Posts Tagged ‘procrastination’

The “To-Do-List”

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Mental vs. Written vs. Honey-Do


The infamous To-Do List…

I think we all know about this nifty little tool in our lives. There are different kinds of To-Do lists: the Mental List, the Written List, and the all time favorite, Honey Do List. All of these can be effective tools, although, they do differ in their effectiveness.

The “Mental List”

This list is used by all of us. We all ponder over the things we want to get done, the things we need to get done, and the things we wish we could get done. The main problem with the Mental List is its vastness. It can be as big as our minds will allow it to be. The Mental List, along with its vastness, is usually not as organized as it should be and can be overwhelming. It is ever-changing and forming to meet our immediate needs.

The flexibility of the Mental List is another of its downfalls. We can easily place obstacles in our own way. We can all find reasons, or excuses, why we can’t get something done. On this list, it is far too easy to put things off until tomorrow. With the Mental List we often retreat to the comfort of our own mind, where we justify our actions with the very secure feeling that someday these things will be done, and when they are, all things will be okay. This shows the ineffectiveness of the Mental List. A good friend of mine once told me “The Mental List is wonderful…….a wonderful waste of time.”

The to-do list, Honey-do list, goal setting, getting organized, time managementThe “Written List”
This is the most effective of all the To-Do lists. Its simplicity is its most powerful characteristic. It is not as easily changed as the Mental List.

The Written List is firm and works best if kept brief and prioritized. One of the best features of the Written List is the act of crossing off items as they are completed. Not only are things getting done, but you see the list getting smaller. This simple reward of a shrinking list has a very large impact on your subconscious mind. Your mind will then motivate you to do the next task, as it loves to be rewarded.

Another advantage of the Written List is that your creation of obstacles is more difficult. If there is, in fact, an obvious obstacle to a particular task, it is best to write down that obstacle as its own task. A good example of this happened to me recently. I had to rake the leaves from my yard but before I could do that I had to buy a new rake. I simply put that obstacle on my To-Do list as “Buy a new rake.” Once that was completed, I had no reason NOT to rake the leaves from my yard. One easy step….two things off the list! If I were using the Mental List I could have easily put this off until the snow flew. The Written List holds you accountable to yourself, and it works.

The “Honey Do List”
This list can come in two forms, the verbal and the written. I’m sure most of us would prefer to hear the Verbal List. Why? Simple; as with the Mental List, it can easily be overcome by merely stating that you forgot or some other lame excuse. This may work a few times but, more often than not, the author of this verbal list will quickly recognize their error and present you, as if by magic, a Written List.
Now you have two lists. That in itself, can become overwhelming. The easy remedy to this situation is to move the things from the Honey-Do List to your Written List.

Conclusion
I must admit I was a victim of the Mental List strategy. My wife, on the other hand, has used the Written List exclusively for years. The difference was she was getting things done and I was simply talking a big game, with no real results. She did try to convert me many times, but I held fast to my beliefs and paid the consequences with constant inefficiency. The why, when and how to all of this can be learned and fine tuned by simply visiting www.goalsmentor.com and enrolling in their straightforward course. The fact is, she finally convinced me to try it. I now use the Written List and it works like a charm.

You Choose Your Reaction; The 90/10 Rule

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Discovering the 90/10 Principle will change how you react to situations and it will positively change your life. This principle is written by Stephen Covey and we want to share it with you.

What is this principle?

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. However, you can control your reaction; you can control how you react.

Let us use an example: You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit zone. After a 15-minute delay and throwing away $60 on a traffic fine, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terribly. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home. When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.
Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

    A. Did the coffee cause it?
    B. Did your daughter cause it?
    C. Did the policeman cause it?
    D. Did you cause it?
    The answer is “D”.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “Its ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel, you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early to work and cheerfully greet the staff.

Notice the difference? Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended differently.

Why? Because of how you REACTED. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% is determined by your reaction.

      90/10 Principle by Steven Covey

Understanding and applying the 90/10 principle WILL change your life!

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Planning Your Day and Time Management Tips

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Planning is a critical piece of the puzzle in reaching your goals. Planning makes you extremely more productive because you have written down, and know exactly, what the major and the minor tasks are that you must accomplish each day.

