Do – don’t procrastinate!
Easier said than done in today’s fast paced world of distraction galore. How do you focus? How do you stop yourself from looking at cute kitten pictures on Facebook all day, or what your High-school friends are up to these days, or how the middle east crisis is developing, or, or, or …
It is a daily challenge for me to keep focused and get things done. And this is true for probably most of us. Right now I’d rather go out and get a coffee with some colleagues instead of finishing this chapter. I might not get finished at all with it today, too many other things to do. What are these other things I need to do?
This is the critical question when it comes to focus and avoiding procrastination traps. It is important that you are organized (and there is a whole section on that topic coming up in this book) and clear about your to does and your main goal for the day. You need to focus only on these two things -what is on my to do list for today (no matter how the list is organized or looks like - you need to have an easily structured to do list for the day) and what is my ultimate goal for the day. Again, sounds easier than it is? Yes and No. It is basically a form of training yourself of keeping to your list and working only from this list. Their will be plenty of distractions - put them on the list as they occur.
Don’t just start doing stuff - that is the beginning of procrastination!
Make sure whatever you put on your list and work on fits to your overall goal for the day. If your goal is to finish that important project presentation, than make sure that this one task of your list is definitely done by the end of the day. You won’t be able to get everything off your list on most days - so it is important that you get your main goal done, the rest will fall into place and was probably not the most important thing to begin with.
A cautionary word on “Multitasking” - forget about it! It doesn't exist and it doesn't help you. You are not a computer (actually they don’t multitask either but “time-slice” - which they can do really well compared to you). Focus on one thing and do it extremely well, than focus on the next thing. Work through your list, don’t procrastinate and avoid failure!