Author, speaker and consultant Mark Matteson has written yet another book, this one about time management entitled It’s About TIME, with the subtitle, “How to get twice as much done in half the time.”
After making the obligatory procrastination joke about how long it took him to get it done, Matteson offers this list of 10 things you can do to overcome procrastination.
1. Make a list in a journal of all the projects and tasks you have been putting off.
2. Prioritize the list in order of importance.
3. Take your #1 elephant and brainstorm, asking yourself on paper:
- What exactly needs to be done?
- Why am I putting it off?
- What are the benefits of getting this done?
- What will it mean to me once I have completed this?
4. Make a long list of little action items (sub-goals) to take and put them in order of importance.
5. Estimate how long each little action will take (20 minutes) to the right of the item.
6. Pick a date and put it on your calendar, two options here:
- Tackle it all in one day.
- Do an hour a day for however many days it takes to finish the task.
7. Hold yourself accountable by telling someone you respect that will do it.
8. Determine a reward you will give yourself when you have completed this project, make it special and significant for you.
9. Get started and do the thing you don't like first.
10. If you get stuck or frustrated, ask for help from someone that has done what you want to do and been where you want to go.
Matteson writes in his latest e-newsletter E-Zine Street:
Procrastination wears many masks: laziness, indifference, forgetfulness, overwork. However, I believe it is usually a single word, FEAR. Analyze your fears. Precisely what are you afraid of? Is your real or imagined? Is it criticism? Poverty? Ill-health? Loss of love? Death?
Ben Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac, "We procrastinate on any project that the direction is unclear and will take longer than forty-five minutes." That is so true. Who procrastinates? Each and every one of us.
It’s About TIME is available on Matteson’s website as a downloadable PDF e-book (no waiting!). Best yet, it’s only $4.95. Check it out. Don’t put it off until tomorrow.