Time, Time Management, PlanningHow many times have you actually thought “Oh don’t forget to do that tomorrow!” Then tomorrow comes and you completely forget about that very important task that really needed to be done. You get slammed with so many interruptions and favors that you either forget or you put that important task on the back burner because other some other urgent, but probably not important task, was taken on by you.

Stephen Covey writes about this phenomenon of getting overwhelmed with unimportant activities in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” He divides tasks into 4 quadrants. The quadrants are labeled with the tags of important, not important, urgent and not urgent.

Important is something that creates results while urgent items are time sensitive or pressing on us.

This is how the quadrants work:

Quadrant 1 is Important and urgent – These things always get done because they are in your face and need to be taken care of right away like crises and result producing pressing issues.Time Management, Juggling Time, Planning, Scheduling

Quadrant 2 Important and not urgent – These are items that seem to always get put on the back burner of your life. This is where you really need to focus and plan because this is the quadrant where many goal action items can be accomplished. Goals seem to take a back seat and get bumped for urgent tasks or pressing issues. This is the quadrant you need to focus on – Important and not urgent.

Quadrant 3 Not Important and urgent – These are things like some calls, some mail, pressing matters, and some meetings that are all time sensitive but not productive and they do not create results.

Quadrant 4 Not important and not urgent – This is the fun square and it’s easy to spend a lot of time here. These are personal phone calls, emails, parties, pleasant activities, and busy work. Be careful not to spend too much of your time here. The key here is learning to say no to things that don’t produce results and have very little goal value.

Be conscientious of where you spend your time!

Now that you understand this theory of planning your time wisely, below are tips for planning.

You need a planner; just one calendar or planner.

    1. Every evening write down your task for the next day and be sure to write down at least on major goal action item.
    2. Write a specific time next to each task. This takes the guessing out of your day.
    Let’s say you schedule to exercise at 6:00 a.m. When you wake up, you don’t say “Well should I work out?” No, you say “I have to get up, do my power start and get started on my work out!” And you are excited to do it!

Don’t use floating notes, which are pieces of paper not attached to anything of significance.

    1. If you don’t carry a portable planner to write appointments and tasks in then carry a small spiral notebook.
    2. Each evening when you begin to plan the next day, transfer everything to your planner, tear out that page and throw it away so you don’t have to look at it again.

Clear and organize your desk or work area at the end of every day. With an organized desk or work area you can jump right into your tasks saving you 15 to 30 minutes the next morning.

It is said that for every 10 minutes of planning, you will save at least one hour of time. This concept alone should motivate you to plan your day. This accounts for about 5 extra hours of time each week to work in quadrant 2!

Make it a habit to plan day planned and watch your life positively change!

“What one thing could you do in your personal and professional life that, if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your life? Quadrant II activities have that kind of impact. Our effectiveness takes quantum leaps when we do them.” – Stephen R. Covey from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

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Clear Off That To-Do List!

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Does your to-do list just keep growing and you are not getting around to many of the tasks?

Your “list” can actually be detrimental and make you feel overwhelmed. To renew yourself and to re-energize, take these steps:

1. Determine if this task really has to be done, and if not, eliminate it from your list
2. Move any task that is not time sensitive to a long term list that you don’t look at every day
3. Choose a day and complete the tasks left on your list – all of them

A to-do list should make you feel good each time you are able to cross something off. By starting with a clean slate, you will feel happy because you will see your list shorten instead of grow!

“Sometimes the greatest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the decks.” — David Allen

40 Tips On How To Stop Procrastinating

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

In order to reach your goals you must commit to taking action steps.  If procrastination is an issue in your life then you must to take steps toward changing the habits that keep you from taking charge of your life. 

