10 Simple & Effective Time Management Techniques to Beat Procrastination
With a simple and easy to follow time-management techniques, you can easily overcome the procrastination habit.
1. “Active” in Your Spare Time
2. Divide the work into little chunks
3. ‘Short-Time’ things first
4. Get Started somewhere
5. Take Little Breaks
6. Stop Notifications for a While
7. There’s ‘No’ Perfect time
8. De-cluttered Workplace
9. Schedule & Prioritize
10. Better Idea than Avoidance
Procrastination is normal. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. To beat procrastination, allocate a specific time or a few hours in a day to do the things that you like to do. In this way, you won’t be thinking about them while you are set to work seriously. But, the concern here is if we keep procrastinating, it puts a question on our credibility. We need to draw the line somewhere.
Good time-management skills can help you treat procrastinating habits a lot better.
1. De-cluttered Workplace
A cluttered workplace can be a big distraction. Too many objects including stationery items, gadgets, or any sorts of clutters on the table can divert your attention. You may find something of interest to you. For instance, if you see a book, you will start flipping pages or start reading things. Your focus changes here. Clean your Workspace before you sit to work. Preferably, look for a secluded and comfortable place to begin your work.
2. Schedule & Prioritize
Scheduling and prioritizing are simple yet effective time-management techniques to overcome procrastination. If you don't know where to start, then start prioritizing your work. It should give you baby-steps to begin a job. Track down little things related to your task. Start with it. Schedule and prioritize based on what's important, and what needs immediate attention. Besides, add the closest task that can be completed. Maintain a little notebook for it.
3. Better Idea than Avoidance
This is a simple technique for your brain. Your brain can sense boredom. If you can sense dis-interest. As a result, it keeps doing the same thing, again and again, i.e. triggers the feeling of procrastination. Feed your brain some positive actionable thoughts. Whenever your brain triggers the thought of 'Let's procrastinate', divert it by giving valid ideas. Don't give the thoughts of 'Postpone' or 'avoid it'.
The three reasons we discussed here are the best time-management techniques to beat the procrastination habit. The reasons can help you with bringing productivity. We hope that these points will help you to think through procrastination and follow simple ways to overcome it.
1. Get Started somewhere
You cannot procrastinate in the long run. The habit leads to a level where your reputation can be at stake. If you don't find anywhere to start, it's fine. The next day, work something out. Analyze the task in hand. See what you can do about it. Instead of postponing, look for ways to begin somewhere. It can be as little work as 'creating a folder for your work. Do simple tasks like writing in your planner, or talking it with your colleagues. Begin somewhere.
2. Take Little Breaks
Celebrate little achievements. Take little personal breaks. If you feel like you are triggered to procrastinate, divert your thoughts. Go out. Listen to music. Get some fresh air. Do things you like. Settle yourself and begin fresh. Don't let the feeling of procrastination take shape.
3. Stop Notifications for a While
Social media, smart-phones, gadgets, and notifications divert the attention highly. Once you are addicted to them, you will automatically procrastinate with the work in hand. Before you begin to work, mute or turn off notifications for a while. It'll help you get started without any disturbance.
4. There's 'No' Perfect time
There is no 'perfect time' to start work. Waiting for "prefect-timing" is one of the common reasons behind procrastination by individuals. Don't wait for a perfect moment or perfect day or perfect time to start your work. Don't use this as an excuse.
1. "Active" in Your Spare Time:
Have a few hours of spare time every day. If you feel like you are procrastinating or very hesitant to start any work, close it as of now. Find some spare time in any part of the day. Work in spare time. The point is, instead of procrastinating, you can try different things in the same area in which you are working. Be active in those spare times with related work. practice this technique.
To better explain the concept, let's see an example.
Example: Imagine yourself as an artist. You keep procrastinating' a project due to lack of inspiration or motivation. Hence it becomes difficult to start the work. To begin with, find a few hours of spare time in any part of the day. Instead of focusing on the project, relax your mind. Take a canvas or journal and start drawing or coloring whatever comes to your mind. By doing so, you get to hit the brain's refresh button. You can get some ideas if you focus on yourself instead of postponing or ignoring it. Over time, you might get a spark to start.
