PLAN — Start each day by making a general schedule with specific emphasis on one or two things you would like to accomplish – including things that will achieve long-term goals. The more time you spend planning a project, the less time is required for it. Use a calendar. Analyze tasks and break them down into manageable parts.
CONCENTRATE — The amount of time spent on a project is not what counts; it’s the amount of uninterrupted time.
TAKE BREAKS — Working for long periods of time can decrease energy as well as increase stress, tension and boredom. Switching from a mental task to a physical task can provide relief. Merely resting can also increase your efficiency, reduce tension and, most importantly, benefit your health.
AVOID CLUTTER — In most cases, clutter can hinder concentration and cause frustration and tension. When you find your desk becoming chaotic, take time to organize. Remember you can only effectively work on one thing at a time, so concentrate all of your efforts on the most important one. Clearing or organizing your desk nightly should be standard practice.
AVOID PERFECTIONISM — There is a difference between striving for excellence and for perfection; the first being attainable, gratifying and healthy,while the second is often unattainable and frustrating.
LEARN TO SAY “NO” — Learn to decline, tactfully yet firmly, requests that do not fit with your goals. If you explain that your motivation is not to get out of work, but to save time to do a better job on the really important things, you’ll have a good chance of avoiding unproductive tasks.
DON’T PROCRASTINATE — Decide to change habits immediately, but don’t take on too much too quickly.
DELETE TIME-WASTING ACTIVITIES AND HABITS — If you are wasting your time in activities that bore you, divert you from your real goals and sap your energy, make changes in a positive direction or delete them from your schedule.
DELEGATE — Learn to delegate the challenging and rewarding tasks, along with sufficient authority to make necessary decisions.
AVOID THE WORKAHOLIC SYNDROME — Don’t let work interfere with the really important things such as family, friends and enjoyment.
COMMON CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION
Low tolerance for frustration • Fear of failure • Fear of success • Perfectionistic tendencies • Distaste for a particular task • Self doubt • Feelings of being overwhelmed by “the whole task” • “I find this task easier to do when I’m under pressure” • Waiting to “get into the mood” • Loss of desire to complete the task
“TO DO” LIST TRICKS: THE CHARLES SCHWAB PRIORITY LIST METHOD
Write down your upcoming duties.
Write down a number beside each duty to indicate which is more important.
Do each duty in order of its assigned importance.
Do not go on to the next one until the preceding duty is completed or when you have done as much as you could for the present period of time. Both are personal values, with “importance.”
Any uncompleted duties at the end of the day become top priority for the next day.