21 Ways of Getting Things Done
In this series we’ll take a look at the reasons people procrastinate and tips on overcoming the habit.
Strategy 4: Put the Devices Down!
Checking you email every 20 minutes? Texting friends? Checking Facebook and Instagram on your iPad throughout the day? Playing “just one game” of Candy Crush or Words with friends that turns into a three-hour game marathon?
If you’re compulsive message-checker, texter, or Zynga addict, don’t even leave your mobile or tablet in the same room. Unless you’re waiting for news of monumental importance (a grandchild about to be born any minute or a status update on a critically ill relative), there’s no need to keep glancing at your cell phone for notifications. Believe it or not, the world won’t end if you take a break from social media.
Set boundaries and stick with them. If a co-worker is in the habit of Instant Messaging you online to ask non-urgent questions, turn off the IM function until you finish your assignment. If you need to leave it on for your supervisor to reach you, set it to “busy” and let your co-worker know you’ll get back to her when you’re finished.
If you’re at home and keep getting phone calls from chatty friends, set your phone to auto-respond with a message that says you’ll be taking calls after a designated time. Maybe you’re a “people pleaser” and you feel guilty for not answering the phone every time it rings, after all, you don’t want anyone to feel bad. It’s commendable to have a desire to help others and see if there’s anything they need, but if you’re always setting aside your own needs and goals to meet someone else’s needs, you’re doing yourself and them a great disservice. Obviously, we are not talking about individuals who truly need attention, like small children or adults who are unable to care for themselves. We’re addressing friends, family, telemarketers, and others whose unannounced and unplanned-for calls and visits keep you from being productive and accomplishing your goals for that day.
Setting boundaries at home and on the job is a form of self-respect and self-care, and you’ll be training people who don’t respect your work hours that you really do expect them to be considerate of your time.
So, put your devices aside—in a different room if necessary—and finish all those projects you started!
Strategy 3: Tame Time-Stealing Tasks < > Strategy 5: Do Some Detective Work