Posted By: Alexis Ignatovich
“Why do today what you can put off ‘til tomorrow?” Gosh how that old adage has fueled many a Netflix binge sessions. On the other hand it has also helped me to produce some amazing end results. So many people think that the “P” word incites slothfulness, a lack of dedication, and comes with an all-around negative connotation. In my opinion, if done properly that dirty word can promote attentiveness, good time management and much less stress. Imagine that!
The feeling of being overwhelmed and possibly in way over your head can bring anyone to a crippling halt before they even get started. What causes this? Usually it starts with just the mere idea of it all and then it viciously snowballs from there. Just thinking about that feeling makes me want to bang my head against my keyboard in shuttering defeat. If this sounds like you then instead, why not try taking a little break for about 10 minutes to acknowledge your freak out and come back to your base line center.
Then try these following tricks to help fine tune your focus through a little procrastination:
#1 – LISTS! LISTS! LISTS!
Break down your project into smaller manageable tasks and write them all down. The creation of a detailed list can help center your focus on the different steps that you need to take in order to complete your project. It will help keep you on target and produce little victories against your once mounting anxiety. Trust me when I say that every time you cross something off, that it can create tiny euphoric moments of accomplishment.
#2 – Timing is EVERYTHING
Generally we all have a sense of how long it will take to accomplish a task. Assign a time frame to each task in your list and be sure that you set realistic completion times for each item. If not, you will end up putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to hit that goal. Setting time frames will help provide a structure to your project and prevent mistakes caused by rushing. Extra perk when you realize that you have multiple mini tasks instead of one monstrous one. HUZZAH!
#3 – Take a break
CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just successfully avoided beginning your project for probably the last 20-30 minutes without even realizing it. Now that you have your tasks outlined and a set time frame to accomplish each item listed, take a quick break to psych yourself up.
#4 – One thing at a time
There has been proven research that people tend to have increased motivation when they can complete multiple tasks quickly. Welcome to the age of instant gratification! If possible, start with the simplest items on your list that take the least amount of time. Get those out of the way and cross them off.
#5 – Take another break
After every few completed list items, that now make your “to do” list look more like a scratch pad, take another break and walk away from it completely. You are the master of your world and this time is yours. If at all possible, leave the remainder of your list for the next day.
#6 – Rinse and repeat
Keep going until you reach your finish line!
As a Director, I have an open door policy. Anyone who is looking to escape their list is welcome to seek refuge in my office. In fact I encourage it! I would be lying if I said that people have not napped on my floor when they start to feel overwhelmed. With the institution of breaks, individual focus and productivity has increased and errors have decreased.
How’s THAT for laser focus?
So, Keep Calm and Netflix on!