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6 Great Tips on Getting Things Done, No Excuses

Year after year, we think that we have learned time management, but there are still loads of missions that we want to accomplish in life. Hence, perhaps the key to doing great things lies not with time management, but attention management. Instead of scheduling every minute of your day around to-do lists, why not approach work from another perspective? In this article by Tropika Club, we are doing to deep dive into how to get things done skilfully by paying the right attention. 

1. Do Not Procrastinate 

Procrastination typically means putting off until a later time or date. However, it is more than just voluntarily delaying your task or work. Procrastination is also derived from the ancient Greek word “Akrasia”, which is the doing of something against our better judgement. This self-awareness is a critical factor of why delaying or procrastinating things makes us feel inadequate and guilty. When we postpone and delay our tasks, we are not only feeling that we are avoiding something that we are compelled to do, but we are wrong and bad by not doing it now. While procrastination is irrational and comes with negative consequences, we do it anyway. The way around it? Do it now. Do a quick mental check to see if the task on hand is essential. If it is, do it immediately. 

2. Do it When You are Truly Ready

Besides procrastination. There is also another term called prescrastination. Precrastination is the act of trying to do something before the time is right to do it. Simply translated, it’s also called “jumping the gun”. It’s almost like interrupting someone in the middle of their speech because you are afraid that you will forget what you want to say. However, doing things too early, way before the time is ripe, is not necessarily a good start of the journey. It is better to wait for the right moment to get things done. Hence, if you think you are precrastinating, pause and set aside another better time to do the task at hand.

Precrastination is the tendency to work on tasks at the earliest opportunity—even if it means more work or comes with extra costs. It can be a serious problem because it often leads to excessive levels of stress and fatigue and is usually not the most efficient or productive way to approach most forms of work.

3. Focus on Attention Management 

Attention management represents a big break from past ideas about how to be more efficient and increase productivity. It is based on the way we work today. Attention management offers the ability to consciously direct your attention in any given moment, to be more proactive than reactive, and to maintain control rather than inadvertently relinquish it. It’s about regaining control over your attention and thereby taking control of your life. Attention management empowers your productivity. To practise attention management, try to control your distractions and stay focused. If your mobile phone and the social media feeds are distracting you, turn your phone off. Focus on getting your immediate task completed first. And most importantly, enjoy the process of doing the tasks. All tasks are meant to be enjoyed!

4. Learn to do Deep Work 

What is Deep Work? ​Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfilment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep—spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realising there’s a better way. To focus on deep work, try to give yourself a strict period of time to spend working. This limits burnout, work creep, and keeps you focused and urgent on your work.

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5. Avoid Modern Distractions 

Making ourselves inaccessible from time to time is essential to boosting our focus. A 2017 survey from the American Psychological Association found that being always and permanently reachable on an electronic device — checking work emails on your day off; continuously cycling through social media feeds; responding to text messages at all hours — is associated with higher stress levels. ​Any action, such as working on a big project, getting enough sleep or physical exercise, eating healthy food, taking time to meditate or pray, or spending time with loved ones, are all forms of traction. Traction is any action you do with intent. It’s doing what you say you will do.

6. Turn Your Values into Time 

In this day and age, if you don’t plan your day, someone else will! Without knowing what it is you want to do with your time, everything is a potential distraction. To make time for the things that matter, turn your values into time, Invest your time in what matters, such as into your health, your families, and your friends. Go to the gym, meet up with your friends, and take a stroll in the park if you can. Live up to your value because your values define you. 

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Terence is Tropika Club Magazine's deputy editor who loves learning about animals and their behavior. He is also an anthropologist, so he is very interested in how different cultures interact with animals. He has worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, and have been lucky enough to work with some amazing authors and editors.

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