5 Ways to Conquer Procrastination

Yesterday we talked about procrastination and how doing what your mind tells you is important and actually influences your self-esteem. Here are some tips I picked up from the "simplify"-newsletter I'm subscribed to. The newsletter is originally in German, so here's my (slightly edited) translation:

When you are procrastinating, if it's

because you don't have time,

you can

Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • get rid of tasks that block your project
  • prioritize your project over other responsibilities
  • plan your activities and allot time-slots in your calendar

because you don't like it,

you can

  • simplify, break down, shorten, or settle for good instead of perfect
  • delegate, or exchange tasks with someone who is willing
  • think what would happen if you dropped the project
  • find ways to only accept tasks you know you'll enjoy

because the sheer size of the project makes it seem insurmountable,

you can

  • break it down into small pieces
  • start with the smallest and easiest to build confidence

because you think you have no choice,

you can

  • ask yourself what's the worst that will happen if this doesn't get done
  • check whether your goals and attitudes have changed to make the project so cumbersome
  • check your expectations of yourself - who or what convinced you to take this on in the first place?

because you don't know how to handle it,

you can

  • ask for help, find a mentor, contact an expert
  • consider taking classes and participating in workshops to obtain the know-how

I know, sometimes we have to do things we don't want to or else (enter your dooms-day prediction here).

You know what? Maybe getting fired / losing the partner / gaining five pounds won't be the end of the world. There are very few things you absolutely will not be able to bounce back from. The important thing to remember is you always always always have a choice!

If you don't like the consequences of not doing something you have to, you may as well get it over with quickly. You will feel much better for it.

Don't believe me? Try it yourself: write down all the tasks you usually procrastinate on a piece of paper. Place them in a jar, and at the beginning of your day, pick one and do it, then and there. Take care of it, cross it off your list, and then try to tell me you're not proud of yourself.

Just imagine what it'll feel like when you look back over everything you've accomplished! You could even prepare a roster to put up on the fridge / cubicle wall and give yourself smiley stickers for every task you get done, if you're a visual person who gets motivated by smiley faces, that is.

Something that only very recently worked wonders for me was the concept of accountability. Who'd have thought that having a coach actually helps you get your act together and your ball rolling in the right direction?! But you get the idea - just do it, and I promise you'll be happier. Isn't that what we're here for, really?

Image by Kaos2, Flickr, Creative Commons License.