2. Divide the work into little chunks:
Big tasks can be overwhelming. In due time, you start to feel total exhaustion. Likewise, big works bring starting troubles. Eventually, people start to procrastinate. So divide the works into little chunks. Break them into little actionable tasks. Divide tasks according to various categories. For instance: divide them based on importance, time-required, resources needed, etc.
3. 'Short-Time' things first:
Work on things that take short-time. In this way, you will not have difficulty to 'begin' the work. Beginning with short-time projects can be a healthy alternate to avert the feeling of procrastination.
"The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." -- Colin R. Davis
How to plan for your successful life? The first consideration is learning how to take your time to maximize your self.
1. Drop one thing from your schedule.
Making a calendar of the most important event in your daily life, such as family events or a romantic date, first helps in managing your schedule. It is after this that you can add other plans which you can drop off anytime, as necessary.
2. Be rather than do.
Avoid spending more time and attention to being in the midst of all the doing. Live life and interact with other people. Your happiness depends on them.
3. Get the other person's perspective.
Respond by knowing what other people want and what they need. Start your plan from this point.
4. Be honest about your limitations.
Grab only things that are within your capacity and capability. Doing things beyond your limit and knowledge takes time and slows down your success.
5. Make a list of your commitments.
Knowing what you will prioritize first and what will be taken aside for a while will make you most of your time. Don't pressure your life. Breathe and enjoy it. Your time is under your control.
- Know-How You Spend Your Time.
- Set Priorities.
- Use a Planning Tool.
- Get Organized.
- Schedule Your Time Appropriately.
- Delegate: Get Help from Others.
- Stop Procrastinating.
- Manage External Time Wasters.
- Start with Realistic Expectations.
- Give Yourself Time to do Your Best Work.
- Get Started Right Away.
- Plan for Unexpected Issues.
- Communicate with Clients that Your Ability to Meet Deadlines Depends on Their Cooperation.
- Get as Much Information as Possible Up Front.
- Give Deadlines to Your Clients.
Hopping back and forth from one activity to another is a big time-waster. If you file a piece of paper, then make a conference call. After that, you send an email, and then you file another document. Switching gears of your brain to do every work makes you slow.
WHAT TO DO:
Instead of it, try to complete all of one type of to-do together. Then you should move on to the next task. You’ll find that you move faster and get more done in a shorter amount of time when you’re at that pace.
Time management is the most special skill of a successful person. It is the process of control of time. We exercise to spend specific activities at a particular time.
Being a master of this virtue is difficult. But when you do, it increases your effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
Time is an abstract element. So you really can’t manage it. It is a flow like wind and river. You can’t make it stop how hard you even try. But you can train yourself to walk for a long time.
By nature, we tend to speak our own language. Whatever makes us feel loved is what we do for the other person. But if it is not his/her language, it will not mean to them what it means to us. - Gary Chapman, Things I wish I knew before I got married
A.) LESS SLEEP:
You can’t come to the office sleepy. You can’t attend a meeting or go for an interview with a tired body and mind. A tired mind and body are not productive at all.
WHAT TO DO:
Take a sound sleep. 6 hrs sleep is essential for our body and mind to recharge themselves.
B.) MOST PRODUCTIVE TIME OF DAY:
If you keep the most important meetings or appointments in the last part of your day, you may feel tired, and probably your brain would not have been as active as it should be. The work will be delayed, and you will run out of time.
WHAT TO DO:
Know the time of the day when you are most productive. Usually, it is morning time. Schedule every important work on that portion of your day.
1. FEW SECONDS MATTERS:
There always have some smaller tasks to finish at our schedule. We neglect them to do later. After that, we forget them under other important visible work.
WHAT TO DO:
When such a to-do crosses your path, ask yourself if you can complete it in a few seconds or not. If so, just finish it.
2. QUESTION YOURSELF:
We spend a few times in gossiping and politics in the office. These few moments become a few hours after months. This becomes a total waste of our time.
WHAT TO DO:
Always ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at this exact minute?” If not, stop what you’re doing. Invest your efforts toward another activity that will give you an actual payoff.
3. LEARN TO SAY NO:
When you are drowning at work and take more for you, it becomes a burden on yourself. Because only taking jobs does not impress your boss. How effectively you finish them matters.
WHAT TO DO:
If you are already under working pressure, you can say no to new works, not every time, obviously. But a polite refusal will not do any harm.
