Gain an Extra Hour Each Day

How often do you end your day wishing that you had an extra hour in the day?  BY adopting a few very simple time management strategies, you can have exactly that.  This time management workshop will show you that  it won’t even require radical changes, just some small tweaks and a dose of self discipline.  I have broken this section up over two days to get as much insight into this issue as possible.  Tomorrow we look at the benefits of keeping an activity log, Making and effectively using a to-do list, correct technology management techniques and learning how to say NO.

The quickest way to improve on your time and energy management is to STOP PROCRASTINATING.  This is a major time drain and we are all guilty of avoiding any difficult or unpleasant tasks.  We have to learn to reduce our perfectionist tendencies and stop having unrealistically high self imposed performance standards.  These tendencies very often stem from fear of failure or lack of self confidence.  It is always easier to blame failure on lack of time rather than face up to our own shortcomings.  These shortcomings  we see in ourselves are in reality self imposed and are not based on any actual facts.

You must develop a new set of success habits, one of which must tackle the very real but unpleasant task of dealing with procrastination.  Please read the five keys to overcoming procrastination and use the attached worksheet to develop a strategy to permanently remove procrastination from your life.  There are 16 different strategies that I recommend to help eliminate procrastination, none of them are better than the others, but some may be easier to apply in your specific circumstances.  The list below is by no means the only strategies available, should you have any other recommendations please feel free to share them with me.

Five Keys to Overcome Procrastination

1.  Consider these two natural laws:

Natural Law 1:  We tend to procrastinate and avoid tasks that are complex, unpleasant, or uninteresting, regardless of their priority.

Natural Law 2:  We do what we value most at the moment; the more we invest ourselves in something, the more we value it.

2.  Identify specifically what tasks or issues you are procrastinating.

3.  Determine why you are procrastinating (remember the natural laws!).

4.  Choose some strategies to accomplish the task. (See list overleaf.)

5.   Schedule the task in your planner and celebrate when you do it!

Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination

These strategies are not listed in order of effectiveness—choose the ones that you find most helpful and resonate with you.

A.   Delete, delegate, purposefully defer, or do the task.

B.   Become accountable to yourself or to someone for doing the task. Having to account for your action

can motivate you to do the task.  Commit to someone to do it by a certain time or day, and ask them to

follow up with you. (How about asking your Personal Coach to act as your accountability partner?)

C.   Reward yourself for doing the task. For example, do something you’re looking forward to only after

you’ve done the thing you’re procrastinating.  Celebrate when you take the first step and when you take

the last step.  If it’s complex, make the reward your last intermediate step.

D.   Change your paradigm about the thing procrastinated:

(1) Choose action not delay—think of the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”

(2) Realize that it’s better to start on the task even if you have to change your plan than to postpone the

task. For instance, don’t put off a complex task because you worry about doing it incorrectly.

(3) Identify the value that is tied to the task. If the task is not important, delete it.

E.   Brainstorm ways to make unpleasant tasks fun, complex tasks simple and uninteresting tasks

interesting.

F.   Do unpleasant tasks with someone or something you enjoy. For example, exercise to music or with

friends.

G.  Start complex projects right away by breaking them into smaller pieces that you can start on easily and

quickly and that contribute to the end result. Small, simple tasks provide momentum and involve you in

accomplishing the project.

H.  Schedule and block out time for the task. You’re allowed to postpone the task until then, but decide

ahead of time that when the scheduled task comes up, you’ll do it.

I.    Focus on the benefits that will come to you when you finish the task.

J.   Ask yourself:  “If I’m going do the task anyway, what are the costs of delaying it?”

K.   Set the timer for 15 minutes and get started!  You can do anything for 15 minutes.

L.   Give yourself permission to decline a task someone gives you, especially if it doesn’t contribute to your

roles, mission, values or goals. Be courageous and considerate in saying no. If people continually bring

you unimportant tasks or projects, you may need to change the culture or system.

M.  Schedule time to do the task when you have the most energy.

N.   Listen to yourself. (The solution you seek is already within your thoughts!)

O.  List all the ways that you can accomplish your task.

P.   Do it as the first task of the day.

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