Procrastination 101. Part 2: Get a Plan To Stop Procrastinating
You want to stop procrastinating? If you have read Part 1 of this blog you now have an understanding of the many reasons why we procrastinate. These factors all cause us to be nowhere near as efficient or productive as we would like to be.
To take the first steps and tackle your procrastinating, indecision and lack of action you need a plan. You can start to design and implement your own productivity and effectiveness solutions that will actually work. Let’s get started!
A Plan to help stop procrastinating
Most of us love the idea of a plan and we definitely enjoy making a plan. To carry our the plan you need to stop strop procrastinating. And the truth of the matter is, we are less good at is implementing on the plan. Here’s my approach below.
- Make a List of everything outstanding you have to do. You can do this on paper or use an app but make sure you list everything in the one place.
- Categorise similar things (you need to decide what YOUR categories are). My categories currently include (but aren’t limited to):
- Coaching Session Preparation
- Health & Wellbeing
- Dog Training
- Business Admin
I think most of us can write a list and put things into categories, so I want to focus more at this stage on the prioritise and implement part of this approach.
Learning to Prioritise
In order to prioritise the most important tasks to do, you need to know your own top priorities in life and then be disciplined at prioritising the things that matter most to these things.
For example, if fitness is important to me, then I need to prioritise a certain number of workouts a week.
If offering an online course is a top priority, I need to prioritise creating the content.
So, what is it that you would like to achieve (big picture) in order of priorities?
Remember what I said about too many priorities. Can you shrink the list of things that matter right now? What can you defer some until next month? Or longer?
And just in case you are thinking, but I could actually get everything on my list done, I think you’ll agree that the evidence doesn’t support that belief, at least not currently. If you don’t believe me ask yourself how many things are on your list that are older than 1 month? 3 months? Maybe even 6 months? This leads me onto deferring.
The Only Thing to Defer is Not Being Realistic
We tend to think we are capable of doing much more than we actually can meaning that we usually create unrealistically demanding lists, that we never get through, which really knocks our confidence and leaves us feeling deflated and demotivated.
What I’d encourage you to do is to pick 2 or 3 big areas that matter most and work exclusively on those doing everything you can to move them as far forward as you can. Everything else gets deferred. Now you can defer for a minimum of a week, perhaps a month or maybe much longer.
The benefit of this approach is you now have a much shorter list, far fewer things to take up your brain space and you will be able to see the progress you make far easier. It’s also much easier and quicker to prioritise a shorter list.
So, where we want to get to before we start to do any work is your master list with EVERYTHING captured and then prioritised into the following timescales:
- THIS WEEK
- THIS MONTH
- FOR REVIEW (AT A FUTURE DATE)
- FOR REVIEW (NO DATE)
Introduce a magic TO-DAY List
Your TO-DAY list is where you prioritise daily and then track your implementation at the end of the day.
TO-DAY lists solve a number of the biggest problems of procrastination.
I love a TO-DAY list. They have been an absolute game changer for me in that they reduced the overwhelm / anxiety of never-ending task lists by breaking my work into small bite sized chunks.
Not only that, you have a fighting chance of completing everything on a TO-DAY list and completing things helps us feel good and accomplished. Feeling good is great for productivity.
Using your TO-DAY list will habituate you into asking the following question:
What’s most important for me to do today?
By asking this question you get in the habit of prioritising that which you can do today and take everything else off your mind for this day and this will make a huge difference to your effectiveness.
This positive feedback you’ll get from using your list and seeing real progress will make the process enjoyable and make using the list become a powerful habit faster.
Your To-Day list is where you prioritise, implement and review how you’ve got on with your quest to stop procrastination.
And Finally – Get Stuff Done
So there you have it, in blog 1, 9 reasons why you procrastinate and here I’ve given you a framework for a plan to help you get more things done!
I hope this post has helped in some way and I’d love to hear what you think, and of course feedback on what I’ve missed, so please let me know.
Remember, learning something new won’t help you procrastinate less, you need to then do something with the knowledge, so what’s YOUR NEXT step?
Take action! Stop Procrastinating!