You wake up in the morning and you know that you have to do something that day that you REALLY don’t want to do. It might be ringing a difficult client, it might be tackling a contentious issue, it might be addressing some ferocious editorial feedback, it could be any number of things.
You know you need to do it – if you don’t, you won’t be able to make progress on something that is important to you, BUT (and it’s a big but) you REALLY don’t want to. You would rather do ANYTHING else. And so you do everything you can to avoid it.
The result – you end up having a very unproductive day. You can’t focus properly on what you’re doing, you keep feeling guilty about that task you are not doing, you keep worrying about the fact that you have to do it. You just can’t get on with productive work.
The solution – Imagine that you have been told to eat a frog. It is not negotiable – you know you have to do it. So the best way to deal with it – just do it straight away. First thing. That way you know that nothing worse is likely to happen that day and you can enjoy the rest of the day more (instead of spending it in dread and procrastination).
Have you eaten your frog today?
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks you have to do each day? Do you sometimes wonder how you could possibly get more done? I know I do.
Like most people in today’s society, I’m trying to do far too much. I work full time as a manager in the public service, I have four delightful, busy children to raise (together with my fabulous husband, who also works full-time), I look after a gorgeous but high-maintenance heritage-listed house, I am the musical director and chief administrator of a great choir that specialises in early music (including lots of traffic on youtube), and, oh yeah, I’m trying to establish myself as an author. Not to mention friends, family, etc… The list is endless.
So how can I possibly get it all done?
I have recently been getting lots of inspiration and great practical ideas from James Clear, and this week is no exception. His simple tip on how to become more efficient overnight is brilliant. I think I sort of do it… but not completely. And not consciously. Making it more conscious, and setting a limit – just six things – makes it easier to cope.
My full ‘to do’ list is way too long, so I like the idea of choosing 6 priorities for each day and focus on finishing them (if possible). Check out the full article at http://jamesclear.com/ivy-lee -and let me know if you find it helpful!
I learnt a new term this week and it is something that resonates strongly with me. Something that I think will change my life.
I love it because
- it makes sense, and
- it is something I can do fairly easily.
I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before, but now that I have I know it will make a difference.
What is it?
It’s called ‘Temptation Bundling’.
How does it work? Basically, make a list of some of the things you need to do but keep putting off – you know, those things that have made you into the queen or king of procrastination. Make a list of them, then make a column alongside and list some of the things you do to reward yourself. Things that you love and really want to spend time on.
Temptation bundling is about making a bargain with yourself – “if you go for a 20 minute walk, then you will deserve to have a couple of pieces of chocolate”, or “if you finish your tax return, you can book that holiday you have been wanting” or “if you finish proof-reading that chapter, you can take some time out to watch your favourite dvd.” That sort of thing. You raise the stakes on some of your choices, you work for the things you want (and get things done along the way).
Check out James Clear’s great blog article at http://jamesclear.com/temptation-bundling
I think this will work for me – I wonder if you already do something like this, or if it is something you are planning to start doing. Let me know!
I found this post by James Clear really helpful. How many of us put off starting something and waste time trying to avoid doing it? I’m guessing all of us do it at some time or another…
Here’s a quick and easy tip to try. Starting now.
What are you going to start? I’m going to get stuck into those final corrections for ‘Isabel’s Choice’ that I have been managing to avoid for days.