Let’s come back to procrastination first. I am going to show you the good points of it and after that, you will be able to decide whether you should try to fight procrastination or just use this phenomenon for your best.
Indeed, we know that there are always two sides of anything: good and bad. Well, is procrastination always bad? I do not think so. Therefore, read further to find out the good about it.
- There is a psychological fact that we like to work under pressure. The majority of us do not start doing anything until the deadline is too close. Getting panic works as a boost for us and only when it is extremely close to failing, we are most effective. Hence we are pushing ourselves to that critical point. I can suggest one variant to work on this issue. You may just set another deadline. Your own one can be much earlier than the actual one and therefore you’ll be safe from failing. In order to use it, you should think of a reward for you to motivate yourself to finish before your own deadline.
- Usually, procrastinators are not people who do nothing but those who postpone the hardest, most difficult task. While “procrastinating” they are actually doing many other things. Well, you can encourage yourself to do the unwanted task. Just start from less demanding tasks and tick them after you finish. When you come to the last – unwished one, you’ll be in your best emotional state as you’ve done a lot. So, the task will not be that bad. This means you should prioritise the tasks; however, do not force yourself to start from the most important task if it is a problem for you, take your time.
- Take breaks during the work. Plan the time you procrastinate. It will help you to be a proactive procrastinator. You can use time tracking apps, so the understanding of your procrastinating habits will come and it will get easier to prevent it.
- If you have to do something, first, find out how much time is available for procrastinating. You may evaluate all the pros and cons and create the alternative ways to complete the task. That means that the procrastination process is also the time to think about and then, directly before the clock strikes, make a decision or complete the task which is going to be even more rational as you’ve gone through it thoroughly, you’ve finished the task in your head.
- Even when you do not work on the task, your subconscious does. It is searching for possible options. So, the time you are sitting and focusing on the task, your head is full of ideas, your subconscious collected and prepared everything for you.
Do not think you are the same with others. Everyone is different. Try to take an advantage from everything even procrastination. Look at it from both sides. There are good and bad in anything. If you know how to organise your time, you will manage to find time even for procrastinating and still remain productive. It is logical to move on to time management now.
Talking about time management seems ridiculous for many people as it is “waste” of time. Do you think so? Is spending time on learning/reading/listening about time management useless? Let’s look at it closer and find out, if time management actually may help you to save your time and be maximally efficient.
The first thing I would mention is “to do list”. It is better to list everything you have to do. I mean you should include absolutely all the things be they more important or less. It may sound very simple; however, allows you do not forget anything and see everything you have to do. So that you could prioritise. Here it is useful to refers to Stephen Covey’s time management matrix (you can buy his book First Things First on Amazon).
It is actually pretty simple to use. You always have in your list things which are urgent and important. You have to do them first and do not postpone them. It can be a deadline or a scheduled appointment with the doctor or your house may be on fire (it is a joke, hope it will never happen to you). Indeed, if you do not do these things as soon as possible, you can end up crying because of all the consequences following after. In fact, you have to pay more attention to this first category. The second one is not urgent but important. These are things which are significant to complete but can wait until the better time. It does not mean that endless procrastination will work for them. It means that the best way to deal with them is to schedule, to decide when exactly you will work on them. Put the date next to the task in your “to do list” and remember that the closer this deadline is, the more urgent and important this task becomes. The third category is urgent but not important. Nowadays all of us have annoying emails which you cannot just skip but have to reply soon. So this is the example of urgent but not important. How to manage such kind of tasks? One of the possible variants is to delegate them to somebody else if it is possible. It may also spread on meetings that are not supposed to be productive and phone calls. In case you are unable to delegate find the excuse (it does not always applicable though). And the last category is not urgent and not important. These things usually appear when you are pretending to be busy. You are doing something just to create the illusion and convince yourself and others that you are busy. Try to avoid such stuff you can do it later. You want to sharpen all your pencils. Is it really that urgent and important?
Another thing I would recommend to think about is your own planner. Write down all the activities there and plan in advance what is necessary to be done. You can make changes and organise your planner in different ways. You will free time and track how much you have to do. At the same time, be flexible and prepared to include the other stuff or change the prioritisation. For those who do not like papers, there are many apps for this purpose.
That is the main things from time management. I am sorry it is not too informative but I do not want you to get bored from reading. Hope these articles are important for you and you have them in your schedule). See you next time and let me know if you wish to learn more about the tools you can use while managing your time.