I really wouldn’t consider myself a really big procrastinator – but I would certainly consider myself one of the 75% of people whom think they are. It’s very easy to have things in the back of your mind and just not start them – people like myself sometimes need a kick in the pants to get going – but perhaps there’s a better way?
Procrastination can be defined as basically the deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. A guy like myself has NO shortage of tasks or things to do, so most of the time I have no choice but to procrastinate some of them – but when things get overwhelming, it would be great to have a set of ‘tools’ (for a lack of a better term) to go to in order to really get things done. Man I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I were all caught up in everything and starting NEW projects
Anyhow I’ve come across a number of tips and helpful information across the Internet, so I thought I would share.
The following came from an insert from the Blue Cross pamphlet I came across:
- Set goals that are attainable – don’t set yourself up to fail
- Divide large tasks into smaller pieces – don’t bite off more than you can chew
- Avoid distractions – it’s hard enough to concentrate
- Share your goal with others – using peer pressure to push you forward
- Choose and emulate role modes – strive to be like the people you admire
- Plan ahead and stick to the plan
- Reward yourself for completing the task
These are all very good, however I find them very generic as well. I can certainly relate to the Divide large tasks into smaller pieces part as with my photography, when doing touch-ups and edits – I try to set a goal of x amount of pictures a night. That way, I can do lots of other things and still know that if I keep things up – I will be done on ‘x’. It does work, but takes a lot of discipline as well.
This is a technique developed by Francesco Cirillo which is actually a free downloadable PDF if you were interested in reading the 45 pages (download it here). It was created in 1992 and is now practiced by professional teams and individuals around the world.
How does it work?
The basic unit of work in the Pomodoro Technique™ can be split in five simple steps:
- Choose a task to be accomplished
- Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro a timer like a kitchen timer)
- Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
- Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
- Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break
I won’t re-invent the wheel but I can tell you that there is lots of information on this at http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/index.html and it’s got quite a large following – surprisingly so for such a simple idea. There is more to it than meets the eye so if you’re interested, I’d suggest you take a few minutes (it’s 45 pages) and read the PDF.
Interesting review of the technique here
My favorite site of course has all kinds of great tips for killing procrastination – I’ve listed some of the better posts:
So with all these tips – are they going to help me stop procrastinating? I need to finish up a lot of photo edits, I need to see about increasing my web presence by perhaps visiting Search Engine Marketing Chicago and doing some work there, I need to do some kitchen renovations and some painting… hmm.. maybe I should make a list.. perhaps I’ll do that next week.