On Monday, you are recovering from the weekend and you have emails, voicemails and tasks that have come in over the weekend. Plus, there are probably still some to-do’s from last week. On Friday, you anticipate the weekend and it is easy to get distracted from work.
Thursday is almost Friday, so it’s almost the weekend, too. Plus, it’s the best day to work on tasks you’ve procrastinated but which are due at the end of the week. Wednesday is halfway through the week. You see how little you’ve done and how much there is left to do.
So Tuesday it is.
What can we do to make the other four days of the workweek a little more productive? We need to procrastinate less and be a little more “D.”
—Be more decisive. Decision-making is a difficult skill for many people but it is crucial is many aspects of life. To prioritize you must decide the importance of various tasks. To start a project you must decide what information and supplies you need. So if being definitive is tough for you, what can you do?
-Limit your choices. It’s easier to pick from two selections than five.
-Flip a coin. Don’t like the choice that comes up? Start with the other one.
-Set a timer. “I will start this task in one minute.” Then pick a place to start. Any place is better than no place.
Yes, you may need to deal with perfectionism or people-pleasing behavior. You may also have to minimize inside clutter.
I’m not saying that decision-making is easy. But it’s often simpler than dealing with the consequences of procrastination.
—Be more deliberate. Time seems to slip through our hands. This often happens because time often seems nebulous. Let me make it more concrete.
Picture a shoe cubby holder with space for 24 pairs of shoes. With shoes, if you purchase a 25th pair, you can buy another shoe holder, leave the extra pair on the floor or you can donate one of your existing pairs and still have 24.
In the world of time, we only have 24 hours in a day. There is nothing we can do to change that.
Picture the same 24 pairs of shoes. Remove eight pairs of shoes to represent the recommended number of hours of sleep, two to four pairs of shoes to illustrate the time it takes to get ready in the morning and in the evening, and eight pairs of shoes to symbolize your workday (if you are the household manager, you still take the eight hours).
You are left with four to six hours. Within that time, you may want to exercise, socialize, work on a hobby, take care of appointments, or participate in any number of other activities of interest or necessity. Don’t forget to account for your work commute if you have one. Use this analogy to look at your day and see how many hours are not already "taken".
What can you do to make your time usage more deliberate?
—Be more determined. You can avoid a task for a long time, but that doesn’t make it go away (unless someone else gets frustrated and does it for you or the task “expires.”) On the other hand, being more intentional gets the task done more quickly. What are some ways to stop chronic task avoidance?
-Do your most challenging tasks at your best energy time. It’s more difficult to complete a hard task with a low energy level.
-Learn to say “no.” Whether someone is asking you to do a new task or is interrupting your current activity, have a standard way to say “no” that feels comfortable for you.
-Block out adequate time on your schedule. A blog entry takes more than 15 minutes to write. If you can only write 15 minute at a time, then multiple blocks.
Statistically Tuesday may be the most productive day of the week. But maybe it’s time to beat the stats and make each day more productive.
Developer of the Flexible Structure Method™, Janice and her team at Minding Your Matters® has an impressive reputation for helping clients achieve “flow.” “Flow” as Janice calls it, is the blissful state of having an organizational process that supports your life and lifestyle. A Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization, Janice is also a Certified Organizer Coach and the author of “Get Organized This Year!” Janice’s practical and caring approach to organizing is the basis of her high-content live workshops and webinars. Janice is a Golden Circle Member of National Association of Professional Organizers and Program Mentor Coach for the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She serves the organizational needs and challenges of both business and residential clients, as well as provides training intensives for fellow organizers nationwide. To enjoy meaningful tips and gain immediate access to all of Janice's valuable resources, please visit her website at www.MindingYourMatters.com.