7 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Is procrastination a serious challenge in your life? Admittedly, it can be difficult to do things we don’t want to do.

Even when we know that waiting too long will create a lot of challenges, getting started can still seem impossible. Unfortunately, when procrastinating affects your job-related tasks, it can have a negative impact on your professional career as well.

So how can you kick this annoying tendency to put things off and start getting them done instead?

Try these strategies:

  1. Schedule when you’re going to do it. Make an appointment in your calendar for the day and time you’re going to work on the task. This is far more effective than just leaving everything up in the air until the right moment seems to present itself.
  2. Consider scheduling just enough time to get started. A long, unpleasant task can be very difficult to start. Think, “I’m going to work on this for 20 minutes.” That’s easy enough that you should be able to sit down and get busy. Interestingly, once you get started, you’ll probably spend a lot more than 20 minutes on it. Getting starting is the tough part.
    • Make it as easy to get started as you possibly can.
  3. Break the task into smaller parts. Larger tasks can seem overwhelming. By dividing the task into manageable parts, it will be psychologically easier to tackle the project. It’s easier to do 10 small things than one big thing.
    • For example, once you’ve done five small things, you know that you’ve completedfive things, instead of just starting on the one big thing without deriving any sense of accomplishment. So break that task down into smaller bites.
  4. Which part is the most dreaded part? Frequently, there is a small part of the task that is really holding you back. Is it possible to get someone else to take care of that part of the task for you? Can you outsource it? Many times, if someone else handles the part you dread, everything else will fall into place.
  5. Pick the best time to do it. We all have times of the day that we’re better at certain tasks. We have times when we’re better at concentrating, others when we’re more creative, and other times when we have more energy. What’s the proper time for you to tackle the task? Do you need quiet and privacy? Do you need access to certain people?
  6. Get what you need to complete it. Make a list of the tools, supplies, and resources that you’ll need to both begin and complete the task. It’s hard to get started when you know you can’t get finished.
  7. Reward yourself! Give yourself a reward for completing the task. You’ve earned it! It doesn’t have to be anything big, but we all like a little treat now and then. A little additional motivation never hurt anyone.

Imagine how much better your life would be if you could kick the procrastination habit out the door. Unfinished tasks have a profound effect on your sense of well-being and peace of mind. Living with the stress that procrastination can cause isn’t necessary. Start using the tips above and remove the challenge of procrastination from your life. You’ll be so glad you did!

Effective Time Management Tips

Time is the one thread that runs through all of our lives. Whether you’re always early for an event, arrive as scheduled, or prefer to be fashionably late, you’re probably also watching the clock. Wouldn’t you love more time in your day to squeeze in more activities?

So how can you get more hours out of your day?

Consider these time management tips to enhance your productivity:

1. Preview your schedule for the day the first thing in the morning. Use your calendar effectively and you’ll be able to spend your time more judiciously.

* With practice, you’ll learn to recognize which tasks need more time to be completed and which tasks’ scheduled time can be shortened.

2. At work, if you’re responsible for leading a meeting, be prepared. Write the meeting agenda in advance.

* Stick to the time allotted for each agenda item.

3. Keep your focus on the task at hand. If you need to finish writing a report, stay with it until the report is completed.

4. Take active steps to screen out distractions. If you work better with soft music playing in the background, arrange to listen to your tunes while you complete your tasks.

* If you’re on the job, close your office door to deter people from stopping in to say, “Hi,” or ask a quick question.

5. Stand up. If someone calls you into their office for a minute to get your opinion on an issue, avoid sitting down. Impromptu meetings are shorter when at least one of you stands.

6. Have confidence about limiting chitchat at work. Don’t be afraid to tell people you can’t talk right at the moment. Rather than getting perturbed, your associates may praise your work ethic of finishing your projects before taking time to chitchat.

* You’re also setting a great example for the other employees.

7. Get comfortable with saying “No.” Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management.

* When you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer. Plus, your most important tasks don’t get addressed in a timely fashion if you have too much to do. You’re more likely to get more work done – and do it well – if you aren’t overwhelmed by taking on too much.

8. Use your planner at home as well. If you’re struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your planner there. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or cleaning the living room.

9. Set timers or alarms to keep you on task. For example, if you plan to clean your bedroom for an hour, set the alarm on your cell phone. Stop working on the chore at hand when the timer goes off, but not until then (unless you complete the task).

* Playing “beat the clock” can be highly motivational. Plus you’re likely to get more done.

* For particularly troublesome tasks, set your alarm in smaller increments – even 15 minutes – and take a short breather when your alarm sounds before you re-focus on your task. In particular, you may find that physically challenging tasks are much more manageable if broken into smaller, more do-able “pieces.”

Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive. Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete. A well-managed life is within your reach!

Catching up on New Year’s Resolutions: A Surefire Plan for Winning

New Year’s resolutions… Who really keeps them? The answer to that question could be you even if, like most people, you’ve already abandoned them. Rather than fretting over what you have or haven’t done so far this year, you can still accomplish those New Year’s resolutions – even if you’re starting over a bit later in the year.

Try these action tips to help you achieve the resolutions you made at the start of the New Year:

1. Make it known. Tell someone close to you about your New Year’s resolution. You’ll be held accountable for your success or lack thereof. By doing so, you’ll feel a bigger commitment to actually complete the goal than if you were to simply keep the goal a secret.

  • Now there are two incentives to meet your goal: The first is to enjoy the fruits of your labor and say that you’ve completed your goal. The second is to ward off the embarrassment of having to explain why you didn’t complete the goal.

2. Enlist a friend. Find a friend with a similar goal and work toward reaching your goals together while offering each other moral support.

  • Weight loss is an especially suitable goal to enlist the help and support of a buddy. Other fine goals a friend could strive for along with you include home improvement projects, monetary goals, and family goals.
  • Choose a friend that will hold you accountable for reaching your goals. An unmotivated friend that will simply say “It’s okay, try again next year” isn’t the right person for the job.

3. Break it down. Break your goals down into bite-sized chunks. For example, if your goal is to land 20 new clients by the end of the year, break the goal down into nine months if it’s now March, for example.

  • Landing 20 new clients in nine months equates to just over two clients per month (2.2 clients).
  • Even if you’ve fallen a bit short of the goal, you’ll still have increased your number of clients. Essentially, you’ve succeeded because you’re in a better position than you were last year.
  • Any goal seems more attainable when broken down into manageable milestones.

4. Have a plan. Setting a New Year’s resolution without creating a plan for reaching it is a recipe for disaster. For your greatest success, create a plan detailing the exact actions you must take in order to achieve your resolution.

  • Know exactly what you want to do. Saying, “I want to lose weight” isn’t going to cut it. It leaves a lot of wiggle room. But saying “I want to lose 20-lbs by December 1st” is a much better plan.
  • Create a detailed plan that entails exactly how you’ll get to your goal. Detail the daily actions that will help you edge towards reaching your resolution. In addition, create an alternate plan in case your initial plan falls short, thus helping you set yourself up for success – one way or the other!

Is your New Year’s resolution important to you? Are you committed to it? If you take your New Year’s resolution seriously, create reasonable goals, and follow these tips, you can achieve it! It will require a consistent effort on your behalf and some hard work, but it’ll all be worth it when you accomplish that resolution.

When your goal begins to seem out of reach, to regain your motivation, envision what your life will be like after you reach your resolution. Your life will be better, you’ll be happier, and you’ll have a sense of pride knowing that you’ve worked hard to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.