procrastination - motivation - overcome procrastination

Sunday, September 30, 2007

5 Ways to Instantly Get Yourself Into Action

For starters, here are five simple techniques you can try to get yourself going:

1) Make a list and just start
This is one of my favourites. Often all you have to do is get going at a task and the you’ll get so caught up in it that you’ll finish the job. So just start! Make a short list of simple, concrete steps that you can work on right now. Don’t bother about planning out the whole day’s work, or mapping what you’re doing right now into the project as a whole - just a few quick notes, organize your materials and start. Chances are that if you can actually just physically start the task, you’ll get into it and manage to get a significant chunk done before you stop again.

2) Get Organized
If you just can’t start writing that difficult report, make it easier on yourself. Organize your workspace, your notes, all the materials you need to get started, so when you DO actually start, everything you need is right there at your fingertips. This removes a lot of the psychological weight against starting. Now all you have to do is open your notebook/ word processor/ browser etc and get going!

3) Focus on what you’ll gain once you complete the task
Often you procastinate because all you can focus on is the pain of actually doing the task, rather than the rewards of having completed it. Realise that the next 30 minutes or an hour is going to pass anyway, regardless of whether you do the task or not, and that there is a very high probability that the task isn’t as bad as you think it is! You might as well have the satisfaction of having completed the task - get it off your plate so you can stop stressing about it! Vividly imagine how good it’s going to feel to have this job DONE - the release of stress from having it completed, that A grade, the money you’re going to get from having done it - then get started right away!

4) Try the (10+2)*5 Technique
This is a great strategy if you feel overwhelmed by the task, or if you have trouble focusing for long periods of time. Using a timer, try working for just 10 minutes, then take a break for two - you can do something fun that you normally use to procrastinate, like surfing the web, checking email etc - just make sure you get back to work once the two minutes are up! Do this five times back to back and you’ve just accomplished a solid hour of good work.

5) Try a Procrastination Dash
Don’t stop yourself from starting by focusing on the magnitude of work you going to do. Just decide that you’re going to do a small, set amount of work, then you can stop and go and do something fun. Set a small concrete goal, like writing 100 word, reading 10 pages, or just work for 10 minutes on your task. Once you’ve reached your target, you can either stop and feel good for being that bit further towards your goal, or if you’re feeling motivated and in the zone, you can keep going - perhaps try to do another 100 words, then evaluate whether you want to keep going or not.

So next you’re having trouble starting, give one or more of these anti-procrastination techniques a try - and just get started!

1 comment:

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