In these times, many of us need something to do. I think this very special time is a good opportunity to work on self development. One of my biggest enemies when it comes to self-development is procrastination. What is procrastination? Large Norwegian lexicon explains the phenomenon:
“Everybody sometimes postpones things to be done, but procrastination is characterized by the postponement happening too often and to the detriment of the person. The person is often aware of this himself, with regret as a result. Stress often occurs because one is given less time to do what was planned. In the long run procrastination has negative consequences for performance, well-being and health. “
This is totally how i feel at times. Procrastination has been a disadvantage for me as long as I can remember. My typical scenario is when I have a project that I MUST get done, but suddenly I find myself in bed or on the couch and have been scrolling down my cellphone for 2 hours. Nothing has been done, I feel limp and even get a bad conscience. Where did all the time go… How can we work towards stopping procrastination from happening? I want to write a short series about this where I point to some examples on how to work with good habits that counteract procrastination. The goal is not only that these tips should be useful to you as a reader, but also to me so that I can reflect on solutions and possible challenges. This post is # 1 in the series.
So what’s my first solution? Solution # 1:
I write down all my goals and tasks. Big and small.
What do I want to get done during this day, week, month, quarter, year? This may seem overbearing to many to begin with, many do not necessarily have an annual plan or any specific goals. For me, the best thing has been to start small, day by day.
I start like this the day before: I write down a list for tomorrow. What should I do tomorrow? what is the most important thing to get done?
example: washing clothes, writing blog, exercising, reading 50 pages of “Learn to Earn” by Peter Lynch. These are just examples, what may be important to you, consider yourself. I decide for myself how big the list is.
I can imagine that you might be thinking the following. Why write down all these everyday tasks? why not just do them? For me this is the point. If I write down the goals and tasks and keep them visible, I will already have a continuous assessment on what to spend my time on the next day. If I follow this plan, I will get a better overview over time, and will eventually have a greater opportunity to see and evaluate even further in the future.
Weekly Plan. What are the goals for this week. how many posts on this blog should I have written? should I have read 1, 2 books? how many days should I exercise etc. etc. I would like to start with a weekly schedule, Sunday the week before. Furthermore, you can write a monthly plan.
The monthly plan is more goal oriented. In the monthly plan, major tasks and goals I expect to have do are written down. For example: I should have read 4 books this month. I will have earned x amount of $dollars on my own projects this month. I work at least 4 hours a week with marketing, at least 16 hours this month. etc. etc. The monthly plan must be kept visible so that you can continuously assess whether you are following a timetable.
I could have also written about quarterly and annual plans, but I think I want to save this for a later post, I’d rather go into more detail on that later. Here is the most important thing. IF the monthly plan and the weekly schedule will be too much for you. Start day by day. If this is brand new to you, sit down the night before and write down 2-3 things you MUST do tomorrow. Feel free to do it right now. Eventually you will feel comfortable to look further ahead.
Thank you for taking the time to read, I hope this can help you in these times with how you spend your time.