How many of you feel like you procrastinate every now and then? I think we all put things off from time to time, but when procrastination takes over on a regular basis it can disrupt the flow of your life. Lately many of my clients have been complaining of procrastination. I am sure some of it has to do with summer, but some may just be avoiding things they don’t want to do. Would you procrastinate putting a large check in the bank? Would you procrastinate a vacation to the Bahamas? Of course we wouldn’t put off fun and exciting tasks, its just the activities that aren’t necessarily fun and thrilling, or tasks that bring up a bit of fear. I thought this was the perfect time to offer some simple and practical tips to help you push procrastination aside.
Do the worst task first
I am sure many of you have heard this advice in the past. Look at your list of to-do’s and pick the one task that you least want to do. We all have a limited supply of energy and time, so by picking the least favorite first, your chances of succeeding go up. You will do the task when you have more energy and are more fresh, thus hopefully avoiding the procrastination. Check it off your list and move on.
Break up the task
Many times we procrastinate on certain tasks because they feel so large and overwhelming. We literally get stopped in our tracks before we even begin. Let’s say for example you need to sort through ten different piles of papers on your desk and the thought just pushes you over the edge. Instead of looking at ALL the piles at once, make a commitment to just sort through one pile. If you break up the task into smaller tasks it will feel much more doable. Look at all the activities that you are procrastinating on and figure out how to bite-size chunk them into smaller activities.
It is much easier to blow off tasks when nobody else is watching. The easiest way to create some positive motivation is to bring a friend, co-worker or life coach into the mix. Having others check up on you and ask you how things are going is a great way to stay on track. You don’t want to let others down, so it is a gentle kick in the butt that you might need. Share goals with others. Ask a friend to check up on you. Work with a life coach who will track your progress for you.