How many times have you promised yourself to start eating healthy or quit smoking on Sunday, but the plan is still on hold by Monday? You keep postponing things you want to do. Simple things like sending an email or bigger things like getting in shape or even worse chasing after a dream or goal you have set in mind.
You find excuses; create reasons in your head that supply you with enough logic to delay the task at hand. Or you wait for the perfect time to start. You tell yourself you need the right amount of time, money, physical space, equipment… you name it! The excuses are endless…
You feel guilty and stressed from not taking any necessary actions and steps that will propel you in the direction you want… you keep procrastinating.
If you keep doing the same old thing, the result and destination are nowhere fast. Just think in twenty years, it you continue to do the same old, and don’t take any steps to move forward, where do you think you’ll be? Chances are you’ll be disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you’ve done.
Here are 3 things you should start doing to avoid procrastination:
#1 Create A Weekly Schedule
At the end of every week, write down the things/tasks you want to do like shopping for new shoes or cutting your hair or maybe trying a new yoga class by the beach.
Once you have a list, create a schedule and set a specific time frame/ deadline to accomplish each of them.
|6pm||Write An Article|
|8pm||Grocery Shopping||Yoga Class|
|9pm||Dinner With Joseph||Concert|
- Makes you remember everything you need to do – no excuses of “Oh I forgot to…”
- Gives you more time – you don’t have time to waste thinking about what you’ve got to do next
- Keeps you focused on your goals – you can see finish lines and plan ahead to make sure you’re on track
- Gives you peace of mind – It reduces the stress of “I need to finish this”
- Keeps you motivated – when you see yourself accomplishing all the tasks on your schedule, you get motivated to accomplish more
#2 Create A Daily To Do List
Having a list helps you remember things that you would forget otherwise and is one of the best ways to keep you organized and focused on your goals.
Use the following 4 steps to create your daily to do lists:
Step#1 List Down Tasks
Everyday, before you sleep, write down the things you want or need to do the day after. Whether you want to call your mum, buy concert tickets, workout out or see a friend. Even if they’re small tasks, just write them down.
#1 You include the tasks you scheduled on your Weekly Schedule for that day
#2 You include some of your daily actions to achieve your goals
|To Do List For TODAY|
|• Grocery Shopping
• Send Landlord an email
• Buy Concert Tickets online
• Work out – DAILY ACTION for “getting more fit” goal
• Write an Article – DAILY ACTION for “publishing a book” goal
Step#2 Specify A Time Frame For Your Tasks
How much time do you need to accomplish tasks in your daily to do list?
Everyday when you wake up, write down how many minutes or hours you need to accomplish whatever you wrote. It can be a phone call of 2 minutes to exercising for 2 hours!
|To Do List for TODAY|
|• Grocery Shopping – 1 hr
• Send Landlord an email – 5 mins
• Buy Concert Tickets online – 5 mins
• Work out – 1 to 2 hrs
• Write an Article – 1 to 2 hrs
Step#3 Start by Small Tasks
Go through your daily to do list and start doing the tasks that require the least amount of time. Once you finish with the smallest tasks and you see yourself finishing more stuff, you feel good about yourself and get motivated to finish other stuff. There is a sense of accomplishment and “feel good” when crossing completed items off the list!
Step#4 Prioritize and Set Time For Bigger Tasks
For those tasks that require more time, prioritize based on your goals, time remaining and energy levels and try specifying what time you’ll get those done.
Groceries and exercise take more time- so these are left for later. Which one is more important?
Maybe exercise because it is one of the DAILY ACTIONS TOWARDS YOUR GOALS. Maybe go to gym at 6-7pm and do your groceries right after? What about writing your article? Do you have enough energy to write it after exercise?
#3 Stick To Your To Your Schedule and To Do List
Stick to your plan, no matter what. Don’t schedule something and ditch it unless for valid reasons. Think about this. If you’re meeting a friend, you’ll fix a time and date, and you show up. But, when it comes going to the gym or writing another chapter for your book you feel comfortable pushing back deadlines. The rule is once you schedule your important task, show up, every time. You wouldn’t ditch seeing your crush because you’re a little bit tired, would you?
Make it Happen Now
- List down the tasks you have to do this week
- Schedule them – Set the time date and time for each task
- Everyday, before you sleep, write down your to do list for the day after
- When you wake up, specify how much time you need to accomplish each task on your list
- Start by finishing small tasks that need the least amount of time
- Prioritize and set a time schedule for tasks that require a little bit more time
- Stick to your schedule, no matter what
- Stick to your to do list
Ditch thoughts like I will start tomorrow, or what if this or that happens. And immediately ditch the typical excuse timing is just not right, because it is never the perfect time. If you keep waiting for the perfect time, I’ve got news for you that time will NEVER come so you will not get anything done. Stop postponing your dreams and take ACTION now!