Do you procrastinate? Don’t feel bad if you do. It’s human nature. But when it comes to preparing for AEP, procrastination can be disastrous. There’s so much to do – if you put it off until the last minute, there simply won’t be enough time to do everything right.
Knowing this and doing something about it are two different things. If you’re prone to procrastination, you can’t just tell yourself to get things done sooner. You have to use the right tools and tactics to make yourself stay on schedule. You need to understand the psychology of willpower.
To-Do Lists Can Work
A common way of organizing tasks is to create a to-do list. Although this method is simple, it can be effective – as long as you’re doing it right.
If the only item on your to-do list is “Prepare for AEP,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Why? The task is more of a goal than a plan. It’s too vague, too overwhelming and too likely to be ignored.
Instead, break your to-do list up into specific and easy-to-perform actions. That way, you can tackle them one at a time, cross them off your list and get that feeling of accomplishment everyone loves.
If you have difficulty finding the time to complete tasks on your to-do list, consider using a trick described in Psychology Today. Instead of simply writing a list of tasks to complete, write when you’ll do them using “When it’s –” or “If it’s –” statements. This can help you learn to seize opportunities to get stuff done.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
If you always wait until the last minute to tackle tasks, try setting self-imposed deadlines for yourself.
This method works well for some people, but others may have trouble sticking to self-imposed deadlines. If you find yourself in the latter camp, consider enlisting the help of others. You might not mind ignoring a deadline that you made up for yourself if you’re the only one who knows about it, but if a friend or colleague is holding you accountable, you might feel differently.
Give Yourself Rewards
Another great way to motivate yourself is to reward yourself for accomplishing tasks. This can work in a few different ways.
In some cases, a good reward might be the thing that would normally cause you to procrastinate. For example, if you want to spend time on social media instead of working, tell yourself that you can’t check social media until you finish another task.
For bigger tasks, you might need a bigger reward. This could be something like a dinner out or an item you want to buy.
Not all rewards have to be external. Although some tasks might seem boring, remember why you’re doing them. You’re moving your career forward. You’re improving your life. You’re helping others make really important decisions. When you think about it this way, completing the task becomes its own reward.
Feeling inspired? Ready to plan your work and work your plan?Give your willpower the boost it needs with a tool that helps you stay on track with your certifications and AEP preparations. .