I’m always trying to find ways to be more productive, especially to find when it comes to overcoming my procrastination. I’ve written many times about habits, prioritising and my goals for “time management”.
One thing I’ve tried with little success is holding myself responsible, with very little success. I’ve found that I need people to hold me accountable to get through difficult tasks.
But this weekend I tried something different with my wife.
Now, I tried working with my wife to hold me accountable before, which never worked out. In the morning I would give her a list of what I was going to be working on, and she’d check up on me at regular intervals. I wasn’t getting shit done, so when she’d come and ask, I’d be frustrated and angry (with myself, but she can’t tell the difference) and she’d just walk away. She wasn’t assertive enough, and well, I could be pretty much a dick when I’m frustrated.
This time though we developed a plan. Rather than just a list of shit I needed to get done that day, I would choose one item, and we would just go on a half-hour by half-hour basis. The critical part was first to identify what specifically I was going to be working on that half-hour and what I would produce at the end of the period.
And it worked remarkably well. One thing that I was unable to do in over six months, I did over two days – produce a formal M.Sc. Project Thesis proposal for submission. And I did two because I couldn’t decide which I would choose.
It wasn’t perfect, but the fact that I was able to overcome initial barriers says a lot. We’ve already discussed possible ways of making improvements, such as implementing rewards and consequences.
I have to admit I feel really good about this.