Exercise 1: Create a Master Task List
You can use download a worksheet for this exercise at http://www .newharbinger.com/43768.
Useful for: Rewiring a brain that gets overwhelmed by too many to-dos.
Create a master task list to store and organize your life to-dos. For each item, determine its priority (low, medium, high) as well as how much time you’ll need (a short, medium, or long amount). Update this list on an ongoing basis with new tasks as they surface.
And be careful that your to-do list does not become yet another pro- procrastination strategy. Many clients we work with create endless lists of all the tasks they need to complete and wonder why this approach isn’t working for them. Placing an item on a to-do list that isn’t anchored in a specific day and time is no more helpful than ignoring the task altogether. In fact, it can actually be harmful, as it tricks the brain into believing it’s accomplishing something and creates a short-term sense of relief—when in fact no progress is actually being made.
Exercise #2: Create Your Weekly “Just Do It” Brain Workout Plan
Useful for: Rewiring a brain that needs help mapping out time to get things done.
Based on the task list you created in the previous exercise, it’s time to create a schedule of what you will be accomplishing for the next week.
- Review the tasks you labeled both high priority and short in terms of time needed.
- Open whatever calendar you prefer to use (paper or electronic).
- For the next seven days, find chunks of time to work on these tasks. Try to dedicate one to two hours a day to completing these tasks for the first week of this plan.
- As you move through your day, if there is a task you didn’t get to, find a new day and time to reschedule it for.
Consider each task a critical appointment you’re making with yourself and stick with it.
Exercise #3: Gamify the Act of Accomplishing
Useful for: A brain that likes to compete and have fun when getting things done.
Make it a game to accomplish rather than procrastinate. Set a competition between team Just Do It and team Procrastinate. Using your journal (or a whiteboard, your phone, or your computer), set up a side for each team by drawing a line down the middle. Each time you accomplish something by fighting the urge to procrastinate, give team Just Do It a point. Each time you give in to the urge to avoid, give team Procrastinate a point. At the end of the week, tally up the points and determine who won. Also consider how close a game it was and what you learned about your opponent. Come up with one or two new strategies you will apply the following week to up your odds of winning.