How To Stop Procrastinating – Today!

Stop Procrastinating, Become Efficient And Manage Your Time Effectively – In 10 Easy Steps

Procrastination is a deadly habit that can cripple your productivity. But with these 10 simple and easy steps, you can beat the habit and stop procrastinating ever again. Get ready to say goodbye to it – and take the brakes off your inbuilt success rocket!

We all waste time. The more effective among us waste less of it – and squeeze more productivity out of the same 24 hours that all of us have in a day. If you’ve been a victim of the procrastination habit and felt frustrated or upset about not being able to get more done, then these 10 simple steps will set you free.

1. Evaluate the problem.

Too often we ignore a problem because we have no idea how big it is. So take stock of the amount of time you waste in an average day. You’ll be shocked at how big a time sump even a simple thing like watching TV can be. Tip: Use a timer to measure the time you spend on each activity.

2. Assess the impact.

Take a few minutes to project ahead the impact this waste of time has on your future. What things are you being forced to abandon, postpone or give up because you lack enough time? Those are the ones you can pursue once you stop procrastinating.

3. Set your goals.

Now that you plan to beat procrastination, be bold and courageous about your goals and targets. Where you once worried about having enough time in your day, you know that there is time enough to spare – once you cut down on the waste and become more efficient.

4. Make to-do lists.

Put items on the list that will take you closer to your biggest goals. Make sure to factor in 2 things:

  • a. that you budget for enough time to get the tasks done
  • b. that you allow for unexpected delays and interruptions

Without this, you may end up experiencing to-do list frustration, when the items on your day’s list remain undone at the end of your work.

5. Establish rituals

Your tasks that take you towards your new goals must be carried out regularly. Make their execution a habit. Practice each task intentionally for 3 weeks, until it becomes second nature.

For instance, if you find it difficult to begin a new task because you’re tempted to watch TV, then set time limits and stick to them. Stop procrastinating. Watch TV for half an hour, and when the timer sounds, switch off the TV and get right back to work. Do this regularly, and soon it’ll become effortless.

6. Accomplish in installments.

The best way to eat an elephant is to do it in small bites! Even mammoth challenges become achievable when broken down into smaller components. Don’t try to complete major projects in record time. Give yourself enough time to do a good job. After all, as your to-do list only has important tasks on it, it’s important to do them well.

7. Begin.

Well begun is truly half done. Starting something new (or going back to work that had stalled) is difficult only until you gain momentum. So stop procrastinating, grit your teeth, and get through that part. The rest becomes easy. In fact, once you’re engaged in the activity and hit your stride, it’s hard to stop!

8. Reward yourself.

The completion of a major project is very satisfying. But it also takes a while, and you need some encouragement along the way. So get into the habit of rewarding yourself for reaching milestones. It doesn’t have to be something big – just a positive reinforcement that you’re doing well. A movie, perhaps, or going out to dinner.

9. Focus.

Don’t get distracted or lose concentration. Turn down invitations from friends or family. Turn off the TV and even your mobile phone, if it’s an interruption to getting work done. Put your full attention on the job at hand, and focus on it until you’ve completed the task. “How To Focus” is a Ming Vase Time Management guide that can help you deal with this better.

10. Good enough is good enough.

No one is perfect. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Do your best. Stop procrastinating because you’re afraid of not doing a great job. That’s only cheating yourself out of the reward of a job well done. And you can always improve upon something later, instead of obsessing over it without taking steps to execute.

There you have it. 10 simple steps to stop procrastinating and get things done. Time Management Tao is about simplicity and effectiveness. It’s a way to live so that your time utilization is optimal and efficient. All you have to do is:

For more tips on saving time and boosting your efficiency, sign up for our free email newsletter – the “Time Taozine” – by filling in the registration form below.

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Time Management Articles

5 Quick Minutes Can Transform The Way You
Manage Time – Instantly

Time management articles are transformational in their power to help manage your time. Often only a short, quick read, these articles are influential, impactful and instructional to everyone. This article reveals a step by step approach to time management and points you to a few other useful resources.

