Are you a wait-to-the-last-minute-er? Me too. Especially on things like taxes and project proposals.
So often I think, “Oh it’s not due yet, I can focus on this other thing for now. I still have pleeeeeenty of time.”
And then a month goes by and ::bam:: it’s crunch time.
Someday I’ll figure out how to finish things early. But for now, here are my 5 secrets for optimizing procrastination and making any sucky thing suck less. ;)
Secret #1: Start with a clean space.
A CLEAN SPACE = A CLEAN MIND
And any task is much easier to complete when your mind is clear.
If your space is cluttered, your mind probably is too. So let’s fix that.
Now let me say this: Do NOT fall down the rabbit hole and put off the task you need to do by cleaning your space. You are going to be fast and efficient at this. Got it?
To do so, follow a 10-minute rule when you prep a space:
1. Set a timer for 10 minutes and clean your work area. (ACTUALLY set a timer; don’t just look at the clock). It’s amazing how much faster and more focused we work when we know there’s a short deadline.
2. Whatever you haven’t cleaned up in that 10 minutes… throw it in a box. I know this isn’t the best habit. But seriously, you will feel so much more grounded and focused when you have a clean desk. Just be sure to add cleaning out that box to your to-do list for later!
Secret #2: Plan
Again, set your timer for 10 minutes and make a to-do list of all the things you’ll need to do to finish the job.
Also, grab any materials, files, or supplies you will need so they’re close by!
In Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog”, (which I highly recommend) he talks about the importance of planning with the 10/90 Rule:
“The first 10 percent of time you spend planning and organizing your work before you begin will save you as much as 90 percent of the time in getting the job done once you get started”. – BRIAN TRACY
Again, don’t procrastinate on the main task here. Plan efficiently!
Secret #3: Fuel your body
Make sure you have a glass of water on your desk and some healthy snacks not far away.
Getting any long task done is always harder when your brain slows down due to dehydration and low blood sugar.
This is a really important one for me. I have a tendency to just keep pushing through and I get SO much more done more quickly when I take breaks and make sure my body is fueled up!
Secret #4: (The Most Important) Add some fun
As one of my favorite childhood idols said…
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and ::snap:: the job’s a game… A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” – MARY POPPINS
While you may not be able to make doing your taxes a game, you can certainly sweeten the deal.
So how do you make it more fun? Simply by adding in other things you love. By bringing some soul into the process.
So ask yourself, “How could I make this more fun for me?”
For me, it’s usually lighting some incense, turning on my favorite playlist, and grabbing some apples and cheese and a cup of blueberry tea.
Don’t under-estimate this step. Making your process more enjoyable will help you get the job done faster and do a better job.
It will put you in a groove vs. loathing every second of it.
It will make all the difference between coming home feeling exhausted, and coming home feeling accomplished.
Secret #5: Envision Kicking Ass
Right before you begin, sit down at your space, close your eyes, and imagine how you want to feel while you complete the task.
If it didn’t suck. If you weren’t judging yourself for waiting so long, feeling incompetent, or super stressed. If you were a rock-star at your taxes, or whatever you’re doing, what would that feel like to you?
Would you feel efficient, focused, confident, professional, energized?
Whatever the answer is for you, imagine you feel that way. Pull the feeling into your body and your heart. Sit with it. Feel gratitude for it. Embody it.
You can do this.
Now open your eyes, and begin.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I hope these tips help you get to work and have some fun while you’re at it!
Secrets #4 and 5 are especially useful for ANY loathsome or nerve-racking task in your life. They can make doing dishes more fun or help you build confidence for a presentation.
Remember, although you don’t have control over what you do, you do have control over how you do it. And that can make all the difference.
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Dreams of Love & Sunshine,