Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.
~ Mason Cooley
Procrastination is that sinister and seductive stealer of time. We have projects we know need to get done; however, we just can’t bring ourselves to get motivated to actually do them. We put these tasks off, telling ourselves will do them later and all will be OK.
Later we have even more responsibilities that need to be taken care of, and our already full plate becomes even fuller. Soon, the work load seems insurmountable. Procrastination takes this opportunity to snowball our lack of motivation, and it becomes an increasingly vicious cycle. Following are six tips on how to stop procrastination – now!
Give Yourself Permission to Work in an Imperfect World – If you’re waiting for just the right time, place, equipment, etc. to begin a project, guess what? That’s procrastination! Don’t wait around for the world to align and give you everything you need to get started on a project. Instead, dive in and get started. Gather the materials you need, as you need them.
Make a Prioritized To Do List – There’s a reason why Daytimer and other planner companies are still successful – they work! Prioritizing a To Do list helps procrastination in a couple of different ways. First, it helps you take stock of what you need to get done, and gives you motivation as you check completed items off your list. Second, by prioritizing the tasks, putting the most important ones first, you can help ensure procrastination doesn’t lead you to the easy or fun (but unimportant) tasks first.
Don’t Kid Yourself – That whole, “I just work better under pressure” statement is often procrastination tricking you into putting off things you really need to get done now! Working under pressure usually means more errors and lower productivity.
Use a Timer – If you’re working on something you truly dread, set a timer and agree to work solely on that project for a certain amount of time. Once that allotted time is over, give yourself a little reward, like a walk outside or ten minutes on Facebook. Breaking up a large, unpleasant project into smaller pieces makes it feel a lot less daunting.
Make a Decision and Move Forward – Sometimes decision-making takes time. However, if you have all of the information to make an education decision, don’t procrastinate by second guessing yourself.
Put Away the Distractions – Distractions are procrastination’s evil cousins. This can be technological distractions, such as e-mail, text messages, or social media sites. In these instances, turn off the offending devices or shut down the related programs. Distractions can also be people. If you have a chatty co-worker, don’t be afraid to let them know you have work you need to get done, but would be happy to talk to them as soon as you’re finished.
About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert
CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.
Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (971) 212-0479.