Thursday, February 13, 2014

5 Simple Steps to Help you Overcome Procrastination

I used to be a procrastinator.  But not anymore.  I am reformed..been reformed for well over 5 years.  How did I do it?  The immediate answer is Allen and Covey.  David Allen in Getting Things Done and Stephen Covey in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and a bit of discipline helped me to change my ways.

With Allen I learned that I need to write down any and everything that pops into my head no matter how important or seemingly inconsequential.  He says that the small things will metamorphose into big things, with time.  I remember my daughter needed something for school, a seemingly small consideration.  I procrastinated and didn't write it down.  The morning of the event, I had not bought her item and she went to school without it.  She was very upset and I had to reschedule business activities of the day in order to go and buy my daughter's item.  If I had written down her needs on my list, I would not have had to miss a day of business activities.  Also, it ended up costing me more money because I had to buy the first item I saw rather than shopping around. Now I write everything down.  I have a journal that I use and if it pops into my head, it goes in my journal.

Stephen Covey via his time quadrant has taught me that the things that must be done can be categorized according to importance.  I now categorize also according to role.  Generally, I use Sundays to complete my big planning and my list of things to do, for whom, when, etc is sorted and categorized for the upcoming week.  

How can you do it too?

  1. Write everything down that you have to do, no matter how seemingly inconsequential.
  2. Keep your journal with you and consistently update your lists as new tasks come to mind.
  3. Categorize your list according to role, resources, etc.
  4. Take time at least once a week for major planning where you will decide which items you will complete and when.
  5. Reward yourself for staying on task.
Procrastination is literally a time thief.  No one wants anyone stealing from them, but we don't realize that at times we are our biggest enemy by constantly stealing time from ourselves.  But hope is not lost.  If I can change in this area, so can you.  Just take it one step at a time.

What are you doing to improve with regards to time management and organization?  Share your tips with us below.

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