Here are 40 tips to stop procrastinating:

  1. Plan your next day, hour by hour, the evening before
  2. Make one to-do list
  3. Write your tasks down
  4. Put it on a calendar
  5. Learn to say “No”
  6. Schedule 2 hours of uninterrupted time in which to work on your tasks
  7. Commit to not checking email during scheduled uninterrupted time
  8. Commit to turning your phone off during scheduled uninterrupted time
  9. Commit to not checking for texts during scheduled uninterrupted time
  10. Get your spouse or children involved in what you are doing
  11. Partner up with someone who will hold you accountable
  12. Hold yourself accountable
  13. Report to someone else
  14. Let your family know what you are doing and get their support
  15. Give yourself deadlines (time and date) to finish a project
  16. Set your desk up to be conducive to productive work
  17. Do your biggest task in the morning or first thing before anything else
  18. Do the most difficult task first
  19. Do the item that will yield the most results first
  20. Require yourself to finish at least one action step before going to bed
  21. You can maintain high standards but being a perfectionist may hold you back
  22. Take a break to rejuvenate, but decide on a specific to complete after your break
  23. Build momentum by getting one, then two, then three things done
  24. Break a large action step into bite size, manageable pieces
  25. Find a way to get started by doing the easiest part first, build momentum
  26. Make your decision and stop wavering; it’s holding you up!
  27. Face your fear
  28. Identify your obstacles
  29. Finish a task before you start on a new one
  30. Get organized
  31. Make your task fun
  32. Reward yourself
  33. Don’t over plan
  34. Create a routine and plan recurring tasks at the same time every day
  35. Be disciplined
  36. Have a sense of urgency
  37. Just do it and stop thinking about it
  38. Believe in yourself
  39. Say affirmations every day
  40. Look at your goals every day

Take a step over that line of procrastination and make things happen in your life.  Your success or failure is up to you.

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The Importance of Goals in Your Life

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

In the last post, we promised to share some reasons why goals are essential.  Understanding the true importance of having clear specific written goals is the beginning of your journey to success.
 

The key to happiness is having dreams.
A goal is a dream with a deadline.

   Goals and why they are vital:  

  • You can’t hit a target you can’t see. There is no possible way of you getting what you want in life until you know exactly what you want. With goals you’ll be able to hit the bull’s eye.
  • Goals generate enthusiasm and give you a purpose with direction. With the excitement your goals create, you’ll work toward your objective with unfettered drive and determination.
  • Goals create confidence. They motivate you toward achievement with unshakeable assurance.
  • Goals produce discipline – making you mind yourself. Desire without discipline is disastrous. By just going through the actions you will confuse activity with achievement. Shuffling papers and not getting anything accomplished is just action; Tension relieving, not goal achieving.
  • If you don’t have goals, you are forced to focus on obstacles. Once you set a goal every decision you make all day long will affect that goal achieving or not achieving process. If you know the goal, you can say “Will this get me closer to my goal or farther from it?” It makes every decision process easy. It’s really simple when you have goals; there is no frustration or conflict.
  • You are successful if you have goals. Success is a journey not a destination. You become successful when you start working toward your goals. The definition of success is the continuous journey toward the achievement of predetermined worthwhile goals. Enjoy the journey.
  • Clear specific written goals fire up your reticular activating system (RAS) which a goal seeking region of your brain. RAS is responsible for motivation and achievement. It creates the process of arriving at a goal once the goal has been defined.
  • Your goals are an extension of your values. Goals keep your values in the forefront. Happiness is when you are living consistent with your values. Know what your values are and set goals from them.

What do you want?   You can achieve anything you want in life.

The key to success is making dreams with
a deadline come true.

 

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Plan your Life

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

What is more important to you:  a one week vacation or your life?  How about a house or your life?

Generally, the average person spends 4 to 5 times more effort, time, and energy planning their vacation than they spend planning their life.  Similarly, the planning of a house gets a lot more attention than the planning of one’s life. 

The taller the house the deeper the foundation; Likewise, the more we plan the higher we will go.  Or in the case of a vacation, with planning we can get to all the places we want to go.

The concept of planning your life is called goal setting.

We believe there are two reasons why only 3% of the American population has clear specific written goals.

1.  They don’t understand the true importance of having goals and the impact it would have on their life.
2.  They don’t know how to do it.

In the next few posts, we will share some information on these two points. 

Request the free Ebook and Audio download from Goals Mentor and start changing your life today!

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