If procrastination has taken over and you've got lots to do before the weekend, you'll need to buckle down fast — that's going to take some willpower. How do you get through the panic of an approaching deadline and actually accomplish something? These tips from Peter Economy will help get you started; check out the excerpt below and then read the rest on Inc.com.
We all know that sinking feeling. A deadline is drawing closer and you haven't even started yet. You begin to panic and a dull nausea sets in. There is nothing worse than having two hours remaining to complete a project that you know will take more like five. You sit there saying to yourself, "Why didn't I get this started yesterday?" or "What the heck happened to the time?"
The good news is that by following these tips, you can be productive and get your most important projects and assignments done on time--every time.
Do the hard stuff now
Do you have a long laundry list of things you have to accomplish? Prioritize your list and do the hardest thing to accomplish on your list first and put it to bed. Once you complete your hardest assignment, the rest of your list will be a cakewalk.
Or do the easy stuff now
Sometimes, taking the opposite approach works best: Take on all the easy and smaller things on your list and save that huge project for last. Taking care of the little things first can actually help you muster the willpower to tackle that last biggie. A side note here: Set up a time frame for getting your smaller jobs completed so you have plenty of time for the big stuff.
Be nice to yourself
When we constantly bash ourselves for not living up to our own high expectations, we make ourselves feel even more defeated and less likely to produce anything at all. Be nice to yourself and encourage yourself to go on. Positive thoughts will lead you to better results.
One thing at a time
Do you have a huge report that needs to go out and you're feeling completely overwhelmed by the research, interviewing, and writing involved? Break it down into small, edible portions. Write your deadline on a piece of paper, and then break down your contract into half-hour or hour long portions with numerous 15-minute to half-hour breaks or rewards sandwiched in. Before you know it, you will be taking that project off your to-do list.
Reward and then pounce
Tell yourself that after one more episode of The Big Bang Theory, or making one more phone call to a friend that you will begin that long-overdue project. Yes! Reward yourself with something fun, but tell yourself that as soon as that reward is over or finished, you will dive into your project. Try it--it really works!
Just do something
Even if you just type the first sentence or the first paragraph, just get started--small steps lead to big things. Once you get some momentum going, you'll find yourself moving toward your goal. And if you don't? Then put it aside for a little while and get back to it later.