How to Beat Procrastination
Procrastination is the leisure time we build into our day when we don’t have enough leisure time.
Is that true for you?
Let’s look at some of the reasons we procrastinate:
1. Lack of How To
When we don’t know how to do a task or don’t know how to get started, and don’t have someone to ask, we tend to put the task off.
The task is so big we don’t know where to get started and there is no end in sight, there is so much to do.
Stress can be a trigger for procrastination. We procrastinate when we can least afford it.
4. Lack of time management
Spending time on non-essential tasks can be a form of ongoing procrastination, until we are face to face with a deadline.
It is easy to procrastinate when we know that the end result of our work is never good enough.
6. Lack of Goals
Very few people live their life on purpose. Most people go through the motions of what needs to be done day in and day out.
What can you do in each of these situations?
1. Lack of How To
First of all decide if there is a resource that can help you get started. It could be a book, a person whom you can ask for help, or searching for answers on the internet. Other times the best course of action is to get started. Set aside 30 minutes and try to figure out something to get you started. Get started with breaking the job into bite-size tasks and then tackling these one at a time.
If a task is too big, the first thing is to break it down into smaller chunks. If there is just too much to do, write down all that needs to be done. Cross out the tasks that you can do without. Delegate tasks that someone else can do. Prioritize the most important tasks, knowing that some lower priority tasks may not get done. Sometimes you can negotiate for extra time.
When you feel the stress getting to you, take a relaxation break. Take some deep breaths; meditate for 3-5 minutes; get up and take a short 5 minute walk; listen to a piece of music. Rather than letting the stress get to you and pushing forward, a short break may be the answer.
4. Time Management
One way to manage time is to manage priorities. Eliminate non-essential tasks. Work on the most important tasks first. Another form of time management is to break large tasks into blocks and spread them over time. For example taxes need to be filed every year. Instead of waiting until April to get the taxes done, spend time every month to organize your tax receipts and bank statements, so that the task is small when the taxes need to be filed.
Write down all your tasks and divide them into 4 categories:
- Important and urgent
- Important and not urgent
- Not important and urgent
- Not important and not urgent
Then eliminate as many of the not important and not urgent tasks as possible.
Regularly work on important tasks while they are not yet urgent. This eliminates a great deal of stress in your life by preventing urgent tasks in your life.
This is a tough one to overcome. Often this trait was encouraged from early on – like getting all A’s on your report card. One way to tackle this is to allow yourself trial runs or in case of a document – a first draft – or even just the first few paragraphs. With practice you can loosen the grip of perfectionism.
6. Lack of Goals
Goals give your life direction. Take time out to dream about your life 1, 5, 10 or even 20 years into the future. Think about where you’d like to live, who you’d like to be sharing your life with, and what you’d like to have. Then build tasks into your schedule that will get you closer to your dreams. Those tasks are important motivators to keep you going with everything you need to get done.
Recognizing how you spend your day and what needs to change can be a real challenge to do alone.
Consider keeping a time log for a couple of weeks and reach out for help to implement changes to the way you live your life. Remember to build regular leisure activities into your days and weeks. It replenishes your energy to keep going.
To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.