Time Management Tips to help Avoid Procrastinationby Niclas Marie
Procrastination is a common threat to both personal and professional productivity. At some point in life, most people have fallen victim to procrastination. For some, it is a common state that can become so problematic that it may threaten one's job, education, and even personal life. It is defined as putting off or delaying something that needs to done. The "something," often varies and may be anything from a chore at home to an important project at work or in college. People procrastinate for numerous reasons such as a lack of confidence, the complex nature of the task, or simply a lack of interest or focus. Whatever the reason, properly managing one's time can help avoid the negative consequences of procrastination.
One effective way to do that is to set goals. The goal should be one that is attainable and positive. Upon completion, it should also provide the individual with a sense of accomplishment, which is important for people who may lack confidence. Completing a task within a specific time period is one example of a goal that a person may attempt to achieve, regardless of whether a project has a preset finish date or not. For example, if a project has a set deadline, a person may choose to set a goal of completing it days or weeks earlier.
Breaking a task down into a list of realistic and doable steps will help people achieve their goal and get the job done. Because it is broken down, people are less likely to be overwhelmed and procrastinate than when faced with a single large project or task. When breaking down the job, it is important to evaluate the timing of each step to ensure that it is completed within the required time frame. Consider when the job must be finished and how many hours a day it will take to make it possible.
When scheduling the time for each task, also factor in breaks. A planned break is something that a person can look forward to and reduces the chances of becoming bored or tired. Breaks may be considered a reward for the time spent working without distraction. Plan something relaxing or enjoyable for the scheduled break, regardless of whether it is a five, ten or fifteen minute break. Once the break is over, return to work until it is time for the next one.
Once the project has been broken down it should be prioritized. When prioritizing, consider the level of importance for each of the steps or tasks on the list. This can easily be accomplished by listing the items in order of importance. If a person requires a more visual method of prioritization, using a letter system or color-coding by level of importance may be helpful. For example, the most urgent task or chore would be given the letter "A" to rank it as the most important item on the list.
Find or Create a Good Workplace and Get rid of Distractions
Another way to avoid procrastination is to create or find a good place to work. A good workplace should be free of all of the things that one views as distractions, including all of the things that might not be so easy to recognize as such. Distractions are anything that will deter an individual from the tasks that must be completed. A cluttered desk, for example, can easily become a distraction for someone who is prone to procrastination. A window that provides a view outdoors may also prove distracting particularly if there is a large amount of activity outside of the window or on clear, sunny days. When in a room with a window to the outdoors, work facing away from the view. If the work space is cluttered, take a moment to tidy it or move to a surface that is free of excessive mess.
Before a person can get rid of all of his or her distractions, he or she must also recognize more personal distractions. For example, if a person is easily distracted by his or her phone it should be shut off. If the Internet is a distraction, turn off the computer's Wi-Fi access. If working off-line isn't conducive, then a person should block access to the places that can cause him or her to deviate from the task at hand. For example, when working online a person may want to sign-off his or her email account and block access to social media sites. Turning off the television or talk radio can eliminate the chance of being caught up in a program. Depending on whether a person is at work or at home, ask not to be disturbed by family, co-workers, or friends.
Properly managing one's time is critical in overcoming the problem of procrastination. Learning how to manage time is important because of the potentially negatively affect that procrastination can have on various areas of one's life. It is important to understand, however, that procrastination is not a sign of laziness and that it can be caused by several things, in addition to distraction. Regardless of why a person may procrastinate, he or she can take steps to overcome it.
For more time management tips on how to avoid procrastination, please review the following links.
- Time Management Skills
- Managing Time in the Workplace
- Dealing with Procrastination
- What is Procrastination and How to Overcome it.
- How to Stop Procrastinating
- Ending Procrastination - Right Now!
- Overcoming Procrastination
- Handout - Overcoming Procrastination
- Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination
- Why You Procrastinate, and How to Stop it. Now.
- Three Ways to Stop Procrastination
- Ways to Save Time and Stop Procrastinating
- Procrastination and Time Management, Including Strategies
- Preventing Procrastination
- Time Management
About the authorNiclas Marie is the founder and CEO of TimeCenter Online Scheduling and lives in Helsingborg, Sweden. He loves to code beautiful and simple web apps, and occasionally enjoys a game of blitz chess.
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