In my job, I get to share a lot of “tips” with people: memory tips, study tips, reading tips, brainstorming tips, speaking tips, social tips etc. (you get the point).
Some of the tips I find really easy to share, because I actually live by them.
Others are a challenge for me, just as they are for my clients.
However, I do find that trying to follow these “tips” is often quite helpful.
Thought I’d share 10 tips to help you stop procrastinating! (I’m actually pretty decent with this)!
1. “You touch it, You do it”.
This is probably the biggest timesaver ever AND best way to avoid procrastination. I say it often in my house. Don’t bother shuffling something around the room. Just DO IT!! When you get the mail, recycle out the junk, put the bills in the “bills spot” (more on this later), display the cards. When you get an email that needs a two second response – write a two second response! If something is sitting on the table that needs putting away – put it away! Hang up your clothes or put them in the hamper! Put the dishes in the dishwasher rather than the sink. It honestly takes an extra 10 seconds to actually do what you need to do than to do something else with it.
2. Have a home for everything
When things have a “home”, they get done. I may not have time to do everything right away – but I have time to put them in their “home” where they wait to get done! I have a little basket in my office called my “To do basket”. That is where all the bills get put, or papers/receipts to file, or forms to complete. I go through the box thoroughly once a month (that works for me to pay all the bills on time:). If it can’t wait for the whole month, then I rely on “you touch it you do it” and just do what needs doing right then and there (eg. sign a school form).
3. Make a list
If it’s written down, the burden is then off your memory to remember to get it done. Also, if it is written down, you are more accountable to yourself to get it done!
4. Break things down in small chunks
Some tasks are overwhelming, but everything can be broken down into tiny steps. Take a few minutes to break large tasks into smaller steps, and then tackle one step at a time.
5. 10 minute blitz
If you need to feel like you always accomplish something, make a list of jobs that need doing that will take 10 minutes or less. Then, tackle a job a day! Take 10 minutes and go for it. You will be amazed at what a committed 10 minutes can accompish!
6. Set time limits
Sometimes a task feels like it is neverending, and it is not realistic to get it accomplished in one, or even two sittings. So, assign yourself an amount of time to get the task done. “I will have this kitchen cleaned in 15 minutes”. “I will have 15 minutes to answer my emails this morning”. Just set a timer for as much time as you can handle, and work for that time. You will feel good at having worked on the task – even if it does not get completely done (although you will be surprised at how many things get done when you are racing the clock!)
7. Finish something before you start something else.
Sometimes we think multi tasking is more efficient. However, sometimes it is not and it can be discouraging to have a whole bunch of unfinished business surrounding you. So, pick one task, and work it to completion.
8. Do hard things first
Get the hard stuff over with at the beginning, leave the easy stuff for when you are running low on steam.
9. Reward yourself
Rewards can be motivating – but only if they really are a reward! Choose something small that you love and give it to yourself ONLY if you get something done (i.e. it can be crossed off your list).
10. Stop planning and just start doing
Sometimes we spend so much time planning and anticipating, that we never get to the doing! Don’t over think or over plan. Just do it. Jump right in. With both feet.