You’ve heard the old saying – “time is money” – but do you give these two critical assets equal attention? Do you have a time budget, a savings account filled with carefully hoarded minutes, or a retirement plan for your golden hours? Chances are that you manage your money more than you manage your time, but if time is money then you should be paying close attention to it. And that means more than filling out your online calendar every other week. It means making a commitment to spending your time wisely and saving it for things that are important to you, whether they’re work-related or personal.
It’s easy to be careless with your money, but it’s even easier to be careless with your time. Everyone procrastinates, takes the occasional half hour to surf the Internet, and occasionally misses the boat on that whole “deferred gratification” concept. It’s not always easy to see that getting your work done is the best way to enjoy a break later on, but procrastinating doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort. It just wastes time – and money. So if you’re struggling to beat procrastination, check out some of the following tips for using your time efficiently and making the most of your work opportunities.
Move Your Deadlines
Run your clock 15 minutes fast and move all your deadlines up a week to trick yourself into getting your work done early. This gives you time to revise “last-minute” work and helps to keep you from becoming overwhelmed with thoughts of negative consequences if you don’t finish on time.
Find an Accountability Partner
By establishing someone to hold you accountable for deadlines, meetings, and anything else you might procrastinate on, you’ll be motivating yourself to get your work done efficiently. Even if the person never confronts you about your procrastination, most people are less likely to avoid work if they know someone else is keeping tabs on them. So tell other people about your deadlines and invite them to tell you theirs – you could even start an accountability group so that everyone can benefit from beating procrastination.
Break Projects into Tasks
If you have seemingly enormous and intimidating projects on your list, divide them into smaller tasks and try not to think about how many tasks you’ll have to do in order to finish the project. You’re essentially tricking your mind into thinking that you don’t have as much to do, reducing the amount of stress you’re feeling, and enabling you to work at your regular pace.
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education and performs research surrounding online schools. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.