To be honest with you, I was procrastinating about this article. Until I've actually sat down and decided to write it. I had an issue with writing about procrastination when I am the one who's also procrastinating. But than I figured, everyone's doing it and I've actually decided to combat it. Therefore I decided to combine clutter and procrastination, because of their direct link. In order to combat these 2 stubborn diseases, there are certain steps that you need to take.
My lite routine consists of next of couple of steps:
Planning -> Writing it down -> Removing the clutter -> Taking action -> Reaching the goal
When it comes down to planning this is pretty much hit and miss, especially if you are beginner in time management. There is a lot of data, that you will need to figure out about yourself and preferably write them down. I am avid hater of pattern behavior, but there are certain events that are happening to you on daily basis. Use the reminders for those and mark those blocks of busy time. Good example of that are working hours. Mark the begging of those times and use a reminder. I have really flexible view on the time and need constant reminder on time and things that have to be done, therefore I found one really powerful tool to help me with all the things that I plan on doing that day. That tool is Google Calendar and it power drains from the opportunity to sync your plans onto your mobile phone and use it as a reminder afterwards, by using your alarm, that will keep reminding you.
There are a couple of reminders that you can use. When you click on "create event", afterwards you should jump on to "modify the event" in order to set the reminders. There are two types of reminders: emails and pop-up. I usually set 2 reminders for activities that are longer in my time line. One of them is email, which I set out to notify me 24 hours prior to the event and another one that is pop-up, which notifies me 1 hour prior to the event (or depending on how much time it requires me to reach the destination if it requires my physical presence.) This can give you a clear idea on what is scheduled ahead. Also there is a third type of reminder, which gives me a brief summary of what's planned for next day. That one pops up on my mobile an hour or two before I go to sleep, forcing me to think, how my next day will look like.
One of most important things around Google Calendar planning is it's flexibility. If you don't feel like doing something, cancel it, and remember to cancel it in appropriate time. When you plan, you want to decrease your stress levels. Decreased stress levels lead to higher productivity. So now that I covered the basics of planning (which I will cover in more details in next blog posts) I want to get back on removing the clutter.
Removing the clutter is something that we need to do on day to day basis. It consists of throwing or disposing the stuff that we don't use, removing bad subscriptions from your Google reader, removing people that you don't care about in your Facebook/Twitter newsfeed/timeline. De-clutter your life on daily basis, by removing all those informations that are unnecessary and distracting. No I am not advocating removal of fun things in your life, but there is time for you, when you are going to watch funny YouTube clips and read non related stuff for leisure. And you plan that time, as your leisure time! We are being way more productive when we are focused on task at hand, even our leisure is generating more pleasure when we focus only on that segment of our work day.
Loads of us are mix and matchers, because we are going to Facebook a bit during our work flow, and than we're going check out that awesome YouTube clip, which we could watch later… Or skip it altogether? And when distractions kick in, we will spend whole day, thinking that we were working and draining mental energy that is in working mind set and pour it into distractions. Leaving us unsatisfied, not properly entertained and worse of all, leaving us without our tasks complete.
Make a habit of having leisure time separated from your work flow. This way you can work less and achieve more. Now that we removed all the clutter in form of distractions, it's way easier to combat procrastination. There is our phone reminding us, that our leisure time is scheduled after we complete goals that we've sett for the day… Careful planing leaves you easy battle against procrastination, and getting you in the mood to take action. When you are consistently taking action, you will reach your goals way sooner, beating the deadlines and overall you will get things done and have more free time.
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