I planned; you executed; I succeed. That’s been my mantra and that’s what I tell people to follow. It is not enough to plan or execute alone; you need to do both diligently.
We were supposed to go on a family trip. I was responsible for the execution of the trip. So, I began planning. I had everything ready on paper. However, when it came to actual bookings or even travel execution, I began procrastinating. I was like ” I will do this tomorrow along with the hotels.” Procrastination never ended and then came a day when I had to finish everything in a go. I had planned a budget and because of procrastination, I had to go overboard. I felt really bad because I had planned but, due to sheer laziness I could not execute it. That’s when the mantra came into existence in my life.
I have seen my family members do the same, procrastinate instead of actual execution of the plan. In some cases, my family has no plans. How do you want to go about it? I don’t know is the normal answer I receive.
Having seen this happening several times around me, and knowing how it will affect people and their life in the long run, I decided to take the matters in my own hands, and taught my family how to plan and actually execute it. With time I realized this is not just about my family, but also about the people around me and actually the whole world. If you want to become successful, the first thing you need to do is stop procrastinating.
How to Stop Procrastinating and start planning
Here I am going to tell you everything I told my family, and just like my family decided to implement it, I want you guys to adapt this mantra in your everyday life.
1) Understand why you procrastinate
Let me tell you from my experience why I procrastinate. Whenever I am handed over a task, it immediately overwhelms me. I feel it is humongous, and I wont be able to complete it within the deadline. In other cases, I feel it is too little, and I can start later.
Start by thinking why you need to procrastinate, and accordingly you can plan the structure. If you feel it is too little, why not finish it and move ahead. It is way simpler than procrastinating and leaving it for the last minute. Don’t you think?
Whether simple or difficult, the idea is to plan accordingly. Here is our next step, and how we can break the procrastination pattern to get started with our work.
2) Split your Task
Let’s explain this aspect with work procrastination.
Say you have been asked to design a particular concept, and you feel you wont be able to do it at all. So, you begin feeling lazy and start procrastinating. This is just an example. Reasons for procrastination could be many.
Instead of thinking of it as a big task, start dividing your task into many sub tasks. Let’s take research as one of the sub tasks for the design of a concept. You begin the research and you need to end it within a time period. Mention all the details for the sub task, including end time. Divide the work into as many sub tasks as possible, and set the timeline for each of the sub task.
You will realize that with time the whole task seems achievable, and you wont procrastinate. Plus, you get some free time, which makes it even more interesting for you. indeed, you are in a happier space as a result.
3) Space does Matter
For me work space has to be different from the space where I sleep, else I don’t get the desired productivity. Sometimes, I tend to work from a café or from the balcony of my house. This helps me achieve the task faster and in a better way.
However, you may not be able to change the place at all times. If you have a different work space, make sure you stay there when at work, and keep it away from distractions.
In case you have a combined space, then you should keep changing your environment every once ina while. Don’t work from your work or home at all times. Try going to a café sometimes. If you cannot do that, then just go for a walk and come back to get started again.
For some people, brightening up the room also works. You can open the windows and allow some fresh air in.
Always remember the environment where you work also helps you concentrate on your work.
4) Schedule your Day
Your day is not going to be all about the work that you have just divided. There are going to be other things that you need to get done.
I am a consultant, and have to attend meetings all the time. apart from the work front, I need to spend quality time with my family and help them with chores. I won’t be able to do it if I don’t have a proper schedule for the day. I will let something or the other suffer in the process. That’s why I always prefer setting up a timetable for the day, and scheduling the different tasks.
Instead of creating a time table at the latter part of the day, make one as soon as you get up. I have seen people do that, and when I followed this pattern, life became easier.
I normally end my day with a time table for the next day, and leave some room for contingencies. This way life has become easier. I can balance both work and life and make everyone happier around me. There is no time for procrastination as I know everything is time bound, and if I don’t finish the task, I would leave someone unhappy.
5) Set a Task Timer
Whenever you take up a task but, procrastination bites you in, set a timer. Instead of allowing the bug to take you down, take it down by setting a task timer. What does this mean? Simple, you should have a time limit for the task. I always keep it at 10 minutes; you can have anywhere between 15-20 mins. The idea is not to complete the task in that time but, to get started with the task at least. You will stop procrastinating and actually consider progressing with the work.
6) Set your Distractions Away
I have never been the social media type of person but, I have other distractions. Say a long phone call I cannot say no to can also become my distraction. You may have similar distractions that you need to beat before you can get started with the task.
These distractions can actually cause a pain when you are working. It is always a good idea to keep your phone on silent, your email windows closed and other things at bay when you are working. Once done, you can get back to reading the emails or be on the phone for a while, before your next task begins. Always remember, focus on that one job that you are doing, and you will never procrastinate.
Procrastination for me ended the day I picked up planning and execution together. I no longer plan for the entire month; I take planning for a week, and a day and possibly an hour in most cases. I set timeline for every work that is on my table, and make sure I achieve it within that limit.
This makes sense when you start practicing it regularly. You will see a difference in your lifestyle.
Achieving work-life balance is all about getting done with procrastination and being ahead of time.
If you are looking for someone to help you and your team to understand the importance of stopping procrastination schedule an appointment with me to be a part of our team building program.