I can understand why you are here. You want to find some magic wand to stop yourself from that bad procrastination. I know you will agree with me that taming procrastination is the single most important factor in taking the first step towards success.
Most of us go on procrastinating on the tasks which are important but not urgent. These are the tasks which can be done later or don’t need your immediate attention but have a direct influence on the outcome of the bigger projects in your life.
Say for me, writing is really important but sometimes ( most of the times) I make excuses for doing it later when I will have my creative juices flowing ( which never happens) Or I wait till my daughter sleeps but I go to slumber before her😉.
What has changed my habit of procrastination a lot is Blocking Time for the specific task no matter what comes through.
I always try to block time for the tasks which I am sure I will procrastinate on.
And there are some tasks which I always like to do anytime.
- Creating graphics
- Social media engagement ( Most of us like to spend a whole day on this one )
- Searching the internet for ideas ( though I never get ideas to work ) but I love to search anyway
What is time blocking?
It is easy to think that time blocking is the technique to block time for certain tasks. Believe me, it is more than this. When you block time for certain tasks, it takes the pressure of those tasks off from your mind. It is like budgeting your time and working accordingly.
What happens when you start time blocking your time?
Normally we think that we have all the time in the world. Which make us believe that we can accomplish any task at any given time in a day. But actually it is not that way, we have limited time and limited life. Same goes for a day, our day has limited hours. As humans, we always have the tendency of putting our tasks for next time and wasting time on those tasks which have little effect on our productivity or success.
But when you start blocking your time, you think it like a limited commodity. This makes you more serious about time management.
Make your determination stronger than procrastination
Yes as researchers say that procrastination is not a habit. It is biological. If you will not pay attention to it, it will take over you. It is important that when you start a project, finish it. Finishing an important task will give you the energy to start the next task.
This way, your mind will be better equipped towards working because you have already accomplished a lot before the procrastination sets in. And when you gather the courage to start a task and accomplish, you are in a constant mode of work. It is like Newton’s first law of motion
‘ An object at rest stays in the state of rest and an object in the motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Here the unbalanced force comes in the form of Procrastination. Once you are in motion of doing work, you will go on working and if you come to rest, you will stay in the resting mode.
Start your work now
It is human nature to put off work until the last minute. And at the end, with a lot of pressure on you, you just don’t accomplish anything, which further creates stress. This stress creates a ground for procrastination. To avoid this kind of stress and do your work properly, it is important to take action NOW. This is the right moment. Otherwise, the right moment will never come.
When you start your work now, you will have some energy to start your work. Otherwise, your energy will deplete and procrastination sets its tone. And once it comes into the picture, it becomes difficult to trick your brain.
1. Make a list of all the tasks
Write down the bigger project you want to accomplish. Write down the time frame you want this project to be completed. Now, the next step is to screen out those tasks that have little to no effect on your progress. Pareto’s principle states that 80% of the results come from your 20% efforts.
It is on you how you will measure and choose those 20% tasks that will give you 80% results. Making a list of total tasks give you insights into it. Making a list is important because it will help you in figuring out which tasks you need in your time blocking schedules.
2. Choose the most important tasks according to Eisenhower Matrix
Eisenhower matrix is a time management technique which divides your tasks into four quadrants. This could also be applied to procrastination habit. As you know procrastination stems from too many tasks and you feel uninspired to do any. But when you divide your tasks according to their urgency and importance, you will basically become more productive.
Now you know where you need to take action immediately. And you can assign time to your tasks. While starting out, don’t block time for tasks which you will do anyway. Like checking emails, social media, eating🙂. Block time for the tasks which you know you don’t love to do but to love to procrastinate on.
3. Start with blocking time for 2 hours
Starting small helps in taking the overwhelm away from our minds. If you go on blocking your whole day with a lot of tasks, it will make you overwhelmed and will have the opposite effect. So to start with, choose a few tasks that are most relevant to your bigger project and then work on those.
I know about myself that I cannot plan my whole day at once. I always have unpredictable days because have a 2.5 years old daughter at home so I have to plan according to her schedules. I always plan for 2 hours and try to complete what I have planned for those 2 hours. My to-do list always contains 2 or 3 tasks for those 2 hours.
4. Use the Promodoro technique.
Francesco Cirillo recognized that humans can concentrate for only a short period of time on any task. So he created a time blocking system where you can block your time for any task and work on that uninterrupted. After 25 minutes, you would have completed a nice amount of hardest task. When you see this, you can now focus on the bigger task once more.
Promodoro technique is the world-renowned technique to be more productive by blocking your time. This one is my favourite. I use this because it reminds me of school lectures which were always 30 minutes. And I think there was some reason behind that.
5. Block time for procrastination too 🤔
I know what you would be thinking, who on this earth wants to block time for procrastination. As in Big think Video, the habit Guru Charles Duhigg suggests, that if the urge of Checking Facebook arises and you don’t check it, your temptation will grow more and you will find yourself in Productivity spiral. Instead of denying yourself totally from these types of tasks, schedule time for all those activities when you w=know that you will procrastinate anyway.
In other words, block time for all those activities which you feel interested and, love to spend time on. Check social media, watch youtube videos or do anything in that particular block of time. Come to your important tasks after that.
6. Eliminate choices for the particular block of time
If you find yourself overwhelmed with a to-do list, you are not alone. Most of us find it difficult to accomplish too many tasks. To avoid this, just write down one task for say 15 minutes. If you want to write something, you can also create a to-do list by writing the number of words you want to write down in those 15 minutes.
Avoid giving yourself too many choices for doing so many tasks. This will help you to concentrate on those tasks which should be completed in that particular block of time.
Time blocking can do wonders for your productivity and can help you beat procrastination too.
I hope Time Blocking will help you beat procrastination and be more productive. The best part is blocking a particular time for procrastination too. Additionally, working in small blocks of time helps you in creating momentum for your productive day.
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