Friday, October 19, 2012

A Cure for Procrastination: 20 Minutes of Focus

Have you every had a task or a project at work that was so boring or so overwhelming that you just kept putting it off? In a world of distractions, competing priorities, and overworked employees, it can be hard to focus energy on what is really important.

20 Minutes of Focus
I have recently devised a strategy that has helped me to accomplish a great deal of procrastinated work in a short amount of time. I call this strategy 20 Minutes of Focus. Instead of putting that important task off, I focus all of my energy on doing it for only 20 minutes. Here is how to do it:
  1. Identify the task or project that is most important, the one that you keep procrastinating.
  2. Identify what to do next.
  3. Set a timer for 20 minutes. I have been using this countdown timer.
  4. Start the timer and focus on this specific task for the full 20 minutes. 
You can repeat the cycle or move on to something else. Either way, you have made progress on that important task. I have found that just getting started on those difficult tasks helps me break through the procrastination and get the project moving forward, and I often keep working on the project after the 20 minutes is up.
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