1.) BE ORGANIZED:
Some people have a hard time staying focused because they have a flooded desk with piles and stacks. Those distract them from the task at hand.
WHAT TO DO:
Clear the clutter from your desk and other visible surfaces of your workplace. Put your finished project on the rack and ongoing, unfinished projects at the desk. Then only you can focus entirely. You will not lose your attention from what you are working on.
Especially when you are the boss, or you run a business, then you try to be perfect at work by supervising every single detail yourself. It creates enormous work pressure, and you could not complete your everyday work.
WHAT TO DO:
Learn to outsource. Keep faith in your team. Train them to work according to your vision of work.
3.) SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT:
Checking your Facebook or Instagram may be a quick relief from work pressure. But not being careful enough can cost you hours from your work time.
WHAT TO DO:
Make your apps sleep after 5 to 10 minutes of usage at your office time. You can use some technology.
i) STOP MULTITASKING:
Trying to do many things at a time drains your energy. You even do not get the desired result. If you are working on a presentation, you can’t handle an interview. This is, for example, by the way.
WHAT TO DO:
Take a single work in hand at a time. Give your best to finish it in the allotted time. Do not let multitasking coat your valuable office time.
ii) SHUT YOUR DOOR:
How many times you find it hard to finish your work because you are receiving non-stop visitors. You get a non-stop distraction for that. Your efficiency and productivity level drops. When you again work, matching the previous level takes more time
WHAT TO DO:
You can shut the door off to discourage interruptions. Obviously, this is not for all day long, but this is a useful technique when you really need to concentrate on your work for just a few more hours.
Verbal communication is essential in order to understand what is going on inside other people. If they do not tell us their thoughts, their feelings, and their experiences, we are left to guess. - Dr. Gary Chapman, Now You're Speaking My Language
1.) SET BOUNDARIES:
Imagine, your boss has asked you for last month’s revenue report, and you bring him the whole year’s revenue report. It only costs you your time and your boss’s. It does not be any help to both of you.
WHAT TO DO:
Every work has a boundary. Not understanding it will cost only your time. Understand the job. Then set your brain to work to the boundary. This is how you will be able not to waste your time.
2.) USE YOUR CALENDAR:
What is the date? Do I have a meeting with my client today? Do I forget lunch with the company’s board members? When you are not aware of the calendar of your appointments, you may spend your day wondering.
WHAT TO DO:
Carry your calendar of appointments with you. Check for the next day’s meetings and to-do list before going to bed. Then you will miss none of them.
1. BE AN EXPERT IN TECHNOLOGY:
It happens for those who are still not experts working in PC or with certain types of software. An office employee never is much more efficient and productive if he fights with system processing all his days.
WHAT TO DO:
Learn and practice all the valuable software that you will work on in your office. Start from basics.
2. DEVELOP A ROUTINE:
I have seen some of my colleagues come to the office without even a routine of their duties. They feel so lost all day. Eventually, they waste their day by just wondering what to do next.
WHAT TO DO:
Come with planned routine. If you are an employee or an employer, you need to have a daily routine of your daily work. You will save a lot of time by not wondering about your work’s next step.
1.) BREAK YOUR TIME:
Sometimes, we have lots of work to do, and the deadlines of them are so nearby with each of them. What we do that we work and try to finish them one by one. Sometimes it does not help at all. Because we get running out of time to complete other jobs after a certain point of time.
WHAT TO DO:
We must break our working time among them according to the task’s hardships and importance. Allot a particular time for each work. Do your best within the time. When the allotted time is over, then you should shift to another work. This is how you can finish all of them at a fixed time.
2.) KEEP YOUR DATA SEPARATE:
We remain in such a hurry to beat the time that we end up mixing all the files and documents on your desk or PC. Which eventually costs us much time than before. And we again run behind our schedule.
WHAT TO DO:
No matter how busy you are, do not mix your files up. Do not mix the completed project documents. Organizing comes with practice. You become an organized person in both your personal and professional lives.
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS:
This is commonly the biggest mistake we do at our work. We get distracted by the non-stop notification sound of our phone or PC. Your entire day ends up eaten by telephone or email. The most disturbing point about this mistake is that we do not find it as a disturbance at all.
