We are all guilty of hesitating and talking ourselves out of doing something. There are ways to take action by following these few steps.
Be selective with tasks. Start the most difficult first even though it is tempting to do it last, it will be done and you can relax. Prioritise each task so if it has to be done, it cannot be left to the next day. Complete each task you set out to work on.
Develop habits through practise and repetition. Tasks will eventually be part of your daily routine. You will feel more positive when you achieve what you need to do.
Have clear, written goals and set deadlines so they are achieved. List what you have to do, set out a plan and do something each day towards achieving them.
Plan each day in advance. Plan what you are going to do that day and when. Do the most important tasks first and anything that is not completed that day, do tomorrow. Each completed task can be ticked off your list.
Focus on high value tasks that achieve more. This can be activities that help you achieve your goals. Hard work has positive consequences. Procrastinate on low value tasks that can be left undone and there will be no loss. Cut back on time-consuming tasks and activities such as watching TV.
Use ABCDE to prioritise tasks. A as a very important task that has to be completed quickly. Do it before anything else. Delegate tasks that can be delegated. Do tasks yourself that can be done only by you so, if you do not do it, it does not get done at all. Improve on areas where you perform poorly.
Take tasks a step at a time. Concentrate on three tasks so you do not get overwhelmed. When you have completed a task, add another to your list.
Balance work with family. Moderation in all things is important for your well-being. Work hard when you are working and relax and spend time with your family when you are not working. The more time you spend with people, the happier you will be.
Prepare before you start. Gather everything for the task, lay it out and get started. One step at a time.
Keep learning new things. This gives you confidence. It will make you more productive and effective.
Identify what you do well and enjoy. What you learn in life can never be taken from you. Identify weaknesses and find a solution.
Put a little pressure on yourself. Set high standards. Imagine that you have only today to achieve your tasks. Imagine you are going away on holiday the next day and you have to complete your tasks before you go.
Overworking can affect how well we produce and we start to make mistakes. Work on the time of day you function best. Get enough sleep, so go to bed early. Have a day off in the week so you can recharge and go on holiday regularly. Eat healthy and take exercise.
Motivate yourself through positive talk, being optimistic is important for motivation and success. Always talk positively to others. You become what you think about.
Take time away from technology. Turn it off at regular intervals. It gives you time to gather thoughts. Technology can be addictive.
Cut your tasks down and do one part at a time. Set aside time for tasks such as; calls, reading, etc. Organise them into time periods to achieve the task.
Develop a sense of urgency, build up momentum and get tasks done quickly and fast so you have time to start new ones.
Self-discipline is the key with periods of hard concentrated work with no distractions or diversions.
Following the above steps will prevent procrastination and you will achieve your highest performance and productivity.
Tracy, B. (2007). Eat that frog!. 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.