Four ways of battling procrastination

screaming chick

There are plenty of times we all put off that unpleasant task or brush aside that complex project. Sometimes we just need a little push to get it done!

Consider the consequences

Nothing will get you moving faster than realizing the fallout from your procrastination. The kids aren’t enrolled in school. You’re embarrassed in front of your colleagues. The electricity is cut off. Your mother won’t stop calling. All of these are bad enough on their own, but there is often unacknowledged stress and anxiety that goes with it. Use the worst case scenario to help motivate you to get it done.

Remove the obstacles

“Well, I can’t do this until that happens.” And you push it aside. Whatever that obstacle is, get it out of the way. Missing information, limited resources, better software can lead to procrastination. Get what you need to make it happen. Don’t forget to prep for the future so the shortage won’t happen again. And if you need a skill, get the training fast and make sure it is appropriate for your needs.

Set a deadline and be held accountable

Let people know what you are doing and when they can expect results. This can be as simple as saying to a friend that you’ll call on Wednesday to confirm Friday’s lunch or as complex as letting a committee know you are scheduling your multi-city presentation two weeks from Friday. Put it out there. It becomes real and demands attention when you do.

Just get started

Sometimes you just have to dive in. Once you are there, you can usually break it down into smaller tasks. Visualize what it will take to finish and line up your to do list. Start with an easy part to build your confidence if that seems like the best approach. Or, start with the difficult part which takes the most time so you can know what your time constraints are.

Generally, avoid perfectionism, keep your priorities straight and schedule breaks to avoid begin overwhelmed. You can get it done!


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