Monday, June 10, 2013
Are You a Saboteur?
Do you sabotage your work? Not intentionally of course, but how often do you dance to the tune of procrastination? Or allow distractions or lack of confidence to get you off your game?
At my house, pending projects fade into the background when the dryer's lint screen is full. Spotlights appear out of nowhere, shining on every single cobweb. The sticky spots on the kitchen floor can no longer be ignored. Alas, I become a saboteur....
With a book deadline pending, I'm reassessing my days, and hence, my strategy. Even with the best of intentions, writing time is wasted more often than not. Can anyone relate?
So here's the breakdown on the new plan.
1) Prioritize - Everything clamors for attention it seems, but some are more pressing than others. Weigh things in order of importance. When in doubt, pick one, do it, and cross it off the list. Voila! Progress.
2) Set Goals - Daily, weekly, or whatever works best. Without a target, we wander aimlessly and get little done.
3) Deadlines - Even self imposed ones can motivate, build self discipline and productivity. The feeling of accomplishment after meeting one? Priceless.
4) Ignore the Gobblers - Assess what gobbles time (Facebook, email, laundry, phone calls) and determine, even for short stretches, to ignore them. Tackle must-do projects or errands at designated times to lessen distraction potential.
5) Utilize Unproductive Time - Years ago I heard Roger Palms (author/former editor of Decision Magazine) speak; he stressed the importance of taking advantage of unused time. You know, the five minutes here, ten minutes there, while waiting for a call, or before you leave for an appointment, that are sometimes available and are otherwise unproductive. I call them pockets, and use them to make an outline, scribble a paragraph or two, visit blogs, do internet research, etc. They provide opportunities to chip away at the to-do list.
6) Keep Moving Forward - One step at a time eventually brings us to our destination. Meeting a goal provides a sense of satisfaction. This stifles doubts and boosts confidence.
Simple points, I know, but ones that help me stay on track.
How about you, do you sabotage your work? What steps do you take to avoid the saboteur syndrome?
Photo credit: Stock Exchange