If you haven’t read the last post, click here to find out how to stop procrastinating today!
Now that you know how to avoid the common habit of procrastination, this brings us to the next question at hand;
Part II/III: How do we keep up this motivation?
In a world of distractions, full of never ending notifications, text messages and new content, I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves unconsciously glancing over at our phone screen even while doing work. Often, we find ourselves distracted by the world around us and we find ourselves slipping back into the habit of procrastination. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So how do we make sure we are staying on task and how do we make sure to keep focused until the very end?
A simple answer would be prior planning. As they say, an aim without a plan is just a wish. By carefully planning how you will be going about a specific task, it can help you to keep on stay focused and look towards the steps ahead of you. A smart way to plan and set yourself a clear aim would be to set some SMART goals.
These are goals that are:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – relevant
T – time bound.
By creating a SMART goal, you will be able to save yourself a lot of time and effort. This way, you will be able to narrow down your focal point and put all of your energy into achieving your goal and completing your task! In other words, it will help to increase your chances of succeeding in accomplishing a goal!
So what exactly do you include in a SMART goal? Here is a checklist to help you make sure you are setting SMART goals every time!
- Did you consider the 6Ws; who, what, when, where, why, how.
Who will be your target audience and who will be involved to help you achieve your goal? What exactly do you want to accomplish, when do you want to achieve this by, where will this happen and how you will go about doing this? What do you plan to do in order to achieve your goal? So instead of saying “I want to get a promotion” you can now say “I want to get a promotion by the end of this year by asking my boss for three projects to lead and work on.”
- Can you determine whether you have achieved your goal?
By understanding and identifying indicators of success, this can help you to create a more tangible goal where you can measure your progress and make sure you’re on the right track.
- Is this goal realistic?
Based on your skill level, the resources you have available and the time you have, will you be able to achieve or goal or is it “build a rocket and fly to Mars by Monday” crazy?
- 4. Have you included dates and times in your goal?
Not only can you set a specific deadline for yourself, you can also set yourself checkpoints along the way. I know that having a long term goal or large task can be daunting, so by setting smaller deadlines for specific parts of the task, such as arranging and carrying out interviews with sources, or organising and delegating work to your team, this can help you to maintain focus and be able to check your progress as you go.
Other than setting yourself good SMART goals and sticking to them, you can also keep up your motivation by setting yourself rewards, such as a small piece of chocolate for every section of the project proposal complete, and designating appropriate break times to refresh your brain and rejuvenate yourself. Of course, another good way to stay focused is to work offline. This way, not even those pesky twitter notifications you get every three seconds will be able to get to you!
Written by Beatrice Sung and edited by Dr. Julia A. Andre