So you sit down to begin work. The report you plan to write is due next week. A ping indicates an incoming email message. You read it. There’s an interesting link in it. You click. There’s an article about a recent development in your field. You read it, and follow the discussion around it on a popular forum.

Suddenly, with a cry of surprise, you notice the time on the clock. Two hours have whizzed by, and you’re still distracted and browsing the Web. Your report work hasn’t even started!

Hurriedly, you close other files and fire up your text editor to begin your report. There’s a knock at the door. Your friend walks in, a sad expression on his face, and sits down in front of you. With a sigh, you realize you’ll have to tolerate a half-hour of whining about his troubles.

An hour later, he finally leaves and you’re about to get back to the report, when your colleague at work calls. He’s leaving on an emergency, and you’ll have to make the important presentation at the meeting tomorrow. The files are in an email he just sent you.

Urgent things are taking control of your life. Important things are being pushed to the back-burner. It’s how you’ve suffered ever since you can remember.

It’s time to change all of that – starting right now. With Time Management Tao. In a way that’s stress and anxiety free. Let’s talk about 3 simple ways to initiate this process.

Time Management – Step by Step

Most time management articles are prescriptive. They assume that everyone’s needs are exactly the same. They refer to a simple approach that’s universally applicable.

But you and I know that it doesn’t work that way. Your needs are unique, personal and individualistic. Your tasks and to do lists are different from mine. And your priorities are based on what matters most to your life and future.

So a universally applicable process must be infinitely adaptable. This one is. It has just 3 steps. They are simple to follow. Are you ready to begin?

1. Set Goals

Stephen Covey, author of hundreds of time management articles and one of the most famous experts on organization, stresses the importance of starting with the end in mind. In broad categories – like health, finance and relationships – you must begin by setting out, clearly, your 3 or 4 biggest goals and targets.

For instance, in the ‘relationships’ category, you may list

  • spending more time with your children
  • make your relationship with your spouse the highest priority
  • find the right balance between work and family

For each goal or target, write down a ‘mission statement’ that explicitly and clearly lays out what must happen in order to call it a ‘success’.

2. Plan Activities

Goals alone won’t take you anywhere, just like a map won’t get you to where you’re going. You’ve got to take action on the plan. So, decide on what activities will take you closer to your goals.

There are 3 steps to doing this:

  • list out all the activities that are necessary
  • prioritize them according to their importance
  • decide to commit 80% of your time to the top priority activities

You should prepare a daily schedule that will ensure your most productive time and energy is devoted to the few activities that deliver the highest return, in terms of reaching your biggest goals.

3. Get Things Done

Once you’ve set goals and planned activities, all that’s left is to knock them down, one task after another. To do that, you must follow a schedule, or a to-do list (which is often the only focus of most time management articles!)

  • Schedule only activities that take you towards your goals
  • Set your daily schedule at a regular time every day. Budget for it.
  • Review your schedule daily, to make sure the priorities are right.
  • Allow time for unexpected developments, delays and distractions.
  • Evaluate your performance periodically and make suitable changes.

With an intelligently prepared to-do list that is guided by your goals and high priority activities, you can conquer even the most challenging projects with success and confidence.

This is a very broad overview of the process to improving your efficiency and managing your time wisely and well. You can read many more time management articles on other sections of this site, and learn more about Time Management Tao which is rooted in how to:

You can also sign up for our free “Time Taozine” email newsletter – just fill in the registration form below. For a selection of some of the best time management articles from around the Web, check out these 3 powerful resources:

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9 Simple Steps To Better Time Management Skills

How To Effectively Manage Your Time To Create Your Most Productive Self

Everyone needs these powerful time management skills to make the most out of time available. Implementing the time management strategies that high achievers use daily can help you make more money, spend more time relaxing, and achieve deeper happiness in your life.

