How to Manage Procrastination


How to Manage Procrastination

Ask yourself why you are procrastinating.

Procrastination is a hard thing to avoid.  Maybe you don’t know how to get started or think that it may be too difficult.  Other times, it might be because the task is boring or you just plain don’t want to do it.  Sometimes, it is simply a matter of poor time management or prioritization.  In any case, knowing why you are procrastinating can often help to find a solution to actually getting the task done.  Once you have come up with your reasons, take a few minutes to figure out how you can overcome them.  Maybe you need to schedule some time to research your project or look for a babysitter to watch the kids so you can have some uninterrupted time.  Don’t settle for your excuses and find a way!

Write a daily to-do list to avoid procrastinating.

The trick to successfully using a to-do list is to keep it short and sweet.  A long to-do list can make you feel overwhelmed and actually increase your tendency towards procrastinating.  By switching to a list with only the top three priorities for the day, you could have been much more productive in getting things done. And ensure that the most important tasks are getting done first.

Break down big jobs into more do-able sub-tasks.

One of the main reasons that you may procrastinate is because you feel overwhelmed.  Maybe the task just seems impossible to tackle or maybe you don’t know exactly what to do or where to start.  The task of decluttering your basement might be something that you really want to do but just can’t bring yourself to get started.  By breaking the task down into smaller sections, you will remove that mental overload and feel more confident that you can get things done.

Don’t wait for the perfect time.

I hate to break it to you but that perfect time never comes.  There will always be some excuse that you can come up with – you want to wait to start your diet until that big batch of cookies has been eaten up. Or maybe you are going to wait to start exercising until your kids are a little older.  Don’t wait!!  Maybe you won’t be able to do exactly what your ideal plan is but you can still get started.   And isn’t that always the biggest hurdle?

Schedule break times.

The key word here is “schedule”.  A scheduled break time is much different from getting distracted and suddenly realizing that you have spent an hour surfing the internet.  Actively choosing a break is better than getting distracted. It allows you to take the time as a break and reward yourself for getting your tasks done. If you were trying to work on the computer and end up getting distracted by all of your Facebook messages and then end up scrolling through your feed for half an hour. Your brain does not seem to recognize this as the same break.

Set a Timer.

If you are having trouble getting going on something or are prone to get distracted easily, set a timer and commit to doing NOTHING ELSE during that time other than your primary task. Do not “just quickly” check your phone or email, do not start another job, do nothing to distract yourself only during the timer. The point is to train yourself to focus on the task for that time. Or until it’s done so when you do complete it, you can focus on the other things like Facebook! It’s just you and your job until the buzzer goes.

Progress.  Not Perfection.

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