The Personal Development Way to Eliminating Procrastination…
by: Michael McGrath
Are you a procrastinator? Do you hold yourself back from achieving the things you want to achieve in life because you never get round to starting/ Or, are you the type of person who starts many projects but finishes none?Would you be interested in learning a simple, effective and easy to to try method for eliminating your tendency to procrastinate? If so, then prepare to become one of those elite individuals who always finishes what they start and someone who always gets the job done!The first step to eliminating procrastination is to identify the things that need to be done. This should be approached on a daily basis. Start by making a simple list that outlines all the key actions you should take for the coming day in order to get the results you want.
Now go down your list and number them in order of importance. Beside the most important activities place the number 1 and beside the lesser important activities place the number 2, and depending on how large your list is you may want to include a number 3 category. That is, number 1 being the most important and number 2 being the second most important. Have at least two activities that fall into your number 1 category and at least two that fall into number 2 and number 3 categories.
Try to be realistic. When I first started using this method I would place up to 20 items on my to-do list. This was far too much. I had been a procrastinator all my life and to expect myself to complete a list of 20 to-do items was asking the impossible. I soon realized that if I started with a list of 4 or 6 things to do, I would complete all of them. Eventually I upgraded to an A4 size blank diary and almost everyday the pages are filled and tasks completed.
As best you can try varying the tasks and ensuring they are concerned with different areas of your life. This way you will stop yourself from becoming bored with monotonous tasks and you will also keep your motivation high as you see yourself moving forward in different areas.
On your list rearrange the items so that your number 1 priority activities are at the start, the next is your number 2 and so on. Leave a space next to the item and underneath it leave a few lines.
Once you have your list in numbered sequence write beside each one the best time of day for starting the activity. This will give you a way of staying focused on what you need to do and ensure you carry it out in an orderly way ‘ we don’t want you to procrastinate and leave all the items until the end of the day!
Now ensure that you take each of your priority 1 items in turn and tick them off after you do it at the time you specified. In the space beneath, write down a quick description of your feelings. How does it feel now that you have completed the tasks you assigned for yourself. Then reward yourself with a small treat. Anything that you feel is a small treat will do, whether it’s just a cup of coffee, bit of chocolate or a piece of cake.
After you have finished your tasks that have a number 2 rating use the same procedure as mentioned above. Tick off each item in turn and jot down how you feel and any additional notes or comments. Ensure you give yourself a special treat after you complete this category. Something that you would not normally give yourself or you would only give yourself on a special occasion. You have really broken through your procrastination and have made real strides in your development of your personal motivation. Keep in mind that it is usually the anticipation of the activity that causes you discomfort and not the activity itself. I find that once I start an activity it becomes relatively easy to finish it.
Also ensure you give yourself a break. Give yourself a break. The length of time you take should depend on the tasks you have just completed. Even if the tasks are not at all demanding it is always advisable to set, at least, a few minutes aside to rest and look over what you have achieved. A good time to do this is when you are rewarding yourself.
The plan/do/reward approach to eliminating procrastination works! Use it and you will soon be filling out and completing lists that right now would seem impossible for you to stick to and more importantly you will see the results of your action sin your life. Your personal development will be assured!
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