My dad was the sweetest guy ever and he liked his coffee… just so. He lived with me the year before he passed away and I spent a lot of time warming up his coffee in the microwave. I soon developed a game to see what I could accomplish in 45 seconds. It was amazing what I could do by the time the buzzer sounded! I could look through the vegetable drawers, toss any creepy vegetables, and wipe out the drawer with a damp paper towel. All this got me thinking about how I procrastinate on things I don’t want to do. Now if you don’t procrastinate, you can stop here. But if like me, you tend to put things off. This may help. I started using a timer.
After setting the timer I said to myself, “I can unload the top rack of the dishwasher in 3 minutes.” Of course, once I finished unloading the top rack, I unloaded it all. I decided to try this strategy in other areas of my life. It’s always hard for me to start on a blank page of an article. So, I decided to set the timer and if nothing came to me in 30 minutes, I was free to do something else. (That meant something easy that required no effort.)
Use A Timer
Setting the timer is important. It keeps me from checking the time frequently to see if I can quit yet. It turned out that every time, an idea came to me before the buzzer sounded and I got something started. I never finish an article in one go but it’s much easier to start again when there is already something on the page.
5 Easy Steps To Avoid Procrastination
Recently I saw David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done. He has many suggestions and tips to avoid procrastinating. He says if you have something to do that takes less than 2 minutes, do it now. On bigger projects, he suggests a 5-step process:
Whether you read a “how to” book or just start setting a timer, you really can get it done with less effort than you imagined. Try it today.
If you haven’t had your annual follow-up with your doctor, set it up today. If you’re procrastinating on a health related issue, use the 5-step process to get ahead of your healthcare today. Not only will it reduce stress, but it reduce stress and you may feel a lot better.
Allen, David (2015). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (2 ed.). Penguin Books.