Procrastination can be our worst enemy in getting things done, yet we give in to it time and time again. Procrastination stops us from doing the things we’ve always wanted to do, the things that need to be done, and things that are good for us.
One of the biggest reasons we hold back from ever starting is because we’re waiting for the right moment, the right conditions to do something – the perfect moment. But it never will come because there is no perfect moment. We create our opportunities.
Telling ourselves we’re waiting for the perfect moment to come is just an excuse. The time is now. When you have the thought, an idea to do something, act on it. If you don’t that initial desire to do something will disappear, and the thought of doing the very same thing just moments later becomes so very unappealing and difficult. By then we’ve thought up a whole lot more reasons why we can’t do it.
Here are some quick and simple but effective techniques that have helped me to be more productive, efficient and get things done.
- Just do it. Now! Act on the impulse of thought. Having an idea idea or even just a thought to do something you need to do requires immediate action. Make a conscious decision to commit and execute right now. It may help to understand that commitment; once you have decided something; means there is only one option. You have eliminated all other possibilities and must follow through.
If you don’t do anything, you never will. So the time is now.
Often it takes great will power to begin, as you anticipate the task to be harder and more unpleasant than it actually is. But once you start, get into the midst of it; you’ll find that it’s not so bad as you imagined it to be. So just do it!
2. Do things for it for at least 8 minutes.
This is enough time to see whether you should continue or not. If it is going well; continue. If not, take a break and come back to it again, or stop completely. It is futile to force yourself to do something you really hate. That takes real mental willpower which won’t produce results worth it* (that is unless you have a imminent time in which you need something to be done by but that is a different topic).
Even if you stop after 8 minutes, at least you’ve started and that is the hardest part. If you’ve done it once, you know you can do it again another time. Progress no matter how small is still progress.
3. Realise that nothing is perfect.
Do not strive for perfection, do not wait for the perfect ideas, words or situation before you do anything. What you have right now is good enough, and it might just slip away if you don’t act on it now. Mentally telling yourself that it does not need to be perfect, will help you to take action. The start doesn’t have to be perfect, look at it as a work in progress.
In fact not having perfection is a good thing. You are not being limited, restricted in your thinking. Freeing ourselves from the our idealistic concept of perfection; allows us to have creative freedom to express ourselves in the most authentic of ways; our truest, unjaded self.
4. Make to-do lists.
This one is quite self-explanatory. To-do lists are an easy way of keeping in check what needs to be done. They serve as reminders for the things that need to be done and are visual reminders for us. The physical motions of writing and crossing/ticking off completed tasks feels good.
Just make sure not to write too many to-do’s otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed without producing enough results. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage to do everything on your list. Write the main important tasks that need to be completed that week or day, and work on those tasks when you can.
5. Do the most important (TMI) first.
Doing TMI first – literally the first thing when you wake up, in the morning; is an easy and effective way of achieving goals every day. When you wake up, your mind is fresh and you are at your best. That is the time to do what is most important, the most pressing task that requires the most brain power.
Set a few TMIs or one task you need to complete and do this. There is something profound in doing things early in the morning, after you’ve just woken up. You don’t have the day’s pressures and stresses affecting you, so you are able to complete tasks to the best of your abilities, when your mind is new and refreshed.
By completing TMI in the morning, you will have completed the most important and often difficult tasks; leaving you with more time in the day to do other things you enjoy.
Procrastination is difficult, overcoming it requires mental power as much as it does physical action, if not more. The mind is a powerful tool. You must master it in order to live a great life. You have the power to achieve all that you want to achieve. You must believe you can and stop putting things off today. Start now.
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