I have got to be the best procrastinator in the world, if procrastination was a talent, then I would be the envy of all. Click, Click, Click. I just spent the last 2 hours watching youtube videos, chatting on social media, surfing the internet, instead of writing my novel and then it dawned on me, I have a massive problem with procrastination. I am so easily distracted and I justify these so called distractions with ‘this is research.’ I love writing, it’s not a chore, but a task that I adore, the only problem is, I have a little trouble getting started. After an inspirational pep talk from Matthew Hussey, I began to search for a possible solution or a way to manage my problem with procrastination; that evening I came across Alex Ikonn on YouTube and discovered why I procrastinate, and an effective way to manage it. After, testing out his advice over the last 4 days, I have seen a dramatic improvement in accomplishing tasks, in my time management ability and I am well on my way to finishing my novel. Here are the advice and strategies that I gained from Alex Ikonn, in regard to procrastination.
1. Create a List.
Alex Ikonn’s method is very simple, create a monthly to do list and include every task you need or hope to achieve by the end of the month. At the beginning of every week, break down the monthly to-do list into a weekly to do this and at the end of every day create a to-do list for the following day. At this point, it is crucial to only include 3 or 4 items on your daily to-do list, any more than this will appear impossible to achieve and you will fail to get started. The great thing about to-do lists is you get to check off the task as they are completed, and at the end of the day, you get a sense of achievement. Creating a to-do list is simple, but creating a list is simply not enough. I am a huge fan of to-do lists and I create them all the time but usually, I end up feeling overwhelmed or start tasks but do not complete them.
Unfortunately, learning to focus on a task is not a skill that is taught at school but it’s an extremely valuable asset to acquire and can be applied to every area of your life. There are many different techniques available that promise to enable individuals to focus and manage procrastination; The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that teaches an individual to focus by breaking down periods of work into 25 minute intervals using a timer. This technique worked well for me because the clock became my boss and I only had 25 minutes to complete a session of writing. The five basic steps in The Pomodoro Technique are:
- Decide on a task.
- Set the timer to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- Take a short break of approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
- Every 4th Pomodori take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.
The key to the Pomodoro Technique is that you’re training yourself to manage your time effectively by focusing upon a task, similarly to the way you would train your muscles in a gym session. Success or results many not be achieved the first time you apply this principle but keep working towards working solidly for 25 minutes.
3. Be consistent
The most important attribute required to develop a new habit is consistency. Keep creating daily to-do lists and applying the Pomodoro Technique. If you keep repeating these steps every working day, you will be surprised as to the amount of work that is completed during this time.
Everyone at some point in time will have a problem with procrastination, even those extremely focused individuals, so do not let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. We are all unique and are motivated and inspired in different ways. How do you overcome procrastination? Do you have any different techniques? Please let me know by using the comments box below.
Photo Credit: publikuj