Are you a procrastinator? I confess, I am; Especially for things that I know I need to do but that I don’t like to do. And that can be anything: house chores, a phone call to a dreadful person, tax declaration. Hah, who likes that?
How good are you at finding excuses for not having done these tasks you’ve procrastinated? I guess we’re all very good at that! Somehow there’s always something else that needs to be done first. And that may not even be a lie! If you have two tasks that absolutely need to be done and that are equally important, which one would you choose, the task that you like doing or the one you dislike? It’s obvious.
But even if procrastination is not one of your bad habits, I bet you still have a huge list of tasks you need to do. And in that list, you can include also the things you like to do, the things you love to do and the things you just have to do because you can’t imagine your life without them. And boy, we multi-potentialites know there are lots of these! That list is endless.
Both procrastination and/or having a never ending to do list, makes you feel like you get nothing done and that you don’t progress enough on the goals you have set.
What’s the real problem?
It’s that feeling that you’re getting nowhere, that despite being busy the whole day, that you’re not achieving anything.
But is this true? We have tendency to look at all the tasks we still need to do. And as mentioned earlier, that list can be very long. Take a moment to look back at everything you have accomplished. You might be pleasantly surprised. Your feeling was wrong. And how!
What if your feeling is right. Instead of getting things done, your tasks list is only getting longer and longer. You are overwhelmed and it’s draining your energy. Like I stated in my previous blog post “The number one reason why your passion projects don’t get finished” it’s no use to put your big tasks list in a time schedule for the next months to come.
Then what is the issue? First possible cause: Are you busy, doing all kinds of urgent things that have no importance at all? Ask yourself if what you are doing is getting you closer to your goals or if it is just passing time. If you are just passing time, you know you need to take action and change this!
Second possible cause: Are you procrastinating important tasks that you know you should do? In the end, the situation will force you to do them, anyway. Otherwise you will get in trouble. Only now that you are forced to do these tasks, they’re even more dreadful and you hate them more than anything. Not a good state of mind to be in!
Passing time and/or procrastinating, the result is the same.
Then what is the one thing you need to do?
The solution is soo simple. When you are planning your day, just pick one thing that you absolutely will do today. You don’t need a computer to do this, you don’t need a pen and paper to do this. You can even think about this while you are taking your morning shower and make it part of your morning routine.
In general you don’t even need your to do list for that. You know exactly what that one thing is that you absolutely must do. You don’t have to finish that one thing in one day. You can just say: “Today I will work on [fill out the blank] for at least one hour”. Anyway, you will progress. It’s so low pressure. And that is the purpose.
In your day, choose the moment that you have the most energy. For me that is in the morning, after a few cups of coffee. But for you that can be the same or any other moment in the day. Having a high energy level is important to have the will power to start doing this dreadful task that you have been procrastinating the whole time.
And then, if it is still dreadful, get it over with. I promise you, you will feel good afterwards. Often, you will see that the tasks you were dreading so much, are not that dreadful after all.
Doing this every day, you automatically will be working on your most important tasks, not the urgent unimportant tasks. Automatically you handle the ones that are urgent and important at the same time. With time, you will see that the urgency has gone. You caught up and now you’re handling the important tasks in time. What a difference that makes!
By applying just this one simple trick, you will see what you have accomplished in a few days or a week. No pressure, no stress, no worries.