If you are like a lot of people, procrastination may be one of the reasons why you are not more prosperous. Constantly putting off what you need to do results in you becoming further and further behind with everything else as well. Sooner or later something either won’t get finished or you’ll be so short of time that you will rush to complete a project and, as a result, you will not do the best that you are capable of doing.
Here are some ways to help you stop procrastinating.
- Write Down Your Goals– Writing down your goals helps to keep you organized and to keep you on schedule.You will want to write down your daily goals as well as your long time goals. Keeping a daily goal or to-do list will enable you to see exactly what you need to accomplish every day. Writing down all of your goals will help keep you focused, make your goals real to you, and help you meet your goal day to day.
Try to finish everything on your daily to-do list every single day. By doing this, you will be growing your business instead of being at a standstill because you don’t know what you need to accomplish on any given day.
- Analyze What You Need To Do– Often a task seems so overwhelming that it is difficult to get started. It’s a good idea to break tasks into smaller parts and then work on just one part at a time. Decide what needs to be done every day. Your daily goal may be to write one chapter in your new e-book or to test one section of your new script. This way, you are accomplishing something every day and are working towards finishing your project.
- Prioritize– Take a few minutes everyday before turning on your computer to prioritize your tasks for the day. Once you have identified what are the most important things that you need to do that day, work on them first.Don’t start anything new until you have accomplished each task in the order of its importance. Avoid the temptation of skipping a task because it is not as much “fun” as another task further down on your list.
- Worst First – If you have something on your to-do list that day that you really dislike doing, work on that task first. Not only will this get the most dreaded task completed, everything else that you need to do that day will be easy in comparison. Besides which, it will be much faster to complete a dreaded task when your energy is at its highest level.
- Eliminate Distractions– While most marketers will tell you one of the benefits of having an Internet business is that you can work from the comfort of your home. Although this is great for many reasons, working from home also promotes procrastination. This is because of the many distractions associated with any household. There is the phone to answer, the door to open, the neighbor to talk to, and children or your partner demanding your attention. Maybe your favorite movie is on the television or there is a soap opera you never miss. Then there is the Internet itself with the many distractions offered by way of forums, information, news or even games.
It’s up to you to recognize what distracts you, especially those that tempt you the most. Once you can identify the things that distract you, find ways to eliminate them.Set up your workstation where you can work without a lot of distractions. You may want to use earplugs or headphones to block out background noise. Mute the telephone and let any callers go to voice mail.
- Work in Sections– If you know that you have hours of work ahead of you, it is tempting to postpone starting the project. So break the project into smaller sections of 45-60 minutes. Then take a 5-10 minute break. Use your break time for pleasure, work on something else for your business, answer e-mails, or just get away from your computer for a few minutes. You’ll come back refreshed and more willing to tackle the next section of your project.
- Accountability– One of the problems of owning an Internet business and being your own “boss” is that you aren’t accountable to anyone other than yourself. Besides which, you have no real deadlines. If you don’t finish a project, it is easy for you to extend the time frame in which to complete your project.
One of the best ways to make sure that you get things done on time is to make yourself accountable to someone else. This could be anyone, for example, your spouse, a friend, a colleague, or your mentor. Just tell him/her you are working on (project name) and will complete it by (date).By just telling someone that you will complete a project by a certain date, you will work harder to make sure you complete the project on time. Although in reality you are not letting anybody down (except yourself) if you don’t complete the project on time, just knowing that someone expects you to finish the project by a certain date may be enough for you to complete the project on time.You don’t even have to be accountable to a person as you can write down a date that you will finish a project by, just post it on your desk as a constant reminder. Having a written record of when a project is to be finished by is often enough to keep you focused.
- Set Up A Schedule– Set up a daily schedule of what you will do during that day’s work period. Write down everything that you would normally do during that time. Then assign a time frame to finish that particular task. But be realistic. If you receive 20 emails a day, don’t schedule ½ hour for emails as it won’t take you near that long to go through only 20 emails. On the other hand, if you are writing an e-book, don’t schedule 15 minutes to write a chapter unless you write extremely fast. Instead, schedule an hour or two for writing each chapter, longer if you have not yet researched the subject.
Besides a daily schedule, you will also want to set up a weekly and a monthly schedule. If you have long term goals, you may want to set up a yearly schedule. Include a completion date for each project in your schedule. For example, if you are writing an e-book, you might schedule completion of the project by the end of the month. If you want to write and submit 10 articles to article directories, you might schedule writing an article every day for ten days. Then in your monthly schedule, write in the day that you will submit your articles to article directories.
The key to being successful in business – especially online business – is knowing what you don’t know. Once you do, you have an advantage over everyone else.
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