The reason to develop your time management skills is to make every day count. No matter whether you work for yourself or for a boss, your goal should be to accomplish as much of value as possible in a typical day. Setting deadlines for things to do, and then meeting them, is a personal challenge each of us faces. Working more intelligently, beating the clock and accomplishing your tasks within time can set you ahead of the crowd.

These 9 time management skills can help you make better use of your time. You’ll no longer struggle to fit a to-do list that’s too long into a 24 hour day that seems to shrink by the minute!

1. Set Clear Goals

Unless you know what you’re setting out to do, how will you know when it’s done? Spell out your objectives before you begin a task. At the same time, ask yourself if it really needs to be done, and if it does, should you be the person doing it (or can you delegate it to others?)

2. Make Your List

 

time management skills

Writing down things to do frees you from the bother of having to remember them – and risk forgetting something important. You don’t need fancy time management tools. A simple ruled notebook and a pen or pencil will do. Make sure your list is manageable, and only includes important tasks.

3. Delegate What You Can

When you’ve drawn up your list of things to do, see which of the items can be handed over to someone else on your team. Do only the things that you have to do, and assign the rest to others.

4. Take Advantage of Down Time

While walking, jogging, driving, or waiting to meet someone, make use of the ‘dead’ time to plan and catch up with tasks. Carry along material that can help you make use of the time. Listen to tapes or CDs, dictate notes, and prepare for meetings during these periods.

5. One Thing At A Time

Multi-tasking is the biggest energy drain and time waster invented. Human beings are not hard wired to multi-task. Yet we fool ourselves thinking we are capable of handling multiple tasks simultaneously. The lack of focus means you’ll take longer to do each task than if you focused on it exclusively.

6. Stop Procrastinating

The greatest delays in any project happens during the time before you start working on it. Procrastination kills productivity. So stop procrastinating. Hit the ground running. Once you start work, you’ll soon pick up steam and hit your stride.

7. Exercise

Physical fitness improves your focus and concentration, and keeps you energized and enthusiastic about your work. Working out every day can boost your productivity like nothing else, and that’s why it is included in this list of time management skills to work on.

8. Set Yourself Deadlines

Normally, deadlines increase stress and anxiety. But when you set your own personal deadlines – and make them earlier than when the project is due – you actually alleviate the last minute stress and strain, while enhancing your productivity. You’ll enjoy the buffer time you’ll get by finishing tasks ahead of time.

9. Slow Down

Deep breathing helps relieve stress, slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and increase oxygen content in your circulation. All of this can boost productivity and reduce anxiety, so that your focus will be sharper and you’ll get things done quickly.

All these time management skills are easily learned and practiced. The Ming Vase Time Management guides go deeper into the specific skills you’ll need the most to improve your effectiveness.

You can also sign up to the free “Time Taozine” for updates about time management skills. Just submit the registration form below.

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Time Management Techniques

How To Effectively Manage Your Time In a Warp-Speed, Multi-Tasking, Lightning-Fast World

Time management techniques are easy to find, but difficult to learn. Picking the most effective time management methods and implementing them in a disciplined manner can transform your success, at work and in personal life. This list of 10 proven tips and techniques can become a good starting point.

How we wish we were taught good time management techniques at school? Most of what we learn about managing time more effectively comes from hard knocks as we grow up and grow wiser. In a world that’s speeding along and getting faster by the minute, you must be able to organize the deluge of information that’s coming, and put it to use efficiently. If procrastination or lack of proper goals holds you back, you’ll pay a heavy price.

Knowing and using effective time management techniques can be the skill that differentiates you from everyone else at work. When you handle even large workloads with efficiency and style, your career will take off. But when you learn how to balance this skill with other elements that keep you in harmony with all facets of your life, you will become truly enlightened.

Here are 10 techniques that will help you manage time better.

1. Strive For An Empty Email Inbox

Email is both a boon and a curse. We all spend a lot of time dealing with email. Only few of us do it efficiently and well. Keeping your email inbox as close to empty as possible is a learned skill, one that’s critical to your time management expertise.

