You can break the procrastination cycle by following one piece of advice: EVALUATE yourself on a daily basis.
It’s easy to fall behind in your work or get sidetracked by working on less important tasks (like watching Netflix, or cleaning the house), when you really should be working on the more difficult things that have a bigger pay-off for you long-term.
For example, this is what my goals sheet looked like for Monday. As you can see I only accomplished 3/5 of the tasks I was supposed to do, and that’s just 60% completion rate, which isn’t good. You generally want to be around 80%.
|Monday||Write 5 blog postings||√|
|Weight train 30 minutes||√|
|Read 50 pages||√|
|Upload a YouTube video||X|
|Upload a Podcast||X|
|Total Score 3/5||= 60%|
Moving forward, I know that for Tuesday my goal should be to finish the tasks that I didn’t do on Monday, which coincidentally were the 2 most difficult tasks on my list (making a YouTube video and completing a Podcast.)
Evaluate yourself daily: Evaluating yourself doesn’t have to complicated or time-consuming. It’s as simple as adding up the number of tasks on your daily list that you actually completed.
You must spend 5 minutes every night writing down your goals for the next day and evaluating yourself for today.
Evaluate the completion of the task, not the quality or results of the task. You’re scoring yourself ONLY on whether you did the task or not. Don’t get into an internal battle with yourself whether or not the results of your daily goals were perfect or not. It’s about daily consistent progress moving you closer and closer to your ultimate dream for yourself and your career.
Aim for progress, not perfection: Do NOT expect to complete 100% of your daily goals. This is unrealistic and sets you up for disappointment. Always aim for 100% but be happy if you get 80% or higher. What you want is to be progressively better each day, each week.
Analyze what your score means: If you’re consistently failing to complete certain tasks, you may be purposely avoiding them or maybe you’re back on that perfectionism mindset. Maybe you’re avoiding the more difficult tasks because you’re so scared of failing at them, that you don’t even want to try.
Align your daily goals with your long-term vision for yourself. What does success look like for you? What does fulfilling your potential mean for you? Write down your long-term vision or plan for your life and make sure that your daily goals align with your long-term vision.
Recognize the time pitfalls. Where are you wasting time? Is it reading your emails 1st thing in the morning, when you should be doing it at night? Are you completing tasks that are super easy and require no real effort in the morning when you’re fresh and energetic? Are you wasting time driving in traffic and listening to the radio instead of audio CD’s that will motivate you? Are you wasting time running errands (I used to do this!), instead of saving all your errands for one day of the week? Everyone is different, but we all know where we waste our time. Be honest with yourself.
If you want to control your results (the only thing that matters!), you must control your time. You must completely and utterly dominate time. You own time. You don’t work for time, time works for you. Get it?