Last week, and for the next few weeks, I’m going to post on Procrastination. These are not my words – I downloaded this PDF years ago, and there is no identifying info on it, so I have to go with ‘author unknown’. Here’s 8 ways to stop procrastination.
We all procrastinate to some degree. There are always other things you could be doing. Some say there’s no cure for procrastination so perhaps we need to seek not to prevent it but to slow it in the best way possible. When you’re working on the most important thing on your to-do list, that’s good, but you’ve delayed working on lesser things haven’t you?
Procrastination is a way of avoiding depression or coping with emotions that lead to depression or stress. This brings only temporarily relief and the next day when you awaken, no little fairy has done the work for you and the emotional stress of not completing your project returns. So, what to do?
Get organized. Now don’t procrastinate on this also. Make lists but keep it simple and realistic. Include both small and the large things to do on this list. The completion of small things could lead to big accomplishments.
When a task is completed, mark it off. It’s fun to watch your list grow shorter. You’ll be surprised how this gives you a feeling of success and spurs you on to greater success. Classes in organization are offered in many places and may be just right for you.
Prioritize your lists. The most important task is not always the most pleasant. Should you pay bills that are due to avoid a late payment penalty or you should you clean out a kitchen utility drawer? Meeting deadlines gives your morale a boost and sometimes your pocketbook too.
Take a step at a time and slice the work pie into smaller pieces. Before you know it the whole pie has been eaten. It’s been said that the longest journey begins with the first step. It’s the same with an overwhelming task. By the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch.
Have realistic expectations. If you have a large task that’s causing anxiety, do some of the smaller things related to the task as a whole. Thus the whole becomes manageable.
Get a calendar to list dates and appointments and to make sure you meet all deadlines for both short and long term goals. Look at your calendar frequently and don’t overbook. White space on your pages can bring a feeling of peace.
Don’t believe you must do everything perfectly. You’re human and humans make mistakes. That’s evident if you watch outtakes of a TV show.
Get started. Each day schedule time to work on the task at hand and eventually the task will be finished. Reward yourself and anticipate that reward as an incentive to work. Go back to work refreshed.
Allow adequate time to complete your task and don’t panic if you fall behind. Be flexible. Extensions can usually be had but don’t work with this in mind. Many projects never get done by feeling you’re the only one who can do it properly. A good leader is one who delegates and has a Plan B.