"I cannot do that! I have paws". Russian meme about procrastination because you cannot do anything with those cute paws.
Ever found yourself swamped with projects you're eager to tackle while also having a to-do list filled with tasks you'd rather avoid but must do? Here's how I handle that:
Step 1. Get it all out of your head and onto paper, or in my case, into my iPhone's 'Notes' app. I find it works best for me. Simply choose the bullet point format and jot down everything.
Step 2. Once everything's written down, start categorizing all those bullet points into different areas of your life or specific projects. At the bare minimum, create two categories: 'Want' and 'Need'. Feel free to add as many categories as you like, such as specific project names, 'Urgent - Must be done by tomorrow', and so on. It's all about what makes sense to you!
Step 3. Now, it's time to highlight your priorities. Aim to find a balance between the 'needs to be done' and 'wants to be done'. Choose tasks to accomplish this week or over the next few days. It's essential to give yourself some wiggle room - avoid scheduling every task for today or the next hour. Planning should guide you, not box you in!
Step 4. Now that your priorities are clear, let's mentally dive into your first task. It might turn out that it requires several additional steps. Take the example of fixing a door; first, you'd need to measure, identify necessary parts, create a shopping list, and finally head to the store. This extra work might shake up your plans and your to-do list, and that's okay! This is exactly why we're going through this process. By the end, you should have a detailed breakdown of the first and second tasks on your priority list for the next couple of days, as well as a realigned schedule. For instance, you might have aimed to fix the door today, but upon realization that you can only get the parts by Sunday, your plans change. That's progress, though - now you have a solid, informed plan!
Step 5, which is the most crucial, involves ticking off completed tasks and moving anything undone to the next day. In tandem, you'll further detail your plans for the coming 2-3 days, making necessary adjustments to your schedule and to-do list. But the real magic happens in the act of ticking off those boxes. It's this simple exercise that fuels your momentum and offers the satisfaction of time well spent and a productive day. It's the visual proof of your accomplishments and the motivation to keep moving forward.
And here's my magical piece of advice: if a particular project seems daunting or uninspiring, make your to-do list more detailed. By breaking it down, you're able to celebrate five steps accomplished instead of just one. And remember, this isn't exclusive to tasks or projects you're reluctant to tackle. It can also apply to the things you're eager to do, but where procrastination gets in the way. It's about starting, keeping going, and finally, crossing the finish line. Break down the journey, tick off those boxes, and before you know it, you'll be celebrating your completed project.