They say procrastination is the thief of time. I say never put off until tomorrow, what you can get someone else to do today! But, as I can rarely find anyone willing to do my work, I have no choice but to knuckle down and get it done.
Procrastination is an area I am a real expert in. Why? Because, I am guilty of procrastination on a massive scale! At university I once learnt the collective nouns of animals in order to avoid studying and today, before writing this blog, I:
- Completed a survey for an airline I flew with at the weekend
- Took a photo of my electricity meter to submit a reading online
- Cleared out my inbox and
- Read information about my new super-council
The extra fit Time Management people would be aghast, but remember that when it comes to managing time, we all make the changes we need to make in order to achieve our objectives.
So, if you are a procrastinator, you need to find out what works for you, what gets you in front of what needs to be done. So here are a few tips
The Swiss Cheese Method
This means poking holes in the task to make it smaller. Try doing a little bit at a time and when you feel ready to tackle it, you’ll find you are one third of the way into it.
Lead In Method
Do a leading in task, something that will take you into the task
Make commitments to get things done by a certain time. To be even more effective, bring that date forward by a week.
Take a Break
Sometimes leaving the task, doing something else, and then going back to it, gives you the motivation and freshness you need you need.
Find out when is your ‘peak’ time and schedule the task you are avoiding then.
Change Your Environment
If you are in an open plan office, try a quiet room for a while. Vice versa if you find the silence is holding you back.
It’s the opposite of good.
Sense of Satisfaction
Think about how great you’ll feel when it is done, and the consequences of not getting it done.
Do absolutely nothing until you can no longer stand it. It will get the better of you in the end.
If we constantly procrastinate, then it will take us a very long time to do anything, as procrastination means deferring or postponing action.
And for those of you thinking, surely the Airline Survey wasn’t worth doing, well it was - I could win 2 European Flights. And as for the collective nouns, well I still giggle at the ‘whoop of chimpanzees’.
Interested in improving your time management skills further? Contact us now to find out more.
Annette Quinn, Performance Management Facilitator
In my series of blogs I will be taking a look at performance management, in particular Time Management, and providing tips on how to develop your skills.
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