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By the End of This Year: Crush Procrastination
Putting off a few small tasks until tomorrow seems OK—until tomorrow turns into next week, and next week turns into next month. And suddenly, you have a lot more stress, tighter deadlines, and longer days at the office.
When you've waited until the last minute to do something, there’s no time to go the extra mile; usually, you just have to settle for whatever you can churn out at the last minute. Procrastination keeps your work ordinary, at best.
Now, tackling a challenge like this won’t take just a day or a week. But with these three steps to get you started, you can certainly help turn your procrastination around by the end of the year.
1. Schedule Your Priorities
When you tell yourself, “I’ll do this tomorrow,” actually block off some time in your calendar the next day to work on it. Scheduling helps give you both the structure and the dedicated time you need to actually make significant progress.
2. Practice Focusing
Try this: Pick a task you’ve been putting off, and work on it for 20 minutes without looking up. Take a short, five-minute break, then do it again. This will help you form new habits that will, over time, allow you to be (and feel) more productive.
3. Phone a Friend
Tempted to procrastinate? Ask a friend or colleague to hold you accountable. Give this person the details on what you want to accomplish, and the deadline that goes along with it. Then, ask him or her to check in with you for daily updates on your progress. You’ll be much more motivated when you know someone’s keeping tabs on your work.
Sure, you’ll have plenty of resolutions in just a couple months. But why wait? Start practicing now—while there’s less pressure and no one’s looking. Think about how great you’ll feel waking up in 2014 knowing you’ve mastered these three simple ideals. And everyone else? They’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ve made so quickly in the new year!