Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Procrastination: 3 Tips to Overcome

A lot of times in my life, there are times when I'm delaying doing something. It may be something that is personally important to me, a task that was given to me and that I now feel obligated to carry out, or any situation in between. We can spend a lot of time thinking about the "root cause" of procrastination, but will it really help us get things done? So I've developed some tips to help everyone get over their procrastination and get things done.

1. Make a list of five simple things, and do them: Oftentimes when I am cleaning my living space, I am overwhelmed by all the things I have to clean, organize, and so on. So instead, I just try to find five things and five things only to organize/clean. I hone in like a laser and do the five things. Then, I see if there are another five things I want to do. If not, I can do five things later. However, it seems a LOT easier to do stuff when you break things down to really "do-able" segments.

2. Set a time limit: Similarly, often when there is a huge task, or even a little task I need to complete, it can take up whatever time is left until the project is over. For instance, if I am doing a homework assignment and it is due on Friday at four PM, but right now it's Tuesday at noon, without planning, doing the assignment would LIKELY take the whole time until Friday at four. But will you actually be working on the project the entire time? I don't think so! So many times I've given myself "tons" of time to work on a project, but only to be doing it totally last minute because I had no foresight. Yes, I would be printing things out, quickly trying to edit them, and re-printing [the printer WOULD usually malfunction at some point during this stressful time, only adding to the horror of last minute homework completion]. What I try to do is create a little schedule and then a big schedule. The big schedule would set the major goal, i.e. have the assignment done a day early, and the little schedule would go hour by hour, stating exactly what I would be doing each hour. And it's weird, the little hour-by-hour schedule would kind of act like a self-fulfilling prophecy -- I would actually accomplish what I put my mind too!

3. Know Exactly what you are doing and why: So many times in my life, I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, or have no clear focus on what I'm trying to accomplish. I will sit in front of the computer for hours, just reading stuff related to it, but not idea how to apply the information. So keep in the forefront of your mind the reason you are doing what you are doing. Is it to find information to put in in an academic paper you are writing? Are you trying to find out how to put wallpaper in your blog that will look cool? How much time are you allocating to this task? How important is this for you achieve? Just keep on top of yourself!

Hopefully these tips helped!!