Procrastination gets the best of all of us. Especially when we have so much to do and little time to do it in. Even with the best of intentions when we leave something to the last minute the results can be sloppy. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Well I will tell you there are several reasons why this might happen. One, maybe we simply need a break. Our bodies and minds can only be pushed so far. So, when we start to slow down and feel a bit lazy or sluggish, we should pause and see how busy we have been the past few days or weeks. Second, we lack motivation or passion. Simply put, maybe we are not as invested as we believe we are or we feel forced to do something. This will definitely allow procrastination to surface. Third, we feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start. When we see a huge project or task in front of us it seems pretty daunting to start. Which leads our minds and bodies to do other things rather than get started. Fourth, we are humans of habit! We tend to gravitate towards things that come naturally to us or that are easy. So, if we have a lot to do or a large task to complete it seems easy to get the other things we know how to do first. Or you can just be lazy….which I don’t think is the case if you are reading this. I think you are just like everyone else trying to improve yourself and gain some helpful tips to nip procrastination in its butt.
Here is tip #1 (and of course these are all tips I follow day in and day out).
Set up your MINDSET.
This is something I do every time I am presented with a task that needs to be completed within a time frame. I tell myself if I want this to be painless with few bumps on the road, then I need to be committed and disciplined. I ask myself, when do I want this to be completed by? When I sit and work on this project how much time will I dedicate? Asking these types of questions help me stay focused and see where my expectations lie. I can try to fool myself and claim to finish the tasks by the end of the day, but if I am not truly aligned with that, then I will find ways to procrastinate. This only teaches my mind that I don’t follow through, which can become a habit. Be honest with yourself and set yourself up for success and not failure.
Plan your day the night before.
This helps me so much because it allows me to see what I can do the next day and what I can push down for the rest of the week. I always pick 2 to 3 large tasks that I need to get done the next day and the rest can either be fit in or pushed for a later time. This is such a huge stress reliever for me. Even when or if unexpected things come up I am able to look at my schedule and plan accordingly. When I don’t do this (which isn’t often) I feel like I am pulled in so many different directions. So doing this definitely helps you stay focused, allowing little to no room for procrastinations.
We all have heard of this one. It is pretty straightforward, manage your time better. What I like to do to help me is add a specific amount of time to everything I do. That way I don’t end up rushing or running out of time, no SURPRISES. This means I add a specific amount of time to my meals, getting ready, walking the dogs, cooking and cleaning. This keeps me on track and actually helps me get things done faster. I’m not going to lie, there are some instances where I underestimated a specific task causing me to run late but that is how I learn. Next time I plan my schedule I allow more wiggle room. This literally makes no time for procrastination because it’s not on the schedule.
Have someone hold you accountable
Doing this definitely gets me moving. I will casually mention to some of the people I am close to some of my plans and like any relationship they casually bring it up. When I find my answer to be, I haven’t done it yet, I haven’t even started or I haven’t finished, this gives me a quick reminder of what I said I needed to do. This also allows me to see where my priorities lie. I double check with myself and see where I have been putting my time, efforts and energy. Naturally telling people helps you stay focused and motivated for the long run.
Break down large tasks/projects
Whenever I have a large project or task that may take time to complete I lay out what I need to do to reach the finished ‘product’. I look at my layout and see how long it will take me to complete it. Next, I look at my schedule to check what I can do daily or weekly to finish it in the time I need it to be completed. Whether you were given a deadline or you have given yourself one, it’s best to incorporate what needs to get done based on your current schedule. This goes back to tip #3. Instead of looking at your giant project like it is going to swallow you up, take the time to break it down to steps. What has to be started first, and go from there. It’s like reading a book, no one just went to the end of the book, read the last page and claims to have finished it. You read one page at a time, to one chapter at a time, completing your book.
Ask yourself, what are my steps to completion?
As a bonus tip, something that I always add into my schedule is procrastination. I know, this is exactly what we are trying to avoid, but when I do this, I procrastinate way less. When I plan out my schedule I make room for some procrastination time. Sometimes I just chill, I become a couch potato for 15 minutes or I just scroll through my phone doing nothing. This takes off a lot of pressure from what I feel needs to get done. As I take this time to re-energize and put myself first, I am then able to take the rest of my time to finish my tasks at hand.
This never fails me, especially if I have a large project or something I really don’t want to do.
I hope these tips are useful for you and if you have any tips go ahead and leave them in my comments for me to apply.
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Until next time,