Use Timed Intervals to Get Anything Done
You’ve been there before — you have a million things to do. When you think about everything tucked underneath your covers, you imagine how good it would be to not get up today. The weight of the tasks that stand between you and an evening victory seem like unslayable giants.
Over the last two years, I learned how to remove procrastination from my day.
If you are a success-driven and have huge goals, you might be prone to doses of procrastination. Why? I’ve read somewhere that procrastination is a coping mechanism for stress. You’re putting things off because you know how much work you have to do to reach your goals.
Sometime looking too hard at the BIG picture is a bad idea.
Having monster goals is important but thinking about them all at once is intimidating. The goal turns into a problem that you haven’t solved and may not know how to at the moment. Your optimism turns into a whale or unscalable mountain.
That’ why I break down my projects into digestible bits, using time intervals to get everything done.
Instead of thinking about how much work you have to do, work on your project for short intervals, focusing on the time spent instead of the ultimate result you want.
How do I know it works? I’ve used this method and finished more projects in the last three months than in the last THREE YEARS. I’m not kidding and I’m not a lazy person either.
Say you need to build a new website for a business you’re launching that month. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the laundry list of tasks you need to do to complete the project: graphic design, pictures, copy, products, marketing, payment gateway, testimonials, sales. The list is too long…
I guarantee that if you think of everything left to be done, instead of working on it, you’re more likely to go see a movie with a friend or start binge drinking.
It seems illogical, and it is, but it happens because you psych yourself out with what seems impossible to complete in the near future. Why bother? You’re not getting what you want anytime soon, might be your thoughts in the background.
The key to being consistently productive is working in intervals, like 30 min or 60 min, and focus on one key area at a time. Don’t focus on the entire project. The scale is too wide. Break your work down into bite-sized pieces.
Here’s how the conversation goes in my mind:
I can’t build the whole website today. There’s too much to do. Can I even do it myself? Not sure but I can commit to working on it for 60 minutes. Yeah. That’s sounds good. That’s not so bad. Let me grab my phone. Start the timer. Let’s see what happens. Here we go…
When you use timed intervals to attack a project you get immediate wins.
After the time goes off for the interval you set, you will feel instant relief that you are free to move on to something else.
You will be empowered. Instead of avoiding the things you know you should be doing, you committed to the time and followed through. You were true to yourself.