I’d always thought of myself as great at execution and I’d never considered that I could be inclined to procrastinate Unfortunately, I began to notice a pattern in my life where I constantly had a number of projects that I wasn’t completing. After some analytical thought, I realized I did indeed subtly procrastinate.
I have always loved busy work because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. So every day I would complete all the quick and simple tasks first because it felt more like achievement when I had checked off a long list of things rather than having tackled a large pending project. Although, I was working hard, at the end of the day I would have completed many tasks, but none were truly worthwhile. I had spent my whole day feeling delightfully productive, and yet had actually been frittering away my time!
I want to use my time wisely and do meaningful work rather than pointless tasks, so I came up with a solution.....
One Important Thing:
I started by setting a rule for myself, to pick one important thing to do each day. Regardless of what my schedule was, I would designate a chunk of time to tackle that job. At the end of each day, I’d completed at least one valuable task. This helped to instill the idea of a hierarchy of work. Some projects are more important than others, and i needed to identify those and prioritize them.
Next I set deadlines. Instead of allowing projects to remain uncompleted for long periods of time, there was now a specific date for it to be finished. For me it was as simple as deciding when, telling a friend (accountability) and setting a reminder in my google calendar. With a pending deadline, I tended to prioritize better, and just attack projects instead of leaving them looming.
Recap: To avoid procrastination you need to establish good habits for execution and time management. These two simple methods have helped me immensely with accomplishing difficult or time consuming work and developing those good habits.