It is terrific to take the mystery out of procrastination by setting a schedule and following it. Procrastination is that thing that makes you put off doing things you should be doing. There are as many reasons or procrastination as there are procrastinators. One reason for procrastination is that to do lists are too long. Think about your own to do list. If it is like most no matter if it is a list for home or work the list probably is very long.
It is good to create to do lists. To do lists help us to keep track of all the things we have to do so that nothing gets left behind or forgotten. The problem is that most people don’t realize the list is the starting point, not the ending point. Once you create your to do list get out your calendar and schedule each to do item. In my calendar for example, all my to do items are added to the calendar to be done at a specific time.
For example, each week day, no matter what else is going on, I must do the following items:
* get the kids up and dressed for school
* feed the children breakfast
* write articles for my blog
* complete freelance writing assignments
* look for new writing opportunities
* pick children up from bus stop
* prepare diner
* do laundry
* do household chores
* help husband with business
* read and respond to email
In addition to these items, things come up that must be added to the to do list including the following:
* prepare questions for parent/teacher conference
* plan dinner with husband and his business partners
* do research for blog event to learn about new technology
* create networking event for local bloggers
* weed through book review requests
These things must be added to the calendar, not just listed on the to do list. However, not all of these things can be done in one day or in one hour. The reality is each of these things take time to do. Some of them take a lot of time. In order for me to succeed and get done everything that needs to be done, I must schedule my to do items. This means I must find time on the calendar to do the items. For example, If I have an item scheduled for 10:00 am such as “write blog post,” I cannot do another item such as “prepare questions for parent/teacher conference” at the same time. So, in order to do the conference prep work at 10 am, I must reschedule the blog writing task.
That is why it is important to take out your to do list and calendar a the same time. You are more likely to get the things on your to do list done if you schedule time for them. Keep in mind that once you do all the work of planning, scheduling and putting to do items into the calendar, OBEY THE CALENDAR. It is important to your success to follow your calendar and to do the tasks you have scheduled when you have them on the schedule. When it comes to your to do list, plan and schedule. Keep in mind, when it comes to getting things done, if you fail to schedule your plan, you plan for your schedule to fail!
When you have control of your to do list and can see on paper or computer screen that there is time set aside for all the things you want to do, it will take away some of your fear and need to procrastinate. Having a time for everything will help you to look at each task one at a time instead of as an overwhelming and never-ending list. This method of handling your to do list helps defeat procrastination because there is a time for everything and everything has a time. For example, when you sit down to work at 10 am and look at your calendar, you don’t need to pay attention to a to do list with 10 items. Instead, you only need to pay attention to the one item scheduled for 10 am. This approach is less stressful and more manageable.
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In conclusion, it is terrific to take the mystery out of procrastination by setting a schedule and following it. So, the question for you this terrific day is how are you scheduling your day?