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Set the course for 2022

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo
18 September 2021   |   4:04 am
It’s three months and 12 days until 2022. What are you going to be doing with this one precious almost final quarter?

It’s three months and 12 days until 2022. What are you going to be doing with this one precious almost final quarter?
Will you be writing that proposal?
Will you be decluttering your house?
Will you finally get that mole checked?
Will you be handing in that resignation?

In the day to day busy-ness of life, there are so many things we put off. I am not one to preach, I have outstanding invoices to send, bags of books to give away and a wardrobe of clothes I’ve not work for the last 18 months spent mainly in jogging bottoms and t-shirts I need to look through and distribute accordingly. The adage is ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today’; however, increasingly, it’s become, ‘don’t do today what you can put off till tomorrow.’ And before we know it, in Shakespeare words, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, /Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, /To the last syllable of recorded time…’

We are all guilty of procrastinating and, as a result, postponing deadlines, and sometimes, dreams. What can we do to crack on with life though, or at least the last quarter of the year to make 2022 one to look forward to?

Eat the frog
I was puzzled by this term when I first heard it. ‘Eat the frog’ simply means tackling the least liked task on your to do list first thing in the morning. This could also apply to other aspects of life. When cleaning the house, I try to begin with the room I have cleaning the most; once that’s done, the rest of the work feels more manageable.

Practise the Pomodoro
Another productivity trick is the Pomodoro technique whereby you set you alarm to work for 25 minutes straight followed by five minutes break. Once that’s up you start all over again. Rather than having to keep focused for long periods of time, short and sharp bursts of concentration mean you can do more in shorter time spans and refresh more often.

Use the five-minute rule
You know those small jobs we all put off – like clearing out the junk on the kitchen table or sending that last email of the day? This rule is simple and will help you get most off these tasks ticked off your list: If it takes five minutes to do, do it now.

Stop multi-tasking
We’ve been told for years multi-tasking is a skill but more and more the thinking is that multi-tasking badly effects concentration levels and leads to multiple tasks shoddily performed. Try watching TV and mindlessly scrolling on Instagram. The chances are you’ve missed half of what you were planning to watch. It is pretty much the same with two tasks performed at the same time – they are rarely both performed well. Stick to one task instead and do it justice.

Banish perfectionism
Do you know anyone whose house is full of unfinished jobs or whose desk is cluttered with projects they intended to take up but never quite got around to? Or you would definitely know someone at work who often misses deadlines because the presentations “is not quite there yet” despite days and weeks they’ve spent perfecting it. Often the culprit is perfectionism – we procrastinate projects, put off tasks or miss deadlines for the fear that our work is less than perfect, but truly sometimes good enough is good enough.
How about in the next three months and 12 days, take a deep breath, set your alarm clock, eat that frog and banish perfectionism to set the course for 2022.

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