The key to getting things done on time is effective time management. Effective time management is developing strategies to balance the conflicting demands that today’s lifestyle places upon us, whether it is in the work environment, your study environment or just trying to get things done at home or even simple lifestyle demands. It is crucial that you take control of the situation and manage your time effectively. So how do we manage our time?

Firstly we need to have a clear set of goals that we want to achieve. Clarity is power, once we have clarity the areas that we need to be focused on quickly become apparent. After your goal has been identified the next step is to break it down into a series of smaller steps that need to be completed. Then take action! Possibly the most important step of all, nothing worthwhile is accomplished without some action being taken. A regular review of progress is also an important component of the process, if our actions are not achieving our desired outcome we need to make adjustments to improve our progress.

To speed up progress the simplest way is to find someone who has already achieved the goal you desire and then adopt them as your coach or mentor; failing that just model your actions on what they have done.

With our clear set of goals the next step is to prioritize them, this enables you to focus on the important tasks. This also clarifies which goals and therefore where you are going to start first. As stated earlier the next step is to organize the steps that you identified into a schedule that you can work to. It is important that this schedule is achievable for you otherwise you will allow procrastination to enter and disrupt your plans. Sometimes it is a simple as allocating one half hour per day, however the amount of time you devote is dependent on the size of the task and the time frame in which you have to achieve it.

Once you have decided what it is that you want to achieve and the time frame available, the next step is to explore your options. What do I mean by ‘explore your options’ I can hear you asking? Do you have to do it ALL yourself? Are you able to delegate some or all of it? Are you able to outsource it, pay someone else to do it? If you want to explore the idea of outsourcing, iWriter is a fantastic source for written content, I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Outsourcing and delegating are foreign concepts for most of us. To get you started and to get your mind thinking of the possibilities that today’s connected society presents, I highly recommend you read the following book. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The next step is to take some action! This is probably the most important step of all. Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without some action being taken.

The review your progress, if the progress you have made is not as you expected, don’t give up. Identify why it isn’t as you wished and then modify your actions to achieve the desired progress. This is the second most important step in the process of getting things done on time.

To learn more on my tips on how to improve your time management, click here

Today I want to focus on public enemy number one that stops us from achieving our desires. Procrastination!

Procrastination affects all of us to some extent, following are some simple steps to take to put procrastination behind you and take back control of your life.

How To Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is basically the habit or practice of performing less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things rather than less pleasurable ones thereby postponing impending tasks to a later time. It is a serious problem that affects everyone to some degree or another. With some this habit can be a trivial problem whereas with others it is a source of serious health conditions such as stress and anxiety.

Procrastination is linked to time management, because procrastinators are often people who have trouble with the art of getting things done on time. If you are one of them, you need not to worry because you have come to the right place at the right time. This article explains and summarizes for you some 5 tips to help you overcome procrastination and finally dealing with the problem of putting off urgent tasks to a later date;

1. Determine The Reasons Why You Procrastinate

The first step to overcoming procrastination is having an understanding of the reasons why you procrastinate and the function that this habit serves in your life. You cannot come up with an effective solution without first finding out the root cause of the problem. Just as other problems, awareness together with self-knowledge are the fundamentals to figuring out how to put an end to this problem of delaying to perform tasks until later.

Understanding the hidden roots of this habit often seems to weaken it. Just being aware of our actual reasons you are procrastinating makes it less challenging to stop. Is it we are unsure where to start

2. Learn Time Management Skills

Knowing how to effectively manage your time using time management tools is crucial to breaking the habit of procrastination. While there are several methods of managing time, not all of them are equally effective in dealing with this habit of delaying doing things until later. There are some time management techniques which are suited to overcome procrastination as well as others that may make the problem even worse.

Methods that ease anxiety as well as fear and emphasize the satisfaction and rewards of finishing tasks are the most effective. Those that are inflexible emphasize the magnitude of tasks and increase anxiety. This actually promotes procrastination. For example, scheduling every minute of your day or making a huge list of agendas may raise your stress levels thereby causing you to feel like postponing tasks. Rather than doing any of these, try to set realistic goals(make a manageable list of ”things to do”), break huge tasks down and give yourself flexibility as well as more time to things you enjoy as rewards for tasks completed.

Below are some courses that I have identified online that may assist you if you need some extra help is this area.

Time Management: 28-Day Method to Conquer Time Forever Beat procrastination FOREVER and supercharge your life in 28 days with time management methods used by world-class gurus. Time Management: 28-Day Method to Conquer Time Forever
Learn Time Management, Get Organized & Get Everything Done Learn time management and super productivity. Transform yourself as a professional, business owner, executive & manager. Learn Time Management, Get Organized & Get Everything Done
Time Management: How to Build a System of Success Time Management, Productivity, Organization, and Success- a 90-Minute Guide for Getting Things Done Time Management: How to Build a System of Success

3. Keep Yourself Motivated

Motivation is another crucial weapon you need in order to successfully combat procrastination and take it out once and for all. You need to find productive reasons for engaging in tasks and stay motivated for these reasons. Your productive reasons are in contrast to engaging in tasks in order to brag or because you do not want to fail, displease someone or look dumb. Even though these are all reasons-often very powerful ones for doing something, they aren’t productive because they evoke negative feelings as well as actions. For instance, if you fear to look stupid, you may not ask questions, try new methods, dig into new areas or take the risks necessary to learn new things and reach new heights.

A good way to put productive reasons in motion is to set out and concentrate on your goals. For instance, figure out and note down your own personal reasons for wanting to enroll in a program; reasons that you think are positive. Is it so that you can advance in your career? Or are you looking for something that can prevent you from being idle? By doing so, the urge to delay enrolling for the program until later will die out and you shall have implemented the art of getting things done on time.

 

4. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings and Those You Hang Around

When you are busy with a project, particularly one with a set or tight time frame, for instance doing a class assignment, choose carefully where and with whom you are working. Frequently placing yourself in situations where you do not get much done and are easily distracted – for instance studying next to a pool with friends can actually be a kind of procrastination.

 

5. Self-Talk and Thought

Pay attention to how you are talking and thinking to yourself. Have a dialogue with yourself in ways which remind you of your goals and replace old counterproductive habits of self-dialogue e..g instead of using words like ‘ hate’, you could replace them with words such as ‘like’ and so on. Remind yourself that you are ‘choosing’ to do something rather than ‘having to do it’ this is amazingly empowering for such a simple trick.

 

Tips for Overcoming Procrastination

1. Awareness

Think deeply and carefully about your habits and thoughts that lead to procrastinating.

2. Assess

What feelings lead you to this habit, and how does it make you feel? Are they positive and productive feelings; do you wish to change them?

3. Outlook – Change your perspective.

Perceiving a big task in terms of little pieces makes it less intimidating. Look for the greatest aspect of that task or what you want to achieve out of an assignment beyond just the commendation.

4. Commit

If you feel really stuck, begin simply by committing to finish a small task and note it down. Complete the task and reward yourself. Write down on your ”to do list’ only what you can truly commit to and if you do so, see it through no matter what. By doing this, you will gradually rebuild trust in yourself which so many procrastinators have lost.

5. Goals

Concentrate on what you want to do not what you feel like you should avoid. Figure out the productive reasons why you are carrying out a task by setting positive, meaningful learning and achievement objectives for yourself.

 

Conclusion

Procrastination is a relatively easy problem to overcome, however it does take commitment and effort to break the habit.  You do not have to wait until you fail before you can take the necessary steps to address it. If you take these tips into account, you will be able to complete your tasks in time and your life shall change dramatically. You will no longer have stress and anxiety to deal with on top of some of the common day to day problems.