Your ability to select your most important task at any given moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have greatest impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop! If you nurture the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks quickly finished, the majority of your time management issues will simply fade away.
Here are some ways to get moving on those tough tasks.
- Delete it. What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe it doesn’t need to be done in the first place.
- Delegate. If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Know your job description and ask if the task is part of your responsibilities. Can the task be given to someone else?
- Do it now. Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it as early in the day as you can.
- Ask for advice. Asking for help from a trusted mentor, supervisor, coach, or expert can give you some great insight on where to start and the steps for completing a project.
- Chop it up. Break large projects into milestones, and then into actionable steps.As Bob Proctor says, “Break it down into the ridiculous.” Huge things don’t look as big when you break it down as small as you can.
- Obey the 15 minute rule. To reduce the temptation of procrastination, each actionable step on a project should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
- Have clear deadlines. Assign yourself a deadline for projects and milestones and write it down in your day planner or calendar. Make your deadlines known to other people who will hold you accountable.
- Give yourself a reward. Celebrate the completion of project milestones and reward yourself for getting projects done on time. It will provide positive reinforcement and motivate you toward your goals.
- Remove distractions. You need to establish a positive working environment that is conducive to getting your work done. Remove any distractions.