|Posted on July 20, 2011 at 9:08 PM||comments (0)|
1. Make a list
Getting organized begins with one fundamental tool—a list. Lists can help you feel more in control of your life and help you remember what needs to get done. Buy a little notebook and carry it around with you so it’s always easy to refer to. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment when you cross even one item off the list.
2. Focus on what really matters
Make a list of the priorities that need to get done today---not tomorrow or a month from now. It’s okay to let the house get a little messy or let your emails pile up for a day or two. Tackle what absolutely cannot wait first.
3. Break things down into smaller steps
If a task seems overwhelming, break it down into more manageable, specific goals. Telling yourself you need to “lose 10 pounds” isn’t specific enough about how you’re going to get there. Set smaller goals in short-term increments, like walking three times for an hour in the next week or doing 10 sit-ups each day. By setting baby steps, you’ll be much more likely to accomplish your goal and also be inspired to go further.
4. Put a time limit on yourself
It’s always hardest getting started, but it’s a lot easier to say “I’m going to work on this for 30 minutes starting now.” Then stop. Sometimes, knowing there’s light at the end of the tunnel can get you going—and even help give you the momentum you need to keep going.
5. Eliminate distractions
In this era of immediacy, it’s easy to get side-tracked by a million little things that sap our motivation. If you really need to get something done, turn your phone off. Stop answering emails. Make yourself unavailable. If you’re at work, close your door or put headphones on to make it harder for someone to interrupt you.
|Posted on June 26, 2011 at 3:41 AM||comments (0)|
Why do we procrastinate?
Why do we sabotage ourselves even when we know what we should do to move towards our goal? I read a great post by Leo Baubata of Zen Habits a couple of months ago where he talked of 4 reasons why we procrastinate:
1) It provides Instant Gratification – It feels better right now
2) It avoids Fear – If I do it wrong what will they say? What will they think of me? If I don’t act then I avoid the risk of making a mistake.
3) It has no immediate negative consequences – Jim Rohn says “We all have the choice of one of two great pains in the world – the pain of regret or the pain of discipline”. The pain of discipline is here and now. The pain of regret comes later… but is by far the worse pain.
4) I overestimate my future self – I have some inner belief that I will be smarter, better, faster in the future. This is a strong belief. The work that is hard today must somehow be easier for the better future me? But, what if’s not? I am deceiving myself.
Self-discipline grows with use.
Self-discipline, like muscle, grows with use. Keep one promise, the next one will be is easier. Run tonight, tomorrow easier. Write now, tomorrow easier.
The other side of the coin, however, is that without use, discipline shrinks! No run today, harder tomorrow. No writing today, harder tomorrow.
How can you develop your self-discipline?
Here are some simple “first steps” you might want to try after reading this article:
1) Try the Pomodoro technique. Do 10 minutes on something important right now.
2) Take time each morning to reflect on what is important
3) Avoid “the watercooler gang” – the groups in our offices and schools who are happily unproductive and enjoy helping others take their place in the group. Make a list of 2-3 people who support you when you talk of your progress in something important in your life.
4) Never underestimate the role of practice and persistence and hard work in success. The “3 steps to untold riches programs” don’t work. The “flat tummy in 1 week while watching TV plan” doesn’t work. There are no shortcuts. Don’t waste time looking.
5) Inspiration tends to come when you have trudged through 40 minutes of painful effort and have not allowed yourself to check email, make a coffee, eat chocolate, check IM… You have to push through to get to inspiration.
|Posted on May 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM||comments (0)|
"There is real power in 48 minute focused work sessions. You focus on your goal and nothing else. Then you take a 12 minute break and start the process all over again. This simple 48 minute building block is the basis for your whole goal achievement system. You may find that one session a day is all you have time for. Maybe you have time for two or three. While working for 48 minutes straight may not always be possible, it is the preferred method.
The secret here is to work for 48 minutes and then take a 12 minute break."
|Posted on May 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM||comments (0)|
I think I do this more than I realize...
"What we silently say to ourselves about doing the task at hand has a strong impact on how (or whether) we do it. Avoid negative self-talk, and send yourself positive, realistic messages.
Instead of saying, “This will take forever, and it’s so late already…” substitute “I might not be able to finish this today, but I can do the first two steps within the next 30 minutes.”
The messages you send yourself when you complete a task can be powerful deterrents to future procrastination. They can also diminish the guilt that procrastinators often feel about having missed appointments in the past or having turned in work that doesn’t measure up to their ability."
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 9:44 AM||comments (0)|
Ask yourself what you are assuming will happen if you try. Is there another way this could possibly turn out?
A way to beat procrastination is to cut tasks into pieces. Keep reducing the piece of the task until you can say, 'I can do this easily.'
"10-minute rule." Commit to working at a large job for only 10 minutes. Tell yourself you can stop after that, guilt-free. Since getting started is often the hardest part, you're likely to keep going.
Maintenance Messages to remind and focus:
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 8:29 AM||comments (0)|
I will to have to look into this more if my procrastination keeps being stubborn.
Here's alittle bit more info on it:
"Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) consists of tapping on energy points located throughout the body with your fingertips in order to release negative emotions, memories, and beliefs. It's a tool created by Gary Craig, (eftuniverse.com)."
"The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem - whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. -- and voice positive affirmations. (from Dr.Mercola).
Here's some positive affirmations (stevepavlina.com):
...and of course, you can always Wikipedia EFT!
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 7:42 AM||comments (0)|
Here's a snippet of my version of Tacking Procrastination...
1) Awareness - becoming aware of one's procrastination,
2) Goals - developing goal-directed behavior to carry out the tasks on which one is currently procrastinating,
3) Commitment - making a commitment to tolerate the anticipated short-term discomfort to achieve the longer-term goal
4) Persistence - persisting in this anti-procrastinating outlook or approach
|Posted on May 13, 2011 at 6:08 AM||comments (0)|
Listen to this cool little exercise from a CA psychologist. Wonder if it works...
"Here is one of Colin’s most effective Three Minute Exercises:
A. (Activating event): I sit down and begin to read about straight-line depreciation.
B. (irrational Belief): Studying accounting SHOULD not take up hours of my time and SHOULD not be so unexciting.
C. (emotional and behavioral Consequences): Intense loathing for accounting theory. Leave the books and go to the gym.
D. (Disputing): Why SHOULD studying accounting not take up hours of my time and not be so unexciting?
E. (Effective new thinking): There’s simply no reason why accounting SHOULD not be time-consuming and tedious. If it were easy and fun, then everyone would have the CPA qualification and that certificate wouldn’t be such a career advantage. Spending several hours a night concentrating on accounting is an investment, like building muscles or practicing martial arts techniques. No pain, no gain!
It’s not the dullness of accounting that compels me to skip studying. It’s what I tell myself about it. But I am capable of making myself study, and it’s worth it. In fact, if I give the books fifteen minutes, I’ll probably then start to feel more interested in what I’m reading, and it won’t be so unappetizing for the following hour or so. And by the end of the evening I’ll feel gratified at having made some progress.
F. (new Feeling and behavior): Reduced distaste for studying. Several hours of study accomplished each evening. Pleasure from contemplating the progress being made toward an important goal."