Experiencing one of those days where you’re working at a computer trying to cross something off your to-do list and you can’t seem to stay focused on the task at hand?
Instead of focusing on your daily goals, you can be on Facebook or slipping down the rabbit hole of news, social media, and the myriad other diversions that the Internet offers.
You’re not by yourself. Procrastination affects more than 84 percent of us at some point. Procrastination was the main reason I used to get to the end of the week without doing what I set out to do.
That meant working longer hours on weekends and nights when I’d rather be spending time with my family or working out to improve my physical and emotional health. Here are some of the methods you can use to accomplish that.
Table of Contents
1. Make a list of your objectives.
We all have a superpower: the ability to write things down. It’s all about psychology. In his book Influence, Robert Cialdini mentions a study that indicated a medical center could reduce missed appointments by 18% merely by asking individuals to jot down their appointment times.
Getting things down tends to increase our commitment to them as people. Each day, I usually begin by making a list of the tasks I need to perform that day. It’s a minor tweak that takes less than a minute and helps me stay focused.
Few things are as fulfilling as crossing something off your list with a big tick! The result of pressing a button is not the same. It’s a simple suggestion to try, and it takes very little time out of your day, so give it a shot.
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2. Ensure that your objectives are in line with your basic values
Values are the basic aspects of your life that you consider to be particularly significant or necessary. You will feel satisfied, happy, and fulfilled in life when your goals and values are aligned.
On the other side, if you’re in a job that doesn’t align with your beliefs, you’ll likely feel dissatisfied with your employment. And, if the mismatch is severe, you may feel miserable, which may lead to depression.
Consider this scenario: Let’s say you choose a profession because you knew it offered a lot of room for advancement. Your career took off because you were frequently up for promotions and huge bonuses.
So, despite your financial success, you were never truly happy because work consumed so much of your time and one of your most prized values was growing a family.
Your career achievement came at the expense of quality time with your family. At this point, you’re missing out on the one thing that would have made your life complete: a strong sense of connection with your family. Your successful career, on the other hand, does not provide the same level of fulfillment.
3. Get the Important Stuff Out of the Way First
Keep in mind which things are critical to performing each day to proceed toward your objective. To make sure you get these things done, do them first thing in the morning since if you wait, distractions will come in and sabotage your productivity. They can also sap your willpower when they enter your day.
Your most important chores are the tasks that you must complete today. Of course, you’ll finish more than two or three things per day, but the idea is that no matter what else you do that day, you’ll have already accomplished the tasks that will have the most impact on your progress toward your objective.
Making it a routine to focus on your objectives every day will help you to feel like you’ve taken some kind of step toward realizing your aspirations, so make it a habit.
Make time in your morning routine to do your most important chores rather than waiting until later in the afternoon, as this may cause you to become distracted and run out of time. This is a simple strategy to put into practice, yet minor changes can make a significant effect.
4. Keep track of your progress using a planner.
The easiest part is deciding what you want to achieve. It’s easy to forget to check in on yourself to see if you’re making progress toward your goals.
If you followed the smart goal approach to create your goals, you’ll have a solid basis on which to track your progress since you’ll know exactly what milestones you want to hit…and when you want to hit them.
Of course, in this digital age, you can use an app, but I prefer to use a paper planner since nothing digital is as customized or user-friendly as something I can construct by writing it down myself.
And, in my experience, customization is a crucial component of achieving your objectives. Rather than trying to fit yourself into the mold of what most other people utilize, you should figure out what works best for you.
Not only will you get more done if you use a planner to chart your work, but you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve gone rather than simply looking at how far you still have to go. This will allow you to be proud of your achievements in the past.
Easily access information to use a planner to stay organized and on track. This way, you’ll always know what your next step is, leaving little room for failure. Your goals will not become forgotten in your daily life if you use a planner.
To offer yourself a tangible reminder that your goal is important to set deadlines for each component of your goal and note those actions in your planner. These deadlines will also serve as a guideline for your actions.
Use your calendar to schedule any recurring tasks that you need to complete to achieve progress. Let’s imagine your objective is to travel and study in Spain for a month.
One of your recurrent tasks in this situation would most likely be to deposit money into a savings account every other week or whenever you receive a paycheck.
Make a list of how much money you’ll need to set aside and which account you’ll put it in. You will eliminate the possibility of forgetting this vital duty by writing it down in your calendar.
5. Early risers
However, this makes perfect sense when you think about it. If you get up earlier in the morning, you’re essentially adding time to your day–and the time you’re adding is likely to be quite tranquil because everyone else is sleeping.
You use this time to plan your day or you can utilize it every day to evaluate your goals, focus on your most important chores, and so on. However, the best thing you can do to achieve your goals faster is to give yourself more time to focus.
Here are some tangible measures you may do to start waking up sooner if you need some assistance. If you need additional motivation, consider the following long-term advantages of getting up early that you can remember on those days when you want to click the snooze button.
Furthermore, here’s a handy tool that will help you figure out what time you should go to bed to get the optimum sleep based on your desired wake-up time.
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Interruptions can be merely annoying or completely detrimental to your personal and professional goals. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and try not to get too worked up over things.
A strategy is only useful if it is carried out. Start with a handful of these ideas and commit to them right now. You’ll soon learn that you have a lot of power over avoiding distractions.