Friday, September 10, 2010

Are you a procrastinator? - Tips for stress-free productivity

Do you often sit on your computer refreshing your facebook page for the nth time, reading the latest news, checking your emails, drinking coffee …? You would like to be more productive, but you are easily distracted? Do you postpone necessary, but unpleasant tasks again and again instead of just doing them?

You can change this habit. Here are a few helpful tips from experts against procrastination:

Merlin Mann suggests the (10+2)*5-rule. Work for 10 minutes – solely concentrating on your task. Once 10 minutes are over, take a two minute break, doing whatever you want to do, such as surfing the web or drinking coffee. Do this for exactly five times – 10 minutes work, two minutes break and so forth.

On his website, John Perry explains how structured procrastination can be useful. Structured procrastination means you structure your tasks in a certain way.
The list of tasks you usually have in your head is sorted by significance. The most urgent tasks appear on top of the list. However, there are other tasks at the bottom of the list that are also worthwile. Doing the tasks from the bottom of the list is a way of not doing the tasks on the top of the list. However, that means even though you are a procrastinator you get things done – but not the ones that are urgent.
Procrastinators often follow the wrong path. They try to minimize their commitments, as they think they will be able to do everything on their list if there are only a few things on it. According to John Perry this does not work, as the tasks left on the list are now the most important ones. So now, the only way to avoid them is not to do them. This will turn the procrastinator into a couch potato.
So change your list and put the right project at the beginning of it.

A great book that can help you with your organization of daily tasks is „Getting Things Done“ from David Allen (ISBN 978-014-200028-1). The author gives helpful advice on time management, stress-free productivity and organisation.

Additionaly information on procrastination can be found on Wikipedia,, or

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