I wanted to write a short article on overcoming procrastination as we enter 2016. You do things that probably are not the best that cause you to further procrastinate. I am going to show you how to procrastinate in a positive way to get things done.
2 Tips For Overcoming Procrastination
Frequent Task Timelist – If you haven’t read my article on this yet it’s probably one of the best tools I have ever come up with. I find it absolutely critical in getting things done. The reason is I can literally predict how long things will take me to complete, schedule them, and do them. At a minimum read about my 45 second exercise that I struggle to get off my butt to do.
Don’t do anything – This tip is counter intuative. I can tell you that you will save a ton of time by following it, however. I will do momentarily. Essentially when you find yourself stalling or not wanting to do something, literally one of the best things you can do is just stop for like 20 minutes.
Don’t Do Anything?
First you have to understand how most people procrastinate. Be truthful here this probably how you procrastinate to. You don’t want to do the dishes. So you sit on the couch, pull out the cell phone, open Facebook and away you go.
Soon, 2 hours have went by your reading the Facebook posts you were reading 35 minutes ago, and really you don’t even care. By now you could have had the dishes done and half the house cleaned but instead you sat on your butt for two hours.
But what if you did nothing? What if you went and sat on that couch, put the cell phone on the charger and just thought through what you had to do. Your frequent task timelist might say it only takes 20 minutes for you do the dishes. Sit for 20 minutes and think about the task at hand. Maybe you will do the plates and bowls first, then the pans. Maybe you do the pans first because they are the worst.
What To Do First
A big argument among productivity experts. Just listened to a podcast on Freakonomics Radio the other day where they talked about this. There are two groups:
- The ones that say your check list should include things you’re going to do anyway like get out of bed. Put on my socks.
- The others say start with the most difficult thing. Like in our above example, the dishes, the pan with burnt on residue.
So who wins? Well I am a firm believe of #2. I understand that putting things that are easy on your checklist first gives you a sense of accomplishment. I do not believe, however, that the sense of accomplishment you get motivates you to do more. People have limited will power. Limited willpower is literally limited space to get things done. If you start with those easy things, and a bunch of them, then you might use it all up. Then you never do that crusty pan!
So there you go, to overcome procrastination:
- Start a frequent task timelist
- If you find yourself wanting to put something off just do nothing for 20 minutes, don’t do something else that will trail you off for hours and never get you on track.
- Do the hardest parts first, use you willpower up on those you want to do least, then do the easy things.