By: First Union
Tips on Beating Procrastination During the Lockdown
Today marks the 5th week of working from home. During this time, I've had numerous conversations with family and friends. The consensus is that this is terrible and depressing. I don't share this opinion. Instead, I've used this as an opportunity for self-improvement. Specifically, when dealing with completing projects or tasks. Use this time to build a strategy for beating procrastination.
Creating realistic deadlines is critical in overcoming procrastination. Starting something is, well, a great start, but the key is to finish. Setting a timeline for specific tasks allows you to focus on the most critical parts. If your working on something that will take more than a day, break it down into smaller, manageable pieces.
Remember to keep expectations realistic. Most everything always takes longer than you think. An excellent rule to assigning a timeline is to double the amount of time you think it will take to complete a task. Also, you are not a robot. You need to sleep, eat, decompress, etc.
Focus on the highest returns
Plan out the details of a project before setting a deadline. Figure out what are the most critical and challenging parts of the project and focus on knocking them out first. The most complex parts of your project will likely account for a small part of the overall project, but they will take the majority of your time.
By identifying the 20% of things that produce the highest output, you can focus on that for a more significant payoff. Doing so will also allow you to identify the other 80%, which wastes time and only produces about 20% of your results.
To meet those deadlines, you have to get started. As obvious as this may be, many of us struggle with taking action. Here's a great place to start. Instead of vegging on the couch or visiting your news feed, dedicate ten minutes to your project. If you complete part of your task in those ten minutes, you can go back to whatever it is you were doing without feeling guilty. I use this method frequently. More often than not, I end up spending more time doing than vegging.
See it to the end
Getting started is essential. But the goal is seeing the project through. Envision what "finished" is for your tasks. Once you know what finished looks like, it's much easier to reach that goal. Keep track of goals and deadlines. This is especially important when working on long-term deadlines. The more work put into a project, the easier it is to lose sight of all the work you've done. By keeping track, you have an overview of your accomplishments, making it easier to push forward.
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