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After researching a wide variety of time management materials for my LYJ classes, I’ve determined that my favorite and most effective resource is a simple article by Christine Kane. I’ve received permission to re-post here on the LYJ blog.
In my class, I have participants read the article aloud. I then ask everyone to go back and circle one or two items on the list that, if implemented, would have the biggest impact on their day and on their goals. Each person gets to share what they picked and why.
Take a look at the nine items below. Which of these would have the biggest impact on your life were you to implement it? Make a commitment to try one out for one month and notice any changes. I’m willing to bet you will begin to see greater results in your job search or other important areas of your life.
9 Simple Solutions for Procrastinators
by Christine Kane
Procrastination isn’t about laziness. It’s about fear. It’s about perfectionism. It’s about overwhelm. We all experience it, and there are some tricks to help you get moving again.
Here are 9 ways to break the procrastination habit:
1 – When you get an idea, do some little thing to begin.
When I read Stephen King’s book On Writing, I noticed something. I noticed that when Stephen King gets an idea, he writes it. Immediately and imperfectly.
Most people get an idea. Then they sit there. They wonder if it’s a good idea. Then, they wonder if it’s a good idea some more. Got an idea? Begin it now!
2 – All hail small chunks of time!
Lots of us complain about having no time. My guess is that we all have lots of time. It just doesn’t happen to be all at once.
Are you waiting for many hours of spare time to begin your idea, your project, or your taxes? Stop waiting! Learn to use the spare half hour that comes up here and there. (I gave myself 45 minutes to write this article just to take my own advice.)
3 – Agree to do it badly.
Set a goal to do it badly. Set a goal to show up. Let go of doing it ALL, or doing it WELL.
Some of my coaching clients’ biggest victories have a lot more to do with getting over perfectionism and fear, than they do about getting it all done perfectly.
4 – Commit aloud.
Call a friend and say something like this: “I’m going to spend the next half hour working on my Law School Essay.” Then go do it.
Call the friend after the half hour and make her congratulate you. Repeat daily.
5 – Define quantities.
Nebulous goals make for nebulous results. “I’m gonna get my office organized” is a lot like saying, “We oughtta do something about Global Warming.”
Most procrastinators have a hard time defining quantities. We think everything needs to be done NOW.
When are you going to do it? For how long? Which part of your office? The file cabinet? Or your desk?
Define the goal and acknowledge its completion.
6 – Install this System Upgrade into your Mental Hard Drive: Less is More.
Have fewer goals. Have no more than three priorities for a week.
Because you’re not lazy. You’re just trying to do too much.
Find out what it feels like to accomplish one thing instead of not quite getting to everything. Wow – what a difference this makes!
7 – Do it first.
My first coach made me write songs first thing in the morning. He told me to schedule the 2-hour chunk as my first activity upon waking.
“Because you’re telling the universe that this is your priority. And then the universe lines up everything to align with your priority.”
Action grounds your priorities. It makes them real. It also makes your day easier because you’re not wasting energy thinking about this thing you’re supposed to be doing.
8 – Avoid nose-bleed activities.
Email, voicemail, web stats – any activity that bleeds itself into your whole day becomes a non-activity. It becomes a nose-bleed. When you do it all the time, you never complete it. You just let it slowly drain the very life force from you. Define times for these activities. Then, turn off your email, your cell phone, your web stats, until that time comes.
9 – Don’t ask how you “feel” about doing the activity.
Have you ever committed to getting fit? And then when the alarm goes off, you lie in bed thinking, “Do I really feel like going to the gym?” (Like you even have to ask!)
Change this pattern. Make your decision the night before. Commit to getting up and going right to the gym, the computer, the blank canvas. Don’t have coffee and sigh and think, “I’ll probably feel more like it at lunch time.” You won’t!
If it’s a priority, don’t waste time asking yourself how you feel about doing it. Feelings are an easy out.
Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://christinekane.com.
Ever since I renewed my Brooklyn library card I’ve been ordering tons of books delivered straight to my local library branch. It means I’m reading 5 books at once!
Here’s the latest:
Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern – This book is helping me to see all of the areas I can improve upon the way I organize my day and is getting me excited about purchasing a new daily planner. She has another book which I have out from the library called Never Check E-mail in the Morning though so far I prefer the other.
Live It, Love It, Earn It by Marianna Olszewski – A friend of mine gave this to me as a gift and I’ve started the beginning and am very excited to read it all the way through. LYJ friend Manisha Thakor did a wonderful interview with the author this week on the Huffington Post.
Today I am picking up from the library Martha Beck’s Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What! which I remembered I wanted to read after seeing it on the Obligation Nation Essential Reading list and Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay.
I recently read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks about the limits we have on our own capacity to take in success and how to get around this, and Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar which has inspired me to see how important finances are to relationships. More to come on this book.
What books are you reading?