One tip to eliminate procrastination is to avoid large blocks of empty time in your calendar. A three or four-hour block of empty time is not a blessing, it’s an invitation for procrastination. Break them up into no-more-than 90 minute chunks to work on a particular project. Then shift gears to something different. If you don’t set an internal deadline other than “by the time I leave work today” your project will invariably take the entire day. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time allotted for it – so allot the time in advance and force your work to fit within it. This is the basis of every effective meeting agenda. Most every 60-minute meeting could be concluded in 50 minutes if we resolved to do so. There are exceptions of course, but be rigorous to set boundaries for the tasks or risk having them overrun your day. There is another side to this coin, however. Paul Graham introduced the idea of the Maker’s Schedule vs. the Manager’s Schedule. Managers tend to think in incremental blocks of micro-engagements, handling dozens of discrete tasks and meetings in a short period of time. In contrast, Makers need long blocks of uninterrupted time to do deep work. If you are a creative (author, artist, designer, etc) then you’ll need to have a day or two a week to be on a Manager’s Schedule. So there are some tasks that require large block of empty time, however, you must be ruthless to only work on the given task during that block to not squander it. If you could focus on one key task today, what would it be?
_____________________________________________ At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos. Revenues go up, anxiety goes down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people. Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.