Use the three-minute rule, but make sure the tasks are completed

“If at first you don’t succeed, give up,” is a famous quote from TV’s favourite layabout Homer Simpson, who also said: “Trying is the first step towards failure.”

Well, Homer might not represent the best of behaviour, but could perhaps inspire people who are daunted by completing tasks all in one go.

They could try something a little different with the three-minute rule, an antidote to procrastination.

It is a theory from psychologists who say doing dreaded tasks for a short period can make completion much more manageable.

Psychologist Dr Jennifer Wild, an associate professor at Oxford University, said: “It is all too easy when it is cold and you are watching television not to want to go out for a run, even when you know it is good for you.

“But when people are told they can go for a three-minute jog and stop if they don’t feel the benefit, that can get them out.”

Procrastination can lead to stress and costs

In a trial, psychologists found a 20-minute rule was still too daunting. But when participants tried three minutes, 98 per cent kept going longer.

They added that procrastination has become a major source of modern-day stress, but in business, it can be costly, particularly if you are an accountant advising many clients.

A partner gives accountants that bit of breathing space to allow them to deliver strategic advice to guide their clients forward, knowing they have back up on pending task completion.

Alarm bells usually mean you have missed something and implies bad time management or just generally bad management.

They may have started a task for a client, in a similar fashion to the three-minute rule, but now need reminding to finish it before it can become costly, or recruit outside sources to help them.

At this point, there is no time for procrastination and enlisting the support of award-winning outsourcing experts like GI is a sign of good management.

Expertise to help you finish the job

For some, the three-minute rule is a great way to start a task, but you always have the support to make sure it is completed.

That’s where GI’s expertise in both providing compliance issues support or with the latest cloud accountancy software purchase, implementation or training can take the pressure off.

One thing’s for certain taking advice from Homer Simpson is not the answer.

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Posted in Blogs.