Excellence with G.O.P.T.A.© Series: Part 105 (Strategies to overcome procrastination when the task seems difficult)

By: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Sr. Associate Editor, ICN Group

(In the past article, we knew about the strategy to overcome procrastination when the task appears overwhelming. Today, we will know about the strategy to overcome procrastination when the task seems difficult.)

Strategies to overcome procrastination when the task seems difficult 

In our day to day life, we have to perform certain difficult tasks. These are the tasks which require our attention for a longer period of time. And in today’s busy schedules, it is difficult for us to give undivided attention to one particular task for a long period of time at a stretch. 

We can apply various strategies to overcome this:-

  • Break the task in small pieces so that one task can be completed at a time. There is an old saying about how do you eat an elephant. The answer is ‘one bite at a time’. There is a great message behind this old saying. If the project or work at hand seems overwhelming, finish it in small pieces.

Here I will quote my own example. While writing my book How to Add 50000 Productive Hours to Your Life, writing chapters on procrastination and delegation was itself a challenge for me. I had read a lot of material on the topics and I had to present it in an easy to grasp manner. One day, I decided to break the chapter into various headings. I created a mind map on a paper, writing sub-headings of the chapters. Then I started jotting down points under different sub-headings. Then I decided that I will take up one sub-heading daily and finish it same day in one session and after finishing the chapter, I will devote a final session for polishing the whole chapter. It worked for me. Though it took 7 small sessions for me to complete chapter on procrastination, but I know that I could never have undivided attention of continuous 2 days to write the chapter at one go. You can understand, finishing a big project at one go may seem overwhelming, while giving our undivided attention of one hour a day to this task may result into completion of task within a week or so.

  • Find out time for small sessions – This is easily manageable, as small sessions can be managed even during odd hours. Put these small sessions in your ‘to-do’ list and decide the order of priority on daily basis. While deciding priorities, you have to take into consideration the difficulty level of the task, which needs to be completed during the day. I take an example here. Suppose, you break a big project into 7 sessions of 1 hour each. Some of these sessions will require you to give more attention (such as researching the material) and some sessions may require less attention, as they do not relate to quality or some research work (such as simply formatting the document). You have to keep in mind, as to which part of the day will better suit to perform this portion of the task. Deep research requires that you should be fresh & energetic and morning hours are best to do it. Formatting can be done at any time. Often people make mistake to try difficult task at a time of the day, when they are already low on energy levels and the task again starts looking difficult to handle and procrastination starts again.  
  • If you are afraid that you cannot put in quality, remember that not doing the work at all is worse than at least doing it, though not perfectly.  

(In the next article, I will share about the strategy to overcome procrastination when you are over-committed. I believe that you are enjoying the journey towards the future of your dreams with me. If yes, please stay tuned. Happy G.O.P.T.A.) 

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Creator & trademark holder of the concept G.O.P.T.A.TM is an Author, Certified NLP Lifestyle Trainer, Strategic Interventionist, Corporate Trainer & Transformational Life Coach. (http://bit.ly/Signature-Workshops-Sanjay-Kumar-Agarwal) and recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Excellence (Management) by prestigious Young Scientist University, California, USA. He is Founder of ‘International GOPTA NLP Academy’ and is popularly known among his fans & followers across the globe as ‘Time and Goal Guru’.


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