I really like the concept of "self-help" but tend to get overwhelmed by concepts in self-help books
Being a book they (in my opinion) try to cram too many ideas into one package and I am often left with a sense of questioning what the book means to me and what I can apply practically in my life
So I have written a series of "one thing you can do..." articles with the idea of identifying somewhere to start if you have an issue or problem you need to get over.
First up is procrastination - and one practical thing you can do to help stop procrastinating
Are you a procrastinator?
Were you the kid that would study for a big test the night before and get homework done on the way to school?
Do you put off making tricky phone-calls or big decisions until it almost becomes too late
It’s nothing to be proud of, but we all have our moments of procrastination.
Here’s a simple little life hack to stop procrastinating and getting stuff done.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more productive this will make you.
Create a "To Do" List
To-Do lists stop procrastination better than anything else I know.
I know it's boring
I know you were expecting something a little more earth shattering
But a properly managed "To-Do" list will go a long way towards helping you overcome your procrastination
So.... Get out a piece of paper and a pen, look for a free app on your phone, or start a new spreadsheet
Start by jotting down everything you need to get done today.
As you work your way through each item on your list, cross it off.
It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
This simple way of doing it will make a huge difference, but we can do even better.
Here are some easy tips to help you make the most of your to-do list:
- Write your list the night before. You’ll be ready to get going first thing in the morning.
- Do something quick and easy first. Get it done and cross it off the list. This will set the tone for your entire day.
- Avoid tasks that take hours to complete. Instead break them up into smaller chunks or baby steps that you can get done and cross off.
- Work on more difficult tasks earlier in the day while you have the energy to get through them. Save the easy stuff for late afternoon when possible.
- Rinse and Repeat the next day.
There’s one more “rule” and it’s the most important one.
Do not stop until you’ve crossed every single item of your to-do list.
Get everything done you possibly can.
Yes, it’s not always possible to do what you set out to do today because you’re waiting on a part to ship or a report from a colleague.
It’s fine to move a task to another day when there’s a valid reason but aside from that, keep working til each item on your daily to-do list is crossed off.
Here’s your practical "take-away"
- Before you go to bed at night, make a to-do list for the next day.
- Check items off the list as you get them accomplished.
- Add to your list as needed, but make sure you get everything on the list done before you go to bed at night.
It only takes a few days to get in the habit of just getting stuff done and if you stick to your to-do list and you'll take the first steps towards keeping procrastination at bay.