How To Stop Procrastinating.
Do you wish you had more spare time?
That you had a way to manage and complete projects?
That you knew you could achieve everything on your to-do list?
Regularly I am asked, “How do you fit so much into your day?” People know I run three companies, manage staff, spend time with my children and still find time to enjoy coffees, dinners and take time out. They wonder how, but more importantly, they want to know how I stay so focused and happy?
Please allow me to share a secret with you.
I learnt to eat that frog.
Reading Brian Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” changed my life. How? It teaches the reader how to overcome procrastination (which I excelled at) and learn time management by showing them how to eat the “frogs”.
What does eating the frogs mean?
It merely means that you do your most important tasks first. This simple concept allows you to work more efficiently - and be happier.
This easy-to-read book will teach you:
A straightforward way to improve your productivity at work and home by 25%.
How to understand your skills and talents to know what makes you the expert and unique, so that you can maximise your potential and value to others.
Every good goal starts with a plan.
Before you take action, you need to define your goals, an essential part of productivity. Write your goals down, and these become the basis of your to-do list.
A fact from the book: only 3% of adults write down goals, but they accomplish five to ten times more than those who don’t.
Break each goal down into a series of steps, a to-do list, that you can deal with one after another to reach that goal.
Use these to-do lists to help you visualise your goals. Feel proud and stay motivated when you look back on the tasks you have completed on your list towards achieving the goal.
The book also encourages the reader to keep improving and never stop learning because you can always get better at what you do. You will also save a lot of time (and further procrastination) when you know what to do.
Other Things the Book Taught Me
The 80/20 Rule
Also called the Pareto Principle, this rule helps you work even more efficiently. It states that every list of ten tasks should include two that are the most important and which are the ones you need to focus on first.
Most people make the mistake of focusing on the eight easy tasks to get them out of the way but then procrastinate on the two that matter most.
It shouldn’t be hard to work out which of your tasks should you be focusing on first, but as a guide, think about what you want to achieve and the consequences of doing each job on your list. They all need doing, but how urgently and which ones will make the most significant impact on your goals?
The ABCDE Method
When you have tasks you need to accomplish, they need to be, and this method is an excellent way of doing so. Use A, B, C, D, and E to put an order to your lists.
“A” should be written next to anything that is important and needs to get done. This task will either have a severe positive impact when finished or face the consequence if not.
Place "B" next to the tasks you should do. These tasks are still imporant and relevent to your day, but won't have the severity of the "A" tasks if not completed.
“C" tasks are the ones that if not instantly completed there is zero consequences.
“D” stands for “Delegate.” To be successful we don't have to do anything, follow Richard Branston's rule and "stand on the shoulders of giants." Place a "D" next to the tasks to delegate to someone else so you can concentrate on the ABC's.
And finally, “E” stands for “Eliminate.” I’m sure you don't require an explanation for this one.
How to Progress Through Self-Exploration
There are two questions to ask yourself to help you find your valuable skill set, which will enable you to work more efficiently to reach your goals.
1. What do I find easy that is difficult for others?
2. What has helped me achieve what I already have in life?
Use your skills you are good at to gain more confidence.
How To Start?
Once you have your lists completed, it’s time to get some work done.
Firstly rid yourself of any distractions, including your phone and social media.
Only keep on your desk everything you need to accomplish what you are about to do. Everything else needs to be put in a drawer or away somewhere else in your office.
To be honest, the book had some fluff to it, but it did change my life, and I am happy I read it. It is a short read, which won’t take you long and if it helps you to get your own life in order and put an end to procrastination, then it is worth the time.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.