Procrastination…America’s favorite pastime…right behind eating out and before baseball! Even organizers procrastinate, and I am no exception! Truth be told, I have been procrastinating so much about writing a blog that I decided to just write about procrastination! Yes, I did write about it before, but the approach for this this blog deals more with the psychological aspect of procrastination, so give it a read.
Procrastination is the silent killer of productivity and accomplishments. It can strike anyone at any time. No one is immune to the procrastination bug! No amount of To-do lists or reminders can help. Once it takes hold of you the simplest of tasks seem at difficult as climbing Mt. Everest. So what is one to do when old procrastination comes a-calling? Stop and listen!
Why are you procrastinating? Is it an undesirable task? A difficult one? Something confusing? Are you overwhelmed by what needs to be done? Do you lack the organization to get done what you want? For some (ok, me) it’s perfectionism that rears its ugly head until the time/mood/lighting/scent/whatever is just right.
When you’ve figured out why you’re procrastinating you can start taking steps to stop doing it. Procrastination is a habit, and like any habit it takes time to break. No one ever quit smoking overnight (ok, my grandmother did, but she’s also used to make her own clothes and stand in bread lines, so we’re not on an even playing field). Here are some tips to help you break that nasty procrastination habit.
• Make a list of the consequences of not getting the things done that need to be done. Will you lose your job if that report isn’t in on time? Will the power company turn off your lights if you don’t pay your bills? Will not completing that project cost you money?
• Then set up rewards for getting things done. Plan a fun activity to look forward to once your task is done. Promise yourself a frozen yogurt (or tasty treat of your choice) for finishing those cold calls that have been plaguing you. Most of the time just finishing a task you’ve been procrastinating over is reward enough, but it doesn’t hurt to dangle that carrot at the finish line.
• Enlist the help of someone else: ask a friend or coworker to check in on you periodically for progress reports. Most of the time we can tell ourselves that not getting something done is no big deal, but we have a harder time justifying it to others.
• If a lack of organization is the problem, getting organized is always the answer. Whether by yourself, or with some help, getting organized should always be the first step to getting anything done. Once you and your space are organized your mind will be freed up to focus on the task at hand.
Sometimes, when all else fails and you’re in a do or die moment, there is only one thing that can help…Just suck it up and do it! Unless the task is cleaning raw sewage out of your yard, it’s not that bad. And then again, someone has to do that job too.