Tag Archives: procrastination

I just did it!

The focus of my April month was Just Do It!, with a hope not to procrastinate as much as usual, and dare to do somewhat scary things. On my list was, for instance, PR, phone calls, albums and my annual accounts. I’m proud to say that I’ve put quite a lot of photos in my album and that my annual accounts were finished today (one whole day before deadline!), whereas there haven’t in fact been any scary phone calls to make, and there hasn’t really been time for PR this month.

photoThe main reason for my lack of time for PR, however, is something that goes very well with the theme Just Do It! When I planned my April month I had no idea that a few weeks later I would be invited as a speaker at a TEDx event in my hometown. Having been a fan of the TED talks site for ages, this was a dream come true, and of course I had to say yes – and just do it! I’ve been giving lectures and talks for several years, but even though this was a local independent TEDx event (not the big conference of course), it felt really big to me. The fact that all talks are filmed and put on YouTube and the minuscule chance that your talk will in fact end up at the REAL TED website makes it extremely exciting to be one of the speakers – and quite scary as well. In spite of some technological problems my talk went well, I had a lot of positive reactions afterwards and the local newspaper wrote about it as well, which was great fun. The talk is being edited at the moment, and I might even dare to put it here later on… 🙂

Another challenge, a just-do-it thing I did this month without thinking about it when I decided upon the theme, was to sing in public. Together with my friend and colleague I made two presentations including talking, reading from our book and leading group discussions, and in both places we decided to finish our event by singing a song that tied in very well with what we had been talking about – time and how we use it. I also played the guitar, and even though singing and playing are things I used to do quite a lot before, it’s been about twenty years since I did it in public. And I so very much enjoyed it – and, it seems, so did our audiences. I think there will be more music in my life in the future… I’ll just do it!

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Filed under Challenge, Titania

To get things done

As November and my month of Productivity & Order is drawing to an end I thought I’d share some advice on how to get things done:

1. Plan

Although some people prefer to be spontaneous I think I would be helpless without my lists. When I have everything that needs to get done penned down on a paper in order of importance on my desk I can relax in a way I can’t when the tasks are just soaring through my head without structure. And I love the feeling of crossing another task of my list!

2. Break down big tasks

No matter how much I love to write, essays always freak me out. The last few weeks I’ve written two essays for school and I realised that the only way I could get myself to tackle them was breaking the working progress down into small, manageable pieces. I wrote down each step ahead (Read through the texts, note differences, form into so and so many topic sentences, write a draft, let it rest, read through it etc.) and suddenly I could approach one tasks at a time instead of just running away from the huge impossible essay. Simple but very effective.

3. Work in intervals

Since my dad told me about the pomodoro technique when I struggled with my bachelor’s essay last winter, I’ve started working so much more effectively. The method was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s and is ridiculously simple:

– Set a timer and work with a task for 25 minutes (one ‘pomodoro’).

– Take a short break of 5 minutes.

– Repeat.

– Take a longer break every four ‘pomodoros’.

There are numerous different iPhone and computer apps devoted to the technique. The one I currently use (which you can find here) is free and very simple. However, I find it to be extremely useful, as it allows me to stay concentrated (and most importantly, awake!) and reminds me to take pauses. I get small tasks done during the pauses, and the big tasks usually take much less time than I expect when I work like this.

4. Get some fresh air

Every day I try to use some of my little pauses to step outdoors, to get the mail, collect firewood, take a short walk or just breathe. A few minutes are enough to revive my brain and give me enough energy to focus some more hours. This morning I woke up to find a layer of snow on the lawn! The change of seasons always makes me happy, and when you’re happy, even the most difficult task seems a little easier to tackle.

What are your best advice for staying productive?

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Filed under Miranda, Organisation, Productivity