Perhaps you are wondering how to deal with procrastination, or asking what steps you need to take to in order to begin to do those things you’ve always wanted to do. May be you’ve been thinking about how to fast-track your career, improve your skills, write a book, improve your health or relationship. Here are a few tips which I found helpful and will like to share same with you.
1. Think on Paper: If you want to get things done you absolutely need to prepare and to help you do that, break down the tasks into smaller simpler pieces before start. Get a diary today if you don’t have one. It’s one of the keys to breaking the habit of procrastination caused by looking at the enormity of the task ahead.
2. Preparation: Don’t jump into a task without being fully prepared. Have a clear mental picture of what you need to do, how to do it and what you need to do it. Minimize the time spent going to and fro to get what you want.
3. Take baby steps: If for example you want to upgrade your skills or knowledge, don’t worry about how long or how much it will cost you to do that. Perhaps you want to write a book or read one, I’ll recommend writing or reading one page a day as a daily discipline. Gradually as you get used to this, the frequency and length will increase. Breaking the tasks into smaller components helps to build momentum and deal with the usual drag or dread of attempting a seemingly difficult task. An action as little as making an inquiry or registering for an online course gets you in the way of breaking off from procrastination. The first step I had to take years back was to register and pay for an online course on Coursera(Explore 1600+ online courses from top universities. Join Coursera today to learn data science, programming, business strategy, and more.). The mere fact that I paid $49 for an online course, meant I had to commit 30 minutes daily after work to study in and develop myself. Now, I cannot imagine a day gone without learning something new. It has now become a habit, a way of life.
4. Deal with the Difficult and Fearful Task First: I found out that dealing with the issues or tasks that caused me greatest anxiety or emotional stress turned out to improve my effectiveness. This is so because, suddenly there is a feeling of relief and reinforced belief that if I can do this, then everything else is easy ti handle. Once I got that situation over and done with, every other difficulty pales in comparison. This was also how I learnt the discipline of exercising daily, by doing it first every morning for a few minutes and I now almost an hour. This same principle can apply to anything you are trying to accomplish.
5. Determine the Cost of Procrastination: Ask yourself what your life or career would look like if you did everything you needed to do in a timely and excellent matter. This is what Stephen Covey called “starting with the end in mind” in his bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Think about both the negative and positive consequences of not performing a task or doing what’s needed at the right time. This will motivate you to act appropriate.