It’s very hard to benefit from time management techniques when you procrastinate. There are a number of reasons you procrastinate, and fretting may be the source behind your tendency to procrastinate. When you fret you think about all sorts of imagined problems that may or may not ever happen. You fret about what might happen if you succeed. You fret about what might happen if you fail. You fret about what others will think. You fret that you don’t really know how to tackle the problem. With all this fretting your expending way more energy thinking about it than it would ever take to just do it.

Procrastinators who fret are thinkers, so let’s get you thinking about the right things. What happens if you do succeed if you complete this project or activity? What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen and the absolute best thing that could happen when you finish the project? Get out a piece of paper. Divide it in half heading one side best and the other worst. Keep brain storming and writing until you can’t come up with anything else. Is there anything on the paper that you absolutely couldn’t live with? If not, go to the next step.

The next step in this time management technique is to identify what happens if you fail. Flip you paper over and now list the absolute worst thing that could happen if you fail, and the best thing that could happen if you fail? Your first reaction may be there isn’t a best thing that could happen if you fail, but there is. Every time you fail at something you’re one step closer to succeeding, so you really want to fail fast and often so you can succeed that much faster.

When you procrastinate because you fret about everything isn’t a big part of your concern about what others will think? This time management technique may be hard for you, but mastering this technique will liberate you. Recognize that you can’t control how other people will think or react now or ever. You can only control how you respond to how others react. So, on a second piece of paper list how you think others might react on one side and on the other side list how you choose to react in response to that reaction. Let’s say you’re fretting that if you complete this project or activity that someone may get very angry and confront you. You can choose to remain calm, acknowledge the other persons feelings, ask them to tell you more about whatever they are telling you, and then communicate that you want to work together to resolve their concern. Because you’re prepared for the possible reactions and responses of others you’re prepared to handle your own responses.

Often the reason behind your fretting is that you’re concerned that you don’t know how to do what you need to do. All time management techniques are really about taking control and moving forward. In this case, flip your second piece of paper over and list what you don’t know how to do. Review your list and on the other half of the sheet identify how you could know how to do it, and when you will take action to know how. Evaluate which things that you don’t know how to do that you could have someone who does know how do for you.

Ultimately fretting usually comes down to fear. The best time management technique for overcoming fears is to face them. As you thought things out through the previous steps you were really identifying your worst fears and coming up with solutions for working around them. The best way to conquer your enemy is to know your enemy. As you work through this thought process your confidence builds, and you restore your ability to move ahead armed with the knowledge of what you need to do and how to do it.

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