The opposite of productivity is procrastination. But procrastination can be hard to overcome. Here are 6 helpful habits to kick your bad ones for good.
Rethink time management
Think of time management as managing yourself in frames of time – 15-minute increments, to be exact. See what you can accomplish in 15 minutes, whether it’s organizing your desk or office, tackling your schedule, or calling patients back. 15 minutes isn’t a lot, but it can be powerful. Don’t get overwhelmed or panicked – remember, many a sporting team has come from behind to win in the last 15 minutes of a game. Once you’ve got some success with tackling dreaded tasks in 15 minutes, up it to 30, then 45, and then 60 (the “Power Hour”).
Set small goals
Setting realistic, clearly defined goals make them easier to accomplish. Make sure to not set too many goals. If you go too big and don’t meet your targets, it can be hard to pull yourself out from the disappointment that follows and procrastination can set in. Small goals are a great way to garner quick success and build a solid foundation.
Begin with the end in mind
Have a vision of your desired outcome to motivate you. Then break each task down that will get you there. In other words, break big jobs down into smaller jobs, so each “J.O.B.” becomes Just One Bite. This will allow you to focus on results, yet have a daily method of operation that defines the individual tasks along the way.
Distractions rob you of focus, time and energy. Commit to getting rid of distractions, whether that be turning off your phone or closing your office door. 15 minutes can be very productive if you focus on the task at hand and don’t let yourself get distracted. Be in the present.
Write things down
Keeping an organized list of things you need to do, and when, helps you develop clarity. That means writing things down, whether it’s in a planner or on your phone (but don’t let yourself get distracted by checking texts or social media if you use your phone!). Whatever you use, you need to be organized. When something gets done, cross it off and reward yourself for a job well done.
Give yourself credit when you reach a goal, no matter how small – even if it was accomplishing something in 15 minutes! If you have a bigger goal, have a bigger reward in mind to motivate you to get it done and overcome any challenges you meet along the way. The reward is the payoff.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” That quote is attributed to Albert Einstein. Whether he said it or not, we can still learn a lot from it. If you’re comfortable doing something but it’s not working for you, make some changes so you can achieve the results you want.