The tasks are pilling up, timelines are slipping, you are stressed more than ever but you sit on the couch watching your favorite TV shows until it’s time for bed. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever been there – knowing that you have work to do but you are to paralyzed to it? You don’t know where to start. You don’t know how your going to finish. You just occupy your time with other non important tasks and think to yourself “If I clean my car I can then start the report for work that’s due Monday”. So you clean, you go to the store, you make phone calls but you don’t start your report project…
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why would we risk something so important in our lives with procrastination. I’ve been guilty of this reckless behavior and have battled with it my whole life. I usually wait till the last minute when I can’t wait any longer and then I pull an all nighter just to get the project done.
Over the last few years I’ve made great strides in breaking procrastination. I am not perfect at it and don’t expect myself to be but I am getting more done these days then ever. I guess you can say I’m waking up and realizing that time waits for no one and it’s now that we make ourselves who we want to be. During this discovery I’ve learned how to set myself up for success and have learned techniques that have helped me finish many projects over the years.
Plan Your Project Out
As long as the project details are swimming around in your head it’s going to be muddy. Pick up the ink and get it on paper. Once you have it written out you don’t have to worry about the details as much. This clears the path for the next task and captures it so you and others may review the plan.
Communicate Your Project With Others
Talking with others about your project can be a wonderful way of getting ideas on how to complete it or make the project better. Talk with someone about your next project. Listen to what they have to say about it without interrupting. They could have something useful that can help you complete it or information that could make the project better then you thought. Heck, they might even offer to help out.
Use Your Imagination
Your imagination is one of your best tools to help a project go smoothly. Going over your plan can help you prioritize and head off potential problems. Visualize yourself working on the project and having fun doing it all the way to its completion. This is a very important step because it opens up your mind to all the possibilities and gets you mentally prepared.
This is a very important and something I make sure I’ve done before starting any project. When I say get organized I mean organizing everything. Your environment, notes, meetings, tools, your life. Whenever I start a new project at work I make sure I have my plan written out, my desk is clean not cluttered, meetings are squared away, email is turned off and I have all the research notes for this project ready to go. Nothing is distracting me and I am ready to get to work.
Procrastination is something a lot of us have to deal with. If you want a successful outcome to whatever project you are working on you must find ways to battle the procrastination beast. Get past the fear of the project and meet it head on. Try these simple steps and see if it helps you.
Once you start working on planning and organizing for projects it works its way into your everyday life making life more organized and fun.
A cluttered environment is a cluttered mind