So we never really try anything to fix the mistake. You feel you’re efficient by responding to the second a new communication comes in. But most of the time, you do not realize the cost of this instant communication technology usage.
WHAT TO DO:
To rectify this mistake, learn to turn off notifications. Honestly, it does not much help to your work if you reply at the exact moment a phone call comes or emails you receive.
Send your calls to voicemail and turn off your email notification. Check your inbox once in the morning, once after lunch, and once more before you leave the office. You’ll be able to know of all the important issues as they come up. Also, you will still have time to get some real work done.
Communication sometimes is not what you first hear, listen not just to the words, but listen for the reason. - Catherine Pulsifer
i) CHEAT WORKDAY:
It’s ok to have a cheat workday as a cheat meal. We are humans, not machines. Just be careful that your cheat workday does not come too often.
ii) FIND THE MEANING OF YOUR JOB:
Find meaning in your work, and you will love to do it.
Reward yourself and praise yourself when you finish a big task at a given time.
iv) LISTEN TO YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND:
Have a pen and paper all the time so you can write down everything that your subconscious mind tells you.
v) KEEP QUESTIONING YOURSELF:
“Am I currently making the most use of my time?” Keep yourself asking this over and over.
vi) OUTSOURCE YOUR WORK:
If you want to achieve more in less time, learn how to OUTSOURCE WORK.
vii) EXCITING GOALS:
Set some exciting goals to motivate yourself and encourage yourself to do it.
viii) DO LESS COMMUTING:
If possible, work from home to save time commuting. Aghh..that’s a lot of time, man.
I) SLEEP WELL:
Taking sufficient sleep will give your body and mind enough time to rejuvenate. So they can work well on the next day.
II) HANDLE STRESS WISELY:
When we take more work than our ability, it causes a lot of stress that can hamper our productivity. To understand it very careful about how many amounts of work you can do and accept only that.
III) START EARLY:
You already know that we are most productive in the first hour of the day, then you must start your day early.
Make time for a gym or workout at home. It will help you to stay fit. And you can work an extra hour if it is needed.
V) USE THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUR BRAIN:
There is a part of our brain that we don’t use at work. To gear up your creativity and use that at your disposal, learn to use that part.
VI) TIME FOR RELAXATION:
Don’t let your work stress comes in between your relaxation time. Enjoy your free time with friends, families, and loved ones. It will help you to fill with new energy.
1. ELIMINATE EXCUSES:
Find all the reasons that we usually use for not completing our work or not growing in our lives. Then eliminate them. It will open a whole new opportunity to challenge your skills.
Find passion in your work or work in your passion. Only then you will go beyond your limits to complete it in time.
When you are going to bed, plan for the next day’s starting. You will not be confused on the following day.
4. SOFTWARE TOOLS:
There are a variety of apps and tools, and some are useful for business management, especially for monitoring and assessing daily processes. Use them.
5. ONLINE CALENDAR:
Use an online calendar to track your schedule and time limit at any time and anywhere.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR EMAIL:
The best way to speed up email communication and waste less time on superfluous exchanges is to organize your inbox. Don’t get hung up on a cluttered inbox.
7. LET YOUR PHONE RINGING SOMETIMES:
It is not every time necessary to pick up a phone call just because it is ringing. If you are at work, then you can avoid unnecessary calls to save time.
1) MAKES A USEFUL HABIT:
Make your regular task a habit. It does not come on a single day. It depends on your consistency.
2) COMMIT TO YOURSELF:
Start your day by telling yourself that you are going to do this much work by the end of the day, and at the end of the day, you evaluate what percent of total work you have done. If you don’t value the commitments to yourself, then you can’t expect others to do.
3) SOCIAL MEDIA:
If you are not using social media on a professional purpose, then you have to be very careful about the time that you invest there. Because social media is the biggest distraction in our time, and you probably don’t realize when your 3-minute breaks become 2 hours of time waste.
4) POSITIVE VIBES ONLY:
Be surrounded by the people who carry positive vibes with them. You will find an extraordinary change in your attitude both professionally and personal life.
5) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:
Take responsibility for your words and your work. It will push you beyond your limit to complete work on time.
Every time I stand to communicate I want to take one simple truth and lodge it in the heart of the listener. I want them to know that one thing and know what to do with it. - Andy Stanley, Communicating for a Change