How many times do we have a task/project to work on only to complete all those little jobs first? All of which eat up time and often used as a means to put off That job, then suddenly we have little time to complete the main item!
As a business coach, I have this under control and don’t have that problem … hmm, okay, maybe not exactly true, after all, when last checked I was still human with all the foibles this race of ours has and yes, I too have to keep a check on myself, specially when I make important decisions like working on a large project or writing workshops.
So what are some of the areas we avoid? What of…
- Writing that report you know will be a massive task
- Needing immediate gratification – Finding an excuse to do something more interesting.
- Wanting help – Waiting for somebody to offer or take over.
- Wait on something else – “I can’t complete this report until John gives me the figures”
- Changing your job/career
Okay, so we’re all guilty of these, or similar, in one way or another but how do we get around it?? Here are some ideas to consider that I find useful:
- EMAILS – Turn off incoming warnings. Helping to avoid the temptation to continually check each new arrival. Set a time each day to read these then return them to ‘Offline’.
- STOP JUGGLING – You will inevitably be drawn back into to quagmire of multitasking and when you do, take a short break from everything! Allow your mind to re-focus. If needs to, call on the pros to get it addressed, so you don’t have to stress out over it and focus on your real tasks.
- PRIORITISE – Evaluate and if it’s important enough for you to do, you’ll find a way. If we don’t care, we’ll keep putting it off. Go through your tasks and prioritise them, starting with the most important.
- CLEAR WORK SPACE – A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Piles of paper, post it notes etc. distract and stop you from focusing on the job in hand. Only keep what you’re working on in front of you, file the rest or create to-do trays.
- TIME-MATRIX – Steven Covey’s matrix is a 2×2 square. Along the top is ‘Urgent’ (Left) and ‘Not Urgent’ (Right). Down the side is ‘Important’ (Top) and ‘Not Important’ (Bottom). In each quadrant , asses what is Important/Urgent (Manage), Important/Not Urgent (Focus), Not Important/Urgent (Avoid) or Not Important/Not Urgent (Avoid)
- CARTESIAN QUADRANT – Similar to above, this time, along the top (a) If you do make that change & (b) if you don’t make that change. Along the side, (c) will happen & (d) won’t happen. Once drawn, this will help give a much clearer picture of importance to focus on this or any other area where a decision needs to be made.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – Chose a person, a supervisor, a junior, a spouse or friend. Tell them you’ve committed to a task with a specific time-frame and ask them to hold you accountable. Human nature compels us to act if we know others are watching!
- REWARD – I once had a client who bought himself an iPad when he achieved his overall goal. I like to treat myself to a really nice cup of coffee and chill for half hour to enjoy both it and my accomplishment. Doesn’t need to be big but reward yourself. Scale it according to the level of success.
Procrastination is but one element of Time-Management, if there are other areas that you or your team are concerned with around finalising projects or managing workloads, take the first step by contacting Neil on 07761 187238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org where you’ll be assured a warm welcome to discuss how we can help.
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