“Inaction only makes a task more daunting in your eye. Act quickly, before you overthink, get anxious or give up.”― Avina Celeste
Clearly I’m not an expert who can advise you on how to get your work done and be productive in life. I have dealt with chronic procrastination before. I still can be quiet an annoying procrastinator and terribly lazy at times. Over the years, I have come across few tricks that have worked well for me to complete my tasks well before time and get a good night’s sleep knowing that I have been productive today.
Although I have a good sleep schedule, I can’t avoid negative thoughts on those nights where I feel I have been unproductive throughout the day. This has happened with me almost all my life. When I was a student, I loved making schedules and timetables to study. But I never understood why I was always unable to stick to those timetables. I know now that it was my anxiety acting up and building unnecessary stress and fear in me to work on my tasks. I wish I had this realization back in the days. It would have definitely help me make better use of my time.
Well, it’s better late than never. I have picked up few techniques from my experiences that help get my work done, at least in most cases. I’m still the same person with a better ability to fight the evils of anxiety, fear and laziness.
The thing that works best for me is preparing a ‘to-do list’. Yes, I still get excited while preparing schedules. Preparing a to-do list helps me organize my tasks on a sheet of paper (you can use any method) so that I have a fair idea of tasks on hand (than leave it to the mercy of my unpredictable memory). I really wish to jot down a to-do list every night for the next day to be mentally prepared for each new day. Now this is something I really need to push myself to do. Next up, start before you can think. Yes, you have your to-do list in place which gives you an idea of the work you have to do during the day, pick one task (possibly the most difficult one) and start right away. You can spend some time on thinking of ways to get it done in the best possible manner but I tend to slag around and waste my time when I do this. On most weekends, starting from Saturday, I used to wake up late and then sleep some more till I came back to my senses at the end of Sunday. My weekends started getting more productive once I created a early morning running schedule and forced myself to stick to it each time. Once I got the most difficult thing done first thing in the morning on a weekend, the rest of the day just passed by blissfully. I am a morning person, I like to get to work first thing in the morning as those are my most productive hours. For night owls, I suggest you understand your productive hours and complete your work during that period of time. The last and most important thing that works for me is to plan well ahead of time. I hate last minute jitters, trust me when I say that it doesn’t help in the quality of work at all. I have shrugged off work to the last minute all my life and ended up with a feeling of extreme dissatisfaction at the end of it. It’s better to pre-plan your work and add it to your to-do list each day so that you are able to work on it bit by bit each day.
That’s about it! These are the ways I’m sticking to currently to avoid that nagging feeling of disappointment at the end of each day. Hope it helps you in some way or the other. Do let me know if it does!