Procrastination buster: The five minute rule
I am all but certain that you have some tasks come up and they gather on your desk and you just cannot seem to get them done. For one, some of them look like they may take a bit of uninterrupted time to get them done. That time is all but nonexistent on any regular business day. Other tasks might deserve the bundle tactic. These are the ones that look deceivingly easy and hence are put to the side until similar ones come along to make it worthwhile working on them. Either way, I used to end up with stacks of these items that now will really take some time to work on. It is definitely a downward spiral with them.
One rule that has helped me getting rid of this phenomenon has been a five minute rule. First thing in the morning I take one task that I have lined up the evening before and start working on it for 5 minutes. Key here is to stick to this task only and only for 5 minutes. What keeps amazing me all the time is that the majority of items do not even take the full time to get them done and checked off the to do list. Focus is part of the success of this method. That means that you cannot – in fact, must not – check e-mail, RSS feeds, browse the Web etc in the morning. Kill all distractions and get this done. You will realize quickly that this provides a great mood boost as you get a sense of accomplishment that you do not have to get stressed out about anymore during the rest of the day. Give it a try and perhaps you have your own ways how to bust procrastination. Please do share.