Fighting Procrastination With Time Management

The Time Is Now

Now is always the best time to get something done and out of the way. Obviously, this means if there are no blockers. Blockers here are major tasks that take priority over the task you are trying to schedule.

I used to find myself saying to myself, "I'm going to get {insert personal project here} done this year". And often times, I'll push it aside and not set aside enough time to even start working on it! I'm sure we're all good with our work projects because we have responsibilities to hold up to --at least, I hope you're all good with managing work projects! But, let's explore our productivity outside of the workplace.

Non-work-related Technical Projects

As any passionate technologist, I love exploring and learning new things. Obviously, one way to feed this fire is to pick up a personal project. Want to learn a new programming language? Want to see what all the fuss is about that database system that you heard about? Well, why don't you go ahead and start poking around with it? "Work is busy!" Yes, trust me I know! "My children take up a lot of my time!" Okay, that's a tough one, but not too difficult. "So, how", you ask? A bit of time management magic of course!

Cut Some Fat and Get Into a Routine

I hate to sound like one of those personal trainers selling 10-minute abs, but eh, whatever. Hopefully, you'll get the point!

Cutting the fat is cutting out those unwanted time killers. Does watching that re-run of {insert television show here} do anything for you? Outside of entertainment, probably not. The time you can pick up from cutting down on TV time is amazing. If you really need some of that TV time (we all do), you can reward yourself with it after you've done X amount of productive work.

Start a routine! Try and start a habit of slicing up parts of your day to work on your project. Take for example, I set aside roughly one hour after work, 2-3 times a week to get out of the office and find a cafe to cowork at. Yes, there are some weeks where work is horribly busy and I won't do as much personal work, but you get the point; you're slicing up your time to find an hour here and there to get in the groove of your project.

A small tip from me: coworking in a cafe works wonders. If you're like me and catch yourself getting out of focus at the privacy of your own home (Youtube playlists, online shopping, etc.), working in a cafe helps out because it gets you out of your comfort zone (literally) and makes you more aware of your surroundings. So for instance, I don't want to be that guy who is watching some cat video on Youtube in a public place (or maybe sometimes I do).

Make Small Attainable Goals

Smaller, means greater chance of feeling productive. Take for example a goal of, "building a web app". That can be thought of as a pretty big task and you may lose focus along the way. Let's still keep that goal in mind, but when you find a slice of time, have a smaller attainable goal in mind. So, you're taking one hour after work; in that hour, a simple goal for me would be something like, testing out a framework you think you'd like to use. It's as simple as that as long as you're heading towards your ultimate goal.

Do What Works For YOU

I'm sure you've found yourself saying, "this won't work for me, because of X". Well, see what does work for you. This isn't a static formula that you can use out of the box. Working at a cafe works for me because well, they're pretty much everywhere close to my work; maybe the library is what works for you. All I'm saying is that with a little bit of self-motivation and time management you can be more productive with work, personal work, et cetera.

Cheers!

By Adrian Cruz | Published Nov. 3, 2014, 5:05 a.m. tags: time management