Saturday, May 18, 2013
Just Do It
My Best days, whether at home or at work, are the days when I am ready and focused. The days when I have a clear vision of what needs to get done and that vision is written down on paper and scheduled into manageable steps. Not everyday is like that, and nor should it be. Trust me, I have my days (many of them) that I completely leave to chance. I have days that I completely waste infront of the television or, you guessed it, Facebook. But after a day or two the pile of to-do's in my little head becomes a seemingly surmountable fortress. I'm guessing, however, that I am not the only one. So, if you are like me and need to get stuff done here are some reminders on how to Just Do It!
1. Break Your Work Into Little Chunks Subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, and then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!. For example, let’s say you want to write a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Writing a book is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as – (1) Research (2) Deciding the topic (3) Creating the outline (4) Drafting the content (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10, (6) Revision (7) etc. suddenly it seems very manageable.
2. Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops. If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate. For example if you spend a lot of time online (ahem…Facebook) Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email. Get rid of the distractions around you. I know some people will out of the way and delete their Facebook accounts. I think it’s a little extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions, but, if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.
3. Hang out with people who inspire you to take action. I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Bill Gates, or Oprah, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Identify the people/friends/colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will adopt their drive and spirit too.
4. Get a buddy. Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, however, if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other. I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.
5. Tell others about your goals. Tell your supportive friends, colleagues, about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.
6. Seek out someone who has already achieved the outcome. What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.
7. Re-clarify your goals. If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that. Take a step back and ask yourself, What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does what you are currently doing align with that? If not, what can you do about it? Write it down.
8. Stop over-complicating things. Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? Think maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything. Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination
9. Get a grip and just do it. Overall, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Often times people keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day. Reality check: I have never heard anyone procrastinate his or her way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and just Do It!!