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Are you a procrastinator?
Are you stuck in a rut? Can’t face a certain task that is looming, so you put it off time and time again? Here is the solution to drag you out of your time-wasting mind-set and get you back into gear. I call it ‘Procrastination Rotation‘.
I am an habitual procrastinator. It is a large part of why I used to feel so overwhelmed with life. No matter how much of my to-do list that I did, there was always a section of it that never got done and that I procrastinated over doing.
At the end of the day I used to come up with so many excuses for not doing those tasks. And that is all that they were – excuses. Finally I realised that the reason that I procrastinated is that I didn’t want to feel one particular emotion.
The discomfort that I expected from taking action with these tasks was stopping me from actually starting them! Procrastination is pretty much based on fear, the fear of a new challenge and the pain that we think is going to come.
Just think of a particular task or challenge that you have been avoiding. What do you keep putting off even though you know that it is really important and should be done?
If you are anything like me you have a whole list of things that you are thinking of right now. Does that list overwhelm you?
So lets take action.
Here is where we do the procrastination rotation (or Pomerdoro technique if you want to get technical!)
- Take your list of tasks, a pen and a watch. Though I find that a kitchen timer with a bell is a brilliant thing for doing this.
- By each task write 5, 10, 20, 30. These numbers represent the number of minutes that you are going to devote to each task in turn.
- Starting with the task that puts you off the least set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes and make a start on than task. What can you do for this task in 5 minutes? Ask yourself that simple question. Make a start. Any start is good. Knowing that you only have to do it for 5 minutes makes starting that task much easier doesn’t it?
- When the kitchen timer or alarm rings, stop doing that first task, wherever you are. Cross out the 5 marker next to that task.
- Set the timer for another 5 minutes and move onto the next task. Again do this for 5 minutes and when the alarm goes, score out the 5 marker next to that task and move onto the next.
- Continue with all the tasks on the list until all the 5 markers are crossed out.
- Start the list again, but this time set the timer to 10 minutes for each task, and repeat the process.It is important though to not carry on after the alarm bell has gone, no matter how dedicated to that task you have become. This will often mean that you are raring to go again on that task when the next rotation comes around.
- Keep on going with the list until you have completed 30 minutes of each task. . You may even have finished a few tasks by now, which is a great feeling isn’t it?
Why does this work?
- It keeps you focused in that limited time.
- Easy tasks help when they are interspersed with more difficult tasks
- As I said before, knowing that you only have 5 minutes to start makes that overwhelming task more achievable. If we know that the uncomfortable feeling is only going to last 5 minutes we can do just about anything!
I hope you can stop putting things off by using this procrastination rotation. Do let me know how it goes with you in the comments below.
Has this helped? See also these posts..
Or for more ways to overcome being overwhelmed, visit Hilary at richlysolo.com