How do you beat Procrastination?

Mozilla calendar
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I mentioned that I got to Step 3 of Stever Robbin’s book ‘9 Steps to Work Less and Do More’. How did I do it? Well, I read Step 2. lol. It is all about procrastination.  Much like looking at my projects with GTD, Stever suggests breaking up larger projects that you are procrastinating on into smaller chunks. He calls them using ‘Baby Chunks’. He is quite funny. lol. You should read his book 😉

Anyway, I have been doing the Postaday2011 Challenge here on and at the same time I have been exercising everyday. I wrote my most popular post about it. Check it out! Part of what Stever talks about in beating procrastinating, is setting up habits and using your calendar to do them. I have been using Google Calendar more to set specific times that I want to accomplish things.

Part of my issues with strictly following the GTD system, is that I can have a ton of @errand or @computer tasks, but some of them I just don’t WANT to do! After sorting out some of them and deleting others, I find that if I just stick them in my calendar and do them that day, they get done. Having Contexts is great, but they really never get done if I don’t add them to my schedule.

GTD may be great at helping me remember tasks and the Inbox concept is brilliant, but how does it motivate me to actually do them?

Stever Robbins mentions many different ways that you can motivate yourself. One of the ways he suggests may help is to get other people involved. He suggests you get a person or people to do a telephone meeting to purely tell each other what you have got done, and what you plan on doing in an allotted time. Then, next time you talk, ask each other if you got the items done. Accountability. A good idea. It works at work. Why not in your everyday life?

So how did I make it to Step 3 of the book? I have scheduled daily exercise as part of my Postaday2011 challenge. Some days I am too busy to get out for a mountain bike ride, or run, so I get on the stationary bike and ride. When I do, I pick up Stever’s book and read. It may only be for 20-30 minutes, but I am getting more reading done as part of scheduling exercise and reading in baby chunks than if I had put the “Next Action” to just read the book in my GTD system. It’s in there, but it’s not getting done.

The other thing I’ve started doing is making smaller ‘internal’ commitments to projects I have ongoing. As an example, I am the one that gets the laundry washed and dried in the house. I end up bringing it upstairs after, and starting a pile on the laundry table. My fiancee then sorts out the clothes between the umpteen family members. Once I have my clean hamper in the closet, I just don’t put it away. It seems like a big project and it just gets bigger. I am using Stever’s suggestion to break it into smaller chunks. Everytime I go in the closet, I grab 5 things and put them away. Well, today ALL my clean clothes are folded and put away! So much better than a project of ‘Put Clothes Away’ in my @Next Actions list, don’t you think?

Do you use different organizational tools? Do you combine ones that work best for you?

I’d love to hear what works for you! Leave a comment…