How many of us say I’ll do it later, Ill leave it until tomorrow, it can wait. I do! Putting things off and procrastinating drags you down, increases stress levels, seeps you of energy and makes you less productive. Why do we do it? Through fear of making a mistake, of the consequences of our decision, of judgement and criticism. Perfectionists are procrastinators.
How do we feel after we have completed a task – sheer relief and also frustration and annoyance at how we have put it off, wondering why we didn’t start it earlier, plan it and just do it!
Here are my top ten tips:
- Be clear of what your goals, objectives and aims are. Rather than say I have to lose weight – specify how much and by when and be realistic about them – your business plan should include and reflect your personal goals too.
- Write a list the night before. Plan every day in advance and tick things off your list – you will be able to sleep that much better but having written them down – stop those nagging I have to do’s from whirling around your head and put them down on paper.
- Remember – not everyone can do everything. You can’t necessarily do everything. Delegate and ask for help. Recognise your strengths and skills set and concentrate on things that you are really good at.
- Excuses excuses – self discipline is key but if you are still making excuses and putting a task off – perhaps you need to recognise that the task is too overwhelming and perhaps not achievable and in which case go to Tip no 5.
- Break it down – slice and dice – break the task down into manageable sizes – like losing weight – aim to achieve realistic weight loss by day or week, then month by month.
- Do the worst first – conquer and tackle the worst thing you dread doing on your list first and just get it out the way. Anything else you have to achieve that day will be a bonus.
- Time management – be realistic – plan your time (even your breaks so you don’t drift into the depths of google). Look at your calendar, your day and week. Protect your time and learn to say no.
- Reward and treat yourself and focus on effort and not necessarily outcome. Look at how far you have come and not how far you have to go!
- Create and maintain a calm and uncluttered environment – this will certainly encourage the start and completion of any dreaded task.
- Never stop learning – personal and professional improvements are the best time savers there are. The more you learn the more motivated you are. The better you are, the more energised, enthusiastic, productive and effective you are.
Finally take pleasure in learning along the way and learn from your mistakes. They are mis takes. We are not all perfect!