Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A strategy to overcome procrastination

I read some excellent advice on a Guardian emailer about a strategy for overcoming procrastination.

Harriet Minter, who chairs the Guardian's "Women in Leadership" network, wrote:
"The next time you find yourself avoiding a task here is my suggestion. Decide that you will spend five minutes on it and then give yourself a fifteen minute break. After the fifteen minute break you go back to the task for ten minutes, then take a ten minute break. Back to the task for fifteen minutes, then a five minute break. If at that point you're really not achieving anything, take yourself off for a walk around the block and allow yourself to switch off. But probably what you'll find is that those fifteen minutes turn into twenty, thirty, an hour. And you'll have slayed procrastination."

So, we coach ourselves through being stuck by chunking our tasks into sections:
  •   5 minutes work - 15 minute break
  • 10 minutes work - 10 minute break 
  • 15 minutes work -   5 minute break
I like the graduated approach that Harriet suggests, and I was thinking that setting a timer might help us stay focused for those chunks of time.
What a fantastic way to reward ourselves into tackling an unpleasant project: a great piece of advice!


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