I think on some level we all procrastinate. But do you know that person that just seems to get everything done? That person that is on top of their stuff all the time? Want to be like that person (or at least be more like them)? Then this article should help. It’s got some of the tips and tricks I’ve used on myself to jumpstart my productivity.
Before I get going though, I want to tell you a little bit about me. First, I’m a DUI defense attorney. Second, I’m a business owner (I own my law firm). That means I’m doubly busy – I’ve typcially got attorney work to do and I’ve got business owner work to do.
But that doesn’t mean I’m always on top of my game. And, in fact, to be honest with you, I know I waste a lot of time during the day being unproductive. I hate the feeling of looking back on the day to relish what I’ve accomplished and seeing that I’ve actually made very little progress on anything.
So I decided to fight back. Here’s what I came up with.
1. You’ve Got to Work on Just Being Better
No one wants to hear this, but at the end of the day you are going to have to just decide that you are going to be more productive and make the hard decisions some time. This has to come first, and then you can start doing some things to make that decision easier, but if you don’t really want to break out of that cycle of laziness, it’s probably not going to happen.
For example, there are days when I know I should be getting stuff done but I just don’t. As I’m pulling up yahoo.com and funneling through the stories again I specifically think to myself “you should be doing something else,” but I just don’t want to.
There is some level of self-direction required to get productive, and that’s all on you.
2. Become a List Maker
I love to-do lists for a couple of reasons. First, it helps me not forget things I need to do. But second, and almost just as important, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment as I check off things on the list I’ve finished. And, there’s a little internal pressure not to look at the list at the end of the day and see nothing crossed off.
I make my lists two times during the week. The first time is on Sunday night before I go to work on Monday. For me, most of this stuff is things I do on a daily or weekly basis and all of the my court hearings for the week. These are static events. I put them on the list because they need to get done, but they’re easier to do because in some ways I have no choice.
For example, if someone hired me to help them with their DUI and they’ve got court on Monday, I’m going to be there whether I want to or not.
The second list is made on a daily basis for the next day coming up. So, on Sunday I’ll fill up my to-do list with all of the things I want to get accomplished on Monday specifically. It might be paying a bill, researching an issue for a case, or finalizing marketing copy for an advertisement that’s going to go out. These items I want to finish on that day specifically, but they aren’t necessarily due on that day. These are sometimes the hardest to complete (and are often the things I don’t want to do but need to get done).
3. Once You Have Your List, Put it on the Calendar
No matter what profession you’re in, whether a DUI defense lawyer like me, or working in marketing, or a plumber, or a secretary, whatever, is avoiding all of the little things that pop up throughout the day to take time away from doing what you need to do. This happens to everyone, and it’s one way that your day can get away from you quite easily.
One thing I do is actually put in the calendar those few things that I must accomplish on that day, even they just involve me sitting at my desk. This tells anyone that wants my time that I’m busy then, and tells me that at that moment I should be working on this project and nothing else. It’s very effective.
Okay, there you have it, how I stop procrastination in it’s tracks. Hopefully you can start implementing some of my practices into your daily routine and increase your productivity immediately. And, if you have any other suggestions or comments, we’d love to hear them!
About Me – I’m a DUI defense attorney who’s interested in becoming a better lawyer and a better person each and every day. If you want to know more about me, please check out my website.