Update on Best Month Ever Challenge – Anti-Procrastination

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I thought since the month is about half over, it would be a good time to do a progress check on my Best Month Ever Challenge.  Taking the time to check in with goals and think about both what is going well and what isn’t is a really important aspect of actually achieving things.

The initial act of setting a goal is fun and invigorating.  The day to day act of following through with what needs done to meet the goal isn’t always as much fun.  Monitoring progress and reviewing how something is going is a great way to get re-energized about it.  So…

My goal

The premise of the Best Month Ever Challenge is to pick one area and dedicate 1/2 hour each day to improving it for a month.  My main goal for this challenge was to get all of the old tasks crossed off my to-do list for work.

The things that have gone well

  1. My biggest win with this has been actually finishing several old tasks.  It feels amazing to be getting them crossed off the list.  Those little things weigh on my mind as things that need to be done.  Each time I finish another task, it feels really nice.
  2. I have also completed a lot of other work tasks.  By that I mean new things rather than things that have been on the to-do list for an unreasonable amount of time.  My focus on completing old tasks has over-flowed into focusing on taking care of the current stuff too.
  3. In addition to working on the old and new tasks, I have put some serious time into one of the big projects that I have going on right now.  It feels really good to be making more progress there.

The struggles

  1. I’m not sure if I put in an extra 1/2 hour each day or not.  (There have certainly been a couple of weekend days when I know I didn’t.)  Some days, I have certainly put in more time towards completing old tasks and some days probably less.
  2. It’s hard to balance all that I have to do.  It feels like time finishing old tasks takes away from time on new tasks and both take away from time on projects.
  3. Keeping the initial motivation is a little hard some days.
  4. I have fears\resistance to doing some tasks for various reasons.

Solutions to struggles

  1. I need to realize that 1/2 hour each day is a great goal, but it’s not really the important thing here.  The important thing is that I am making progress on crossing things off the list.
  2. Whenever I am working on something, there will ALWAYS be other things that need done.  I can’t spend time worrying about that and the important thing is that I am working on something.  I am going to pull a page from Stepehen Covey’s book (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and start scheduling the days of my week by category.  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the urgent, smaller things- calls, emails, small tasks, and miscellaneous things.  Tuesdays and Thursdays I am going to dedicate to my big projects and things that need solid focus.  I’ll try this for two weeks and see how it goes.  I know I’ll still end up doing some calls on T-days since that is an important aspect of my job, but I’m going to keep it to a minimum.
  3. Reviewing my progress already feels motivating.
  4. When I actually get started on a task, the resistance pretty much just evaporates.  And once I finish the task, I feel good.  I have no idea why I imagine some tasks will be much more painful, unmanageable or awful than they really are.

A reminder of the prize

Note to self: think about how awesome it’s going to feel to have the OVERDUE task list be completely empty!!  Think about going into 2016 with a clean slate.  Imagine how much nicer things will feel without those nagging thoughts about little things that need done, and how you’ll be better able to focus on the BIG things.

Interestingly, I wrote a version of this review yesterday (I modified what I had written for posting).  The process of writing this stuff re-motivated me and I’ve made lots of good progress today.  It’s important to re-commit to things sometimes.

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