A Leger Marketing survey commissioned by Professional Organizers in Canada revealed that of the 80% of Canadians who say they are disorganized, they appear to struggle most with their ability to organize time.

Procrastination is one of the leading saboteurs of effective time management. Here are five tips to help prevail over procrastination:

1. Get it over with

If you are dreading a certain task perhaps because it makes you uncomfortable (i.e. cold calling) or is challenging in some way, tackle it first thing. You will eliminate worrying about it and you’re guaranteed to savour the success throughout the rest of a very productive day.

2. Dangle a carrot

Rewards are great motivators. Promise yourself an experience you’ll truly enjoy upon completion of the task.  Perhaps a walk outside, your favourite latte, a good chat with a friend.

3. Beat the clock

Creating a sense of urgency can be an effective motivator. Set an alarm on your computer or watch and beat the timer. It’s amazing what you can get done when you add a little time pressure.  Our adrenaline and innate sense of competition get going and we move a little faster.

4. Partner up

Find a supportive partner who is also working on a goal. It doesn’t have to be the same as yours. Agree to discuss both your results at regular intervals. You might be driven by the fact it’s embarrassing to have nothing to deliver, or it may inspire your competitive spirit and desire to show strong results. By holding each other accountable, you will both achieve greater success and you won’t feel alone.  Recent research suggests that people who share their weight loss goals on twitter are losing more weight.  You don’t have to go public, but keeping your goal to yourself, my slow you down.

5. Track it

It takes time to create new habits. Pick one behaviour you want to change and draft a simple table to track not only whether you were successful or not, but how you felt about it. Do this every day for at least a month. This increased awareness will help to keep you focused on the change you wish to make.

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