Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A good way to stop procrastinating.

Eating the Frog

I can procrastinate with the best of the best procrastinators. I have projects that I have procrastinated doing or finishing for YEARS! However, you probably believe that I do more than the average bear. I do, because I eat my frogs.

Many years ago I read a business book by Brian Tracy called “Eat that Frog!” It was 21 ways to avoid procrastination and get more done. It was an easy read, so it didn’t end up in the pile of business books I still have yet to read. His theory is that if you write your “to do” list, you do the thing that you want to do least first and all the rest will be easy. You eat the ugliest frog first.

So, this is what I do. I make a “to do” list the night before or first thing in the morning and then figure out the thing I want to do least and do that first. It’s not a perfect science – I sometimes will do the thing on my list that is going to be the most challenging – even though I might enjoy it, because once I have that done, the rest will be easy.

For instance, writing this article was on my list along with laundry and unloading the dishwasher (two things I really dislike doing). Not to mention the really fun things like going and throwing some clay. So I got up and started writing first. I enjoy writing; however, this is going to take a lot more time to do than laundry, plus it has to be sent to my awesome proofreader (my Mom), so she can get it back to me in time to post it on my blog and write my eZine.

Another way that I get things done more efficiently is to lump the tasks together and until I am doing that task – I do not think about it. A good example is paying my bills. I try to pay them only twice a month, so when I am not paying them – I am not worried about how they are going to be paid (as it serves no purpose). I learned this technique from Eckhart Tolle in his interviews with Oprah. He talks about how we spend so much time worrying about something that needs to be done, so we don’t get other things done when we should.

The final technique I am going to share today is the use of a timer. I use this technique when my time is truly limited and yet I need to get something done. I figure out how much time I have to allot to the task and then I set the kitchen timer. I usually do this for getting housework done. It works well as it allows me to focus on only that task – no reading email, checking facebook, etc.

Now, about the things I do procrastinate. I tend to procrastinate on big projects that have no end in sight and this is because I have not found a way to break them into smaller projects that are more achievable. However, I do not beat myself up about these projects. I know they are there, if I ever find the time or figure out how to task them down, they will get done. In the meantime, I eat the frogs I can.

How do you keep yourself from procrastinating what needs to be done?

© 2010 Heather C. Morrow. All rights reserved

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? Of course you can, as long as you include the following with it:

Heather C. Morrow, owner of Pottery Daily, helps emerging artists express their true value and get paid what they are worth. Her products and services show you how to make more money, save more time while enjoying the freedom in your art. For your FREE audio go to www.marketandsellyourart.com.