Touch email only once. Read it, decide upon it, and act. If it needs a reply, answer. If you need it for later reference, file it. If it needs further thinking over, move it to a folder. One touch – and only one – will save you hours every month in wasteful effort.

2. Focus On One Thing Only

We’ve all been fed the KoolAid of ‘multi-tasking’. But the reality is that juggling multiple tasks at once is wasteful and lowers your productivity. Stop doing it. Be aware of whatever you are doing, and concentrate fully on it – until the task is done.

Then, move on to the next item on your list and deal with it in the same way, until that too is done. Rinse and repeat. You’ll breeze through your list quicker than when you try and do many things at the same time.

3. Prioritize Your To Do List

 

Tempting as it may be, hurrying to finish the most urgent or pressing tasks is a losing strategy. You’ll spend the most productive part of your day fighting fires, only to discover, after much time has flown, that your most important things remain undone.

So, get the most important things done first. Prioritize your list of things to do, and start with the one that has the biggest impact on your overall goals. Try and focus an hour or two on this task at the beginning of your work day, and leave the less important stuff for later. This is among the most effective time management techniques you’ll adopt.

4. Avoid Distractions

Do you keep checking email every 15 minutes? Or firing up Twitter to catch up on tweets? Or drop by Facebook to share some gossip with friends? It’s costing you – dearly.

Although we live in a 24/7 culture online, there is absolutely no necessity to remain ‘hooked to the grid’ all day long. While others may expect an immediate response to their posts, tweets or emails, you are not obligated to cater to these whims. Be consistent in how soon you respond, but don’t strive for immediacy at the cost of postponing your important work.

The Ming Vase Time Management guide on “How To Focus” digs deeper into systems to improve concentration and focus so that you get things done more effectively.

5. Get Organized

Using ‘dashboards’ or quick reference lists can shave precious minutes off your daily routine. Having a set of frequently used Web links, passwords, and other data jotted down in an easy-to-reach place can work better than post-it notes scattered all around. Time saved on searching is time that can be devoted to being more productive.

6. Listen To Your Body

All of us have biological rhythms and unique work habits. You may be most productive early in the morning. Or you may discover you are most creative in the afternoon. Maybe you’re a ‘night owl’ who works best when the world is asleep.

No matter what your unique routine is, you will benefit from time management techniques that schedule major projects for your period of highest productivity.

7. Streamline and Simplify

Do you handle many repetitive tasks? On a computer, do you run similar routines several times a day? If you do, learning simple scripting to execute macros or hotkeys can save precious seconds each time – and this adds up to significant time savings over the course of months or years.

Simplifying a task that takes multiple steps, and cutting them down by even 10%, can have a similar effect over time.

8. Beat Procrastination

It’s hardest to begin work. Once you get going, the momentum will carry you along. So break down a bigger project into smaller pieces – and get started on one. As it gets done, you’ll gather steam and be more energized to begin working on the next.

9. Claim Your Freedom

Yes, being efficient is good. But getting stressed out about delays is bad. You have control. Take advantage of this power. Don’t obsess over delays or falling behind schedule. Don’t let someone else’s priorities interfere with your completion of important work.

Poor time managers respond to every external stimulus and distraction. Good ones know that they must call the shots if their dreams are to come true.

These time management techniques may sound simple and obvious. But they are powerful and effective. Try them out and watch as they transform your work and your life, bringing greater harmony and peace into it.

The techniques are rooted in the 3 Time Management Tao principles:

You’ll learn more about them in other sections of the site (check them out now), and can receive updates about time management techniques by email when you sign up to our free “Time Taozine” by submitting the form below.

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How Time Management Courses Steer You Away From Critical Mistakes

6 Ways To Save Time By Not Going Down The Wrong Path – And Maximizing Your Resources

How good are time management courses at helping you manage your time? If like most people you aren’t completely delighted at your ability to maximize your efficiency, then time management courses can be of great value in keeping you away from mistakes and turbocharging your productivity.

