Time management: The trick to stop your instinct to postpone

Time management: The trick to stop your instinct to postpone

“Yaay! Friday’s coming!” a colleague of yours just said it. “Yaay nothing”, you mentally respond. But why could someone want the weekend not to come? Simply because you didn’t do even half of what you should have done. Even working late every single day, and overnight… If that’s how you feel, there’s a great chance you are a postponer. Fortunately, there’s also a time management trick to reverse your problem. And you want to use it:

1. Why you act this way

Daphna Oyserman, a researcher at the University of Southern California, says that “people assume they should deal with the present and their future self will be able to handle what’s coming. This seems plausible, but it can make people unfocused, partly because some future events require action now”. According to her, the future can really motivate a current action if it seems imminent, i.e. knocking at the door. How to make it happen? Bring your future to the present. Here’s why:

2. The study explains

After set experiments, researchers of the University of Michigan found that participants had the feeling that the future was closer when planning their goals using days instead of months or years to set a deadline. In other words, they get along when they were more specific. In the first experiment, those who counted the days to a certain event, such as a wedding, a show or a presentation at work, answered an average of 29.6 days more accurately compared to those who had counted months. The second experiment confirmed the hypothesis. More than a thousand volunteers had to answer when begin to save money for retirement. Those who thought in terms of days planned to start four times earlier than the others, because they felt more connected to their “future self” and therefore were more willing to give up spending on immediate rewards.

3. The great trick

It’s all about recreating your time management. Be the more specific possible to plan your future. Rather than years, use months, and whenever possible, use days, whether to tell how long it takes to a certain event or to set your deadlines. By doing so, you will feel more will to accomplish your goals. You won’t have the impression that everything is urgent, though as well the study ponders, you will have “the feeling that the future and the present are connected and therefore are in harmony, not in conflict.”

Now imagine using this trick and still have one more day a week. That’s what Runrun.it makes possible. The task, performance and time management software adopted by more than 100,000 companies worldwide. Try it for free now: http://runrun.it

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