Many years ago, I started the process of eliminating procrastination. It was not easy and it took me longer than I thought. Over time, the practices that I put in place became habits, replacing the resistance I felt towards certain tasks and projects. The following will help you stop procrastinating.
The worst things first: First of all, few things are as bad as you imagine them in your mind. You can find yourself all wrapped up and convince yourself not to resist the work you have to do. I started doing the worst thing I had to do every day, believing my psychic energy was better in the morning. If I had a hard call to make, I would do it before doing anything else. If I had a client job that I was not happy doing, I did it first – and without hesitation. The early victory powered me into my day and everything I did after that was getting easier and easier. Much of the work that I resisted took me less than 45 minutes once I buckled up.
Planning workIf you have never lived in your calendar, planned your work in blocks of 90 minutes (or something like that), you have no idea of the work you can do in a day. You know that this project should not be started, but you know that postponing it will not make it disappear? Set an appointment with yourself and put it on your calendar. No matter what happens, when it's time to start, start. For whatever reason, it saves you from worrying about the project or task until you start.
These first two disciplines change the game for all those who employ them. But there is more.
Ruthless priority: We get productivity back. We think of it as a task rather than a result, and we maintain entirely transactional and emotionless task lists that are totally devoid of purpose and meaning. To repel your desire to procrastinate, you must begin with purpose and meaning. When you examine the work you need to do and define it in terms of contributing to the broader vision you have for yourself, you can find your motivation (something that Sinek would describe as "why?"). and what I would call your "identity").
Order of importance: This is a derivation on the priorities. Two things can be of equal importance, both in accordance with your purpose and meaning. In cases where priorities are competing for your time, you need to find another way to measure what is done and in what order. Some results are more valuable than others, which means that you should omit doing anything that could make a more meaningful contribution. What will be the most important impact over a longer period? Answering this question can move you from being a firefighter to a place where you exercise personal leadership and build a better future.
Give yourself to work: Some works may seem resistible. However, no project can create resistance if you decide to make it incredible. One of the most important decisions you make is choosing to dedicate yourself to your work by investing your emotional energy. So, it's a report. How do you report something that people will talk about for weeks and months after delivering it? You must have a difficult conversation with a client. How can you help them more than anyone else and more than they would have ever imagined? If each project is a reflection of you, what do you want this reflection to be?
How do you do one thing, that's how you do everything.
All of these strategies are habits that you can create. You can start by doing the most nasty, the most rude, until you think about it even more. You can make commitments to yourself, plan your work and treat it as anyone else occupying the same space. If you have not always ruthlessly imposed your work on a priority order, there will be dozens of things that you will eliminate from your to-do list, thus freeing up enough bandwidth. You know that your best work always requires you a passionate commitment.
If you try these approaches, you will find that your resistance gives way as soon as you start doing what you avoid. Once you are in motion, you have changed your focus and procrastination dissolves.
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