Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stop Procrastinating by Scheduling Guilt-Free Play

Photography by:  Jean Michel Labat

Stop Procrastinating by Scheduling Guilt-Free Play

Neil Fiore, Ph.D., is the author of "The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play", which has sold over 58,000 copies and has helped countless people to stop procrastinating and get to work on the things that are most important to them. In his book, Dr. Fiore presents several practical tools, strategies, and techniques which you can begin to use right away in order to beat procrastination. One of the most powerful techniques which he recommends is scheduling guilt-free play; this article will show you how.
Take out a blank schedule for the week and schedule in the following:
• Previously committed time; this includes things such as eating your meals, sleeping, meetings you've agreed to attend, and so on.
• Free time and leisure.
• Socializing, including parties, get-togethers, and dinner with friends.
• Exercising.
• Routine structured events, such as attending classes and commuting.
Once all these things are in your schedule, notice how little time there's left over for work. This should motivate you to do several things:
• Start zeroing in on high-priority work tasks, instead of working on things that are not part of your position description, or that don't really need to get done.
• When you're working on a task, give it your full attention.
• Challenge yourself to get as much done as you can in the short periods of time that you have for working.
• Notice that your life is full of other activities, aside from work. This will help dissipate any resentment you may feel over the amount of time that you spend working.
In addition, you don't add work into the schedule until you've actually worked for half an hour, without any interruptions. If you start working on a project and then you get distracted by an email, a different project, a phone call, and so on, you can't log that as time worked. The reason that you're doing this is to create a record of how much time you actually devote to focused work.
Here are some more of the principles that you have to keep in mind:
• After you've worked for half an hour without any interruptions, take a break. Go do something else for a while. This will allow you to recharge. At the same time, you'll be more effective while you're working if you know that, after working for half an hour, you can take a break.
• Always leave at least one full day a week for recreation and small chores. You want to make sure that you're living your life now, and not putting your life on hold because you're so busy with work.
• Stop thinking about finishing a project; just think about getting started. If there's an important project that you need to work on, ask yourself, "When can I start?"
• You must play or exercise for at least one hour a day. That is, you're blocking out time in your calendar for guilt-free play.
Once you've created your schedule using Fiore's recommendations, you can look at the week up ahead and notice that there's time blocked out for your favorite TV show on Monday, lunch with your best friend on Tuesday, a massage on Thursday, and a whole day of fun and relaxation on Sunday. That's a week you can look forward to! And when guilt-free play is scheduled into your week, it's much more likely that during the time that you have left over for work you'll stop procrastinating and get to it.

Written by:  Marelisa Fabrega

No comments:

Post a Comment