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Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.- William James Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible. - George Claude Lorimer The best way to get something done is to begin.-AnonymousLast week you took a quiz to determine if you are a chronic procrastinator. But whether or not your procrastination issues are severe, everyone can benefit from a few procrastination busting techniques. In this installment of our two-part series, we provide you with 7 tips on overcoming procrastination:
1. End each day by planning the next.
You will be better prepared, mentally and physically, to tackle difficult tasks head-on when you schedule time to do them. At the end of each workday, review the schedule for the next day so you set aside time to perform those functions you've been postponing. Often you can overcome procrastination by giving yourself the time to do those things you've been avoiding.
2. Tackle the most formidable task first.
Those tasks you put off are generally the most distasteful. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you tackle those tasks first. You know what they say: swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day. When you complete these tasks first thing, you'll find yourself recharged and ready to tackle the remainder of your day with ease.
3. Change your vocabulary.
Sometimes a change in perspective will come easily when accompanied by a change in vocabulary. When looking at those tasks you tend to procrastinate you probably feel as if you have to do them." Change "have to" to "want to" and see if that lightens the load a bit. Also certain projects can appear overwhelming. Rather than tell yourself you must "finish" such projects, tell yourself you will get a good "start" on the project. This may motivate you to tackle it a piece at time.
4. Break large projects into manageable tasks.
Those overwhelming projects are best handled bit by bit. Break those large projects into smaller tasks that can be handled on a daily basis. Schedule these smaller tasks into your day so that you're able to better inch towards project completion.
5. Practice the Ten-Minute Rule.
For whatever reasons, we are unmotivated by certain tasks. Practice the ten-minute rule with these tasks by dedicating just ten-minutes to them. Often you'll find that once you get moving, you're motivated enough to continue long after the ten minutes have ended. And if you're not, at least you did something that contributed to the completion of that task, and it's probably more than you would have thought could be accomplished in just 600 seconds.
6. Reward yourself for completed tasks.
When working on especially dreadful tasks, give yourself a small reward for completing the task by a given time. Whether you take a short walk, surf the internet, or read a page from an engaging book, rewarding yourself in small doses may help you work a little harder on those tasks you tend to procrastinate.
7. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Sometimes we procrastinate certain things because we're afraid we will fail, we don't have the skill set, or are uncertain where to begin. In situations like these it is best if you feel the fear and move forward. Generally you'll find that your fears were unfounded and that you were equal to the challenge.
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