kitchen timerIn this post I am going to share one of the best insights with you that I ever had from a book. The book is The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now
by Rita Emmett. It is a must read if you are suffering from procrastination. What did I learn?

One of the most important aids in working smarter is an ordinary kitchen timer!

Have you ever been overwhelmed by a task that you had to do? It looked like a mountain that could not be conquered. When  you procrastinate because of dreading a job that you have to do, than you’re not the only one. There are a lot of “dreaders” out there – but there is help.

Dreaders often have no idea how long it takes to do what ever job they are dreading. For instance – are you constantly shuffling though piles of paper on your desk? You don’t know how to start organizing your desk? You probably spent more time shuffling each day than it would take you to sort through the papers once and for all – filing, processing, tossing out or recycling.

If you are a “dreader” there are two steps that you have to take.

  1. Realize that the job probably won’t take the entire weekend of afternoon or however much time you think it will.
  2. Take a kitchen timer, set it for sixty minutes and devote one uninterrupted hour to the project. No coffee breaks, no phone calls, no email etc.

After you have done that one of three things will happen:

  • You’ll finish the job and be amazed at how little time it took.
  • You’ll discover that it is such an enormous project that it will take many more hours to complete, but you have make a small dent in it.
  • You are not finished, but you see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the most likely scenario. Once you’ve gained momentum, you won’t want to stop. You may actually enjoy pushing ahead to complete the project.

Regardless of how much you have accomplished in an hour, you will learn one of the most important lessons in conquering procrastination

What you dread is not spending time and energy on the project, but simply getting started.


Tomorrow’s fate, though thou be wise,
Thou canst not tell nor yet surmise;
Pass, therefore, not in vain,
For it will never come again.

-Omar Khayyam


Please share your productivity tips by commenting to this post. I love to hear from you 🙂

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