better you are at it, the more time you’ll have for yourself and the activities you really want to do.
And remember, one way to beat procrastination is to stay focused and many people struggle with this. If you want to learn more about staying focused, check out the featured resource below for a free detailed report; download, read it and take action 😊