Being a modern day professional, freelancer, multi-tasking creative, stay-at-home parent, or basically anything else that involves a serious to-do list… It can be hard to keep up with all that needs to be done in a day! Besides the endless distractions and time sucks at our disposal, there’s the ever looming “procrastination monster” that creeps in just when it’s time to get things done. I’m guilty as any of obliging this guy’s negative influences. But I’ve also found a trick that has helped me fight him just a tiny bit. (Note: Tiny. But some improvement is better than none, right?)
It’s pretty simple actually. I look for small positive incentives to attach to my tasks in order to jumpstart the process. If I’m avoiding office paperwork or personal budgeting, I’ll make myself a nice cup of fancied-up coffee to drink while I work. Or, if I’m dreading a time sensitive email, I’ll promise myself a few work-free minutes to read a handful of my favorite blogs after the email is sent. Laundry is rarely what I want to spend my Sunday afternoons doing, but by setting up a good documentary or TV show to watch while folding, I’m much more likely to get started. Even walking the dogs in the morning is more appealing when I plan to make a nice hot beverage for the trip. (Ok, a lot of my incentives involve hot coffee.)
Your incentive can be as grand or as simple as you like, however, I don’t recommend getting too carried away. After all, this is about getting work done! At it’s core, my positive incentive hack is just a happy way to jumpstart a task and encourage productivity. I like the idea of incorporating small, special moments into daily life to help assuage the grind of work. Case-in-point, I was totally avoiding this blog post for most of the weekend. But I put myself in front of the computer with some favorite tunes on in the background and yes, a hot cup of delicious coffee, and got to work. Turns out, all I needed was to start! The rest took care of itself.
So, what are you avoiding? And what kind of positive incentive could you attach to it to get the job done?