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6 Ways Top CEOs Beat Procrastination

Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any given day, set nine goals for yourself: 
  • one big-ticket project to tackle
  • three medium tasks
  • five small things. 
Narrow down your to-do list to just those things. 

This keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by an endless list, and also helps keep you focused on just those items.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

6 Ways Top CEOs Beat Procrastination

6 Ways Top CEOs Beat Procrastination

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/327755

entrepreneur.com

6

Key Ideas

Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any given day, set nine goals for yourself: 
  • one big-ticket project to tackle
  • three medium tasks
  • five small things. 
Narrow down your to-do list to just those things. 

This keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by an endless list, and also helps keep you focused on just those items.

Build good habits in two minutes

The “two-minute rule”  has two parts.

First, if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. Next, start building new habits for two minutes at a time. The rule for this is: When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. The idea is to make your habits as easy to start as possible. 

Think of these “two-minute habits” as gateway habits that will lead to your overarching goal.

Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

By doing this, you avoid interruptions and prevents himself from procrastinating.

Set a short timeframe

“If you don’t want to do something, make a deal with yourself to do at least five minutes of it,” says Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. “After five minutes, you’ll end up doing the whole thing.”

Getting started on something, even for just a few minutes, helps us break down big goals into baby steps.

End with the beginning in mind

Instead of just randomly quitting a task, make sure you leave off at a place that will inspire you to get going next time you’re ready to pick it up. 

  • Before you finish work for the day, capture any open questions that you’re currently working on. Ask yourself: if you were to continue working, what would be the very next thing you’d do?

  • Write those questions and the next thing you would do on a piece of paper.
  • Determine what you’ll do first when you sit down to work again. This gives you an immediate starting point for the next day.

Embrace procrastination

It creates artificial pressure that trains you to deal with real pressure during your career. Procrastinators have to learn to prioritize. 

Because you’re doing everything at the last minute, there’s no time to forget anything or re-study anything. Your knowledge is fresh and the pressure is on, so you’ll complete the task faster than you would have if you had done it earlier.

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Keep yourself accountable

Making a commitment to yourself helps keep you accountable. 

Write your goals down, keep a to-do list with you, and create reminders on your phone and on your calendar.

Make yourself accountable to others
  • Tell everyone what you plan to do and talk about your goals. Tell friends, employees, and employers your intentions and you won’t want to let them down. 
  • Start documenting and sharing your journey. A blog or vlog where you share the projects you’re working on and your progress will encourage you to get things done. 
Cut out temptations

If you’re a chronic procrastinator and simply can’t resist the temptations of things like Facebook and Youtube, it might be time to cut out temptations.

There are tools such as Rescue Time, SelfControl and Focus that will temporarily block access to distracting websites like Facebook. Less aggressive tools such as Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator and Distraction Free Youtube will allow you to have access to Facebook and Youtube but block the distracting parts of these websites (such as the newsfeed).

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Why you procrastinate

Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.

Make a task less aversive

When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.

By breaking down exactly which attributes an aversive task has (boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, unstructured), you can take those qualities and turn them around to make the task more appealing to you.

Unproductive responses

... people have when they procrastinate:

  • Distracting yourself, and thinking about other things
  • Forgetting what you have to do, either actively or passively
  • Downplaying the importance of what you have to do
  • Focusing on your other values and qualities that will solidify your sense of self
  • Denying responsibility to distance yourself from what you have to do
  • Seeking out new information that supports your procrastination.

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Procrastination as a coping mechanism

People tend to procrastinate to avoid emotionally unpleasant tasks - so they choose to focus on something that provides a temporary mood boost.

This creates a vicious cycl...

The science behind getting started

Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing to do is bootstrap a little progress: get a little progress, and that’s going to fuel your well-being and your motivation.

Implementation intentions for better focus

This is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan": "If the phone rings, then I’m not going to answer it." "If my friends call me to say we’re going out, I’m going to say no." So you’ve already made these pre-commitments.