We’d all love a cure for procrastination, because, let’s face it, we all put things off from time to time.
Of course, it’s impossible to cut it out completely...
But it’s definitely possible to do it a lot less.
Are you struggling to get going on things? Is finishing them a problem as well?
If so, this solution will leverage your efforts:
Whatever it is you have to do, work on it every day from the day after it appears in your life.
Imagine the following scenario...
You’re given a project (anything requiring two or more actions). You’re asked on Tuesday to produce a report with a deadline two weeks later.
Start working on it on the Wednesday.
Keep working at it every day you can until you finish it.
Yes. This system is surprisingly effective for three reasons:
1) You have a day to prepare and psyche yourself up before you start.
This eliminates, or at least significantly reduces, knee jerk reactions to incoming work. You dictate when you’ll do it.
2) It takes away the ‘agony of choice’.
You don’t have to decide whether to work on an open project or not. You just get on with it each day… for as long as you want to.
3) As long as you do it daily, you get to choose how long you want to work on it.
Obviously, five minutes a day probably wouldn’t be enough. But commit to doing what you can face doing on a daily basis and you’ll boost your ability to get things done. This may mean 10 minutes one day and 90 minutes the next.
Overcoming procrastination is all about breaking down your projects into manageable ‘bite sized’ chunks, small enough for you to face doing them.
So, how much you do is not as important as the fact that you actually do something daily. Keep the ball rolling on your project until it’s finished.
This solution provides a framework (do it daily) and a choice (how much to do). It won’t do the work for you, but it certainly helps you get the work done.
The same idea applies. Whatever it is you have to do is one of your current projects, so do it daily until it’s done.
You can only take on so many projects at any one time. Working on them each day is a good way to see how many you’ve currently got on.
‘Do it daily’ is the default setting, but don’t beat yourself up if it gets messed up. Pick up again as soon as you can. Obviously deadlines don’t move, so the pressure increases. But the principle still applies.
There is no magic cure for procrastination, but this system works if you work it.
You’ll get more done, meet more deadlines and have more time.