It is easy to begin tasks, but completing them is much more difficult. Life will always find a way to distract us from our tasks. Given how easy it is to procrastinate and avoid tasks, most people have a list of tasks waiting to be completed. As this list grows, stress levels increase. By following a few simple tasks, you will improve your chances of completing tasks and staying on track and reducing stress levels.
One Minute Rule
Everyone hates doing small, mundane tasks. They may seem unimportant, but over time, they will pile up, which will diminish focus and waste time. For example, if you do not take the garbage out regularly, it will overflow. This makes a simple task much more difficult. Implementing the one-minute rule eliminates this difficult situation and protects your focus.
According to the one-minute rule, if a task will only take one minute, you should complete it immediately. Examples of tasks that follow the one-minute rule include: filing papers, putting clothes in the laundry hamper, and taking out the garbage. A single minute will not put you behind schedule, and following the rule will save you time in the long run.
Five Minute Rule
Schedules only help people focus and manage time when they are done correctly. A common mistake that people make when creating schedules is to make them too strict. It is not possible to plan the day down to the minute. When creating a schedule, you should follow the five-minute rule. The five-minute rule is simple: allow at least five minutes between scheduled tasks. This time is set aside so that you can complete small tasks that you have been avoiding or neglecting. The five minutes do more than provide time to complete small, seemingly unimportant projects. They also provide a buffer between scheduled activities, which will help keep you on schedule in case a task runs longer than you expected.
Break Up Large Tasks
Many tasks have multiple steps. These tasks may be overwhelming when you look at the complete picture. By breaking these tasks up into their basic steps, you will be able to remain focused as you work. Additionally, you will feel a sense of achievement as you complete each step in the process. An example of breaking up a large task would be cleaning out a garage.
- Sort through everything
- Remove unwanted items
- Organize the remaining items
- Put away items in their appropriate locations
Breaking down a task into manageable steps will make them much easier to manage. Additionally, you will be more likely to complete a project when you break it down into smaller tasks.
Technology has made completing tasks much easier. Computer software and online programs help you manage tasks, create reminders, and track your progress. Besides computer programs, there are countless apps now that help you make lists, keep track of schedules, and complete tasks. No matter which smartphone you have, there are apps to keep you on track such as Reminders, Outlook, and Todoist. You can make schedules, create lists, reply to email, etc. wherever you are. Find the technology that fits your lifestyle. If you try to use an app that you do not like, you will abandon your efforts completely. Before trying an app, ask your friends for recommendations and look up reviews online. You may also want to begin with free apps. With a free app, you have not lost any money if you do not find the app useful.