For over one hundred years we have exclusively focused on the technology of time management, trying harder and harder to squeeze greater productivity into our 24-hour days. That this has been a fruitless effort is proven by how stressed, anxious and unfulfilled most of us are today.

The revolution in managing time – one that is spearheaded by time management courses that are looking forward to the future – is that the focus is on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. By orienting our time managing efforts to lead us to where we eventually desire to reach, everything that was stressful and frustrating about our earlier attempts now becomes joyous and fun.

Time management courses teach a diverse range of elements, all of which are geared to making us more effective. But only the very best programs place the emphasis on the important components – and teach you how to avoid critical mistakes that can lead to you slipping down the rungs of your ladder to personal success.

Mistake #1 – Not Maintaining The Right Lists

 

If you’ve been relying on your memory to guide you to getting things done in your day to day working routine, then it’s time you started the practice of keeping to-do lists.

But don’t make the same mistake most time managers do. Prioritize items that go on your list, and keep the lower priority stuff off your list. Delegate it to someone else, or avoid having to do it at all. As long as you know what your goals are, and which activities will take you closer to them, you can safely ignore the rest while secure in the knowledge that it won’t affect your progress.

Mistake #2 – Not Correctly Defining Goals

To effectively prioritize your list of things to do, you must first know what matters most to you. Good time management courses like the Ming Vase Time Management series of guides will focus on this critical element and show you how to think about your big goals and targets.

Too many inefficient workers and individuals struggle to manage time because they let other people’s priorities be imposed upon them. Smart time managers will not allow this, because they have already set personal goals that are of highest importance to themselves.

Mistake #3 – Trying To Do Everything

The day isn’t long enough for even the most efficient among us to handle all the diverse tasks that fall into our laps. We need to refine and prune down our list to keep only the most important activities on our priority list.

Learning how to prioritize is a skill that can be learned by practice. Not every urgent and pressing need is really important. By matching each demand on your time against your list of important goals, it is easy to see this distinction and take suitable action to prevent yourself getting bogged down in ‘busy work’ that doesn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things.

Mistake #4 – Losing Concentration

Whenever you pause from the work you’re engaged upon, or get distracted by something, it takes an inordinate amount of effort to get back on track. In fact, one study showed that nearly 65% of people never return to the task they were doing before the interruption.

By learning to tune out distractions completely while working on a project, you can get a lot more done and execute your projects flawlessly and fast. “How To Focus” is a guide that delves deep into tips and techniques to help you keep your mind on what you’re doing, and tune out everything else.

Mistake #5 – Stop Procrastinating

It is hard to fight inertia and get started on a new project or task. And we often keep looking for excuses to delay work, engaging instead on trivia and irrelevant matters and postponing important chores. This leads to a build up of pressure as deadlines draw closer, leading to stress and anxiety.

There are specialized time management courses that show you how to beat procrastination and begin your important tasks without delay or dithering. Amazing enough, once you launch the project, it is infinitely easier to sustain the momentum. Starter’s block is the big enemy. Time management courses can help you overcome it.

Mistake #6 – Not Delegating Work

When you accept everything that is thrown your way, and try to do it all by yourself, you are creating a recipe for disaster. There are two components to fighting this mistake. The first is to learn how to say “No” when irrelevant work is thrust upon you. This may be difficult to do, but you must learn it nonetheless, because if you don’t do it quickly, you’ll be swamped doing other people’s work forever.

Secondly, for each task on your own list, ask yourself if someone else can handle it instead of you. If there is a team member or employee or co-worker who can do it, then delegate the job and use the time saved to do your own work better.

Time management courses can help you overcome all these mistakes – and more. That’s how the good programs for managing time are able to transform lives. Time Management Tao is a course that is rooted in timeless principles of efficiency without stress. It teaches you how to:

You can also get more time management courses by email when you sign up to our free weekly “Time Taozine” newsletter. It’s easy – just fill in the registration form below.

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