8 Essential Time Management Strategies to Counter Procrastination
Do you ever feel like you are losing sight of your goals? Are you often distracted doing all kinds of things but nothing really important? You might be among the many people who tend to habitually postpone vital tasks. This phenomenon, also known as procrastination, is the biggest barrier to goal-setting. Luckily, all it takes to overcome procrastination is a little self-discipline.
Self-discipline means rejecting instant gratification in favour of a higher and more rewarding goal. Always keep your priorities in mind – those tasks and activities that help you to achieve personal and professional goals, and bring fulfillment. The problem is that goals are seldom urgent and therefore often take a back seat. Yet goals give your life purpose, and along with it, a sense of accomplishment, boosting your self-esteem and positively impacting your health and wellbeing.
These strategies will help you to better manage your time in order to achieve your goals:
- Write down your goals and block off times in your calendar specifically to work on them. This way you have a reason to resist the temptation to procrastinate. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many goals, and make sure they are exciting to you.
- Involve other people in your goal-setting, as it becomes easier to achieve your goals when you are not trying to accomplish everything on your own. Have someone hold you accountable – much like a “buddy system”.
- Use the chunk method: Even a seemingly insurmountable task can become easily manageable if you work at it in small chunks. The secret is to start now and to set short-term goals in order to stay motivated.
- Avoid „To Do“ lists: A list of things to do merely serves as a reminder but provides no commitment to actually do them. It encourages procrastination, as it includes all the other tasks that might be more pleasant than those that need to be done now.
- Instead, schedule “must do” items directly into your planning calendar along with your meetings and appointments. That way you will accomplish high priority jobs and increase your effectiveness, while decreasing the tendency to procrastinate.
- Use scheduled commitments to work towards your goals. While your schedule must be flexible, resist changing it simply to accommodate tasks of no greater importance than your originally planned activity.
- Build the habit of spending a certain amount of time each day or week working on a specific goal-related task. That way you make sure that you are working on the 20 percent of activities that will produce 80 percent of your results.
- Sometimes, it is difficult to estimate how much time it would take to complete your goal. Try guessing and add up to 50 % additional time to be on the safe side. Be realistic and patient.