Better Project Management: Climbing Mount Task-More

We have all been there.  Your are assigned a task that you really don’t want to deal with and seems to big to tackle.  So you do what many people do, you procrastinate.

Laura Vanderkam wrote a great article on on 5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating.  Here is her advice:

  1. Do a “home inspection” on the problem – During the home buying process, you seek a disinterested yet expert to come and inspect your home.  At the end of the inspection, you are given a list of things to be fixed or updated, any insect issues, etc.  The same can be applied to your task.  Share it with a mentor, family member, or your boss. All you may have to do is shift some paragraphs around instead of writing a whole new treatment on that copy project.
  2. Break the project into concrete steps – the task, at first glance, may seem like a huge undertaking.  Creating  a new website is easier to accomplish if you break it up into parts of Design, Development, and Fulfillment.  From there further breakdown those categories into sub-level tasks, so on and so forth.  Now executing your steps are a bit more bite-sized and easier to manage.
  3. Figure out how long each step of your task will take – I truly dislike washing dishes. I use to dread even using the dishwasher. I knew it would take at least an hour to finish and I didn’t want to deal with it.  One day, I actually timed how long it took. Only 5-7 minutes.  How silly does it seem now to be worried about a project taking 60min when it only took 5min!
  4. Block your task in first thing in the morning – Before you check and e-mail or update another task, work on that task/project you have been procrastinating on.  What happens is that we distract ourselves and mix the most important tasks amongst other less important ones.  At the end of the day we create a feeling of accomplishment by completing 19 of the 20 tasks we had listed out for the day. Unfortunately, the task we didn’t complete, the one we are procrastinating on, was the most important and would make the greatest impact on your project.
  5. Use blatant bribery – Reward yourself for completing that dreaded task with a blatant bribe. If you finish at 10:00am, take the day to loaf.  Treat yourself to a margarita after work.  Buy that divine dessert at the local ice cream shop you have been thinking about. Do whatever it takes to raise those feelings of completeness and accomplishment.  You deserve it.

What other ways do you use to complete that task?  Share your ideas in the comments.