Once you’re in a pattern being a procrastinator, it’s hard to break. Your energy is constantly focused on what’s immediately pressing—you’re just trying to put out fires—so you can’t see beyond to what else is going on.
But for those of you who want to get out of the cycle, to have a fresh start in the New Year, here’s some free advice:
1. Do what’s due tomorrow. Then immediately do what’s due the day after. You won’t have the same sense of urgency, but it’s only by working ahead that we can combat being behind.
2. Use your calendar better. If you’re not using a digital calendar, I recommend setting one up. Set two deadlines for yourself on it—the real deadline, and then your own deadline, several days before, and include pop-up and email reminders as backup.
3. A note on electronic reminders: don’t turn them off until you’ve completed what they’re reminding you to do. When a reminder pops up on your phone, it will give you to option to close it or to snooze it—continue to hit snooze until the task is complete, otherwise your reminder is useless (not to mention that those pop-ups are so obnoxious, you’ll want to finish the task just to get rid of it).
4. Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of every day thinking about how you want the day to go. Prioritize to use what time you have better.
5. Think about what you’re doing a week from now. Or two weeks from now. Where will you be focusing your energy then? What can you do today, if you work a little smarter, to alleviate some of the burden of the weeks to come?
6. Set aside days for individual tasks. Rather than waiting until the last minute to pay your bills, pick one day a month that falls before any deadlines, and do all of your bookkeeping then. You’ll never be overdue if you always pay it a week early.
What tips do you have to help yourself and others go from behind on everything to ahead of the game? Please reply and tell me about it, or comment below!
*Image courtesy be’mine
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.