When I ask for a show of hands at my workshops for who feels they are a procrastinator – usually around 90% raise their hands. Is this you? Or will you wait and answer me tomorrow?!
At my last TimeSpa an attendee showed me the article “Put Off Reading this Until Tax Time: Americans Procrastinate”. What is so funny is that the study was supposed to take five years but took ten! The author states that procrastination is making people poorer, fatter, and unhappier. Goodness!
Since I am a recovering procrastinator I have some tips for you and my best advice for you is to start using these tips the next time you’re tempted to put something off until tomorrow!
1. Visualize what it will look like and feel like when it’s done
When I’m procrastinating on the research part of a presentation I will visualize myself in front of the group giving the presentation. When I have that picture in my mind it helps me to keep working on the ‘not so fun’ part.
2. Break the task down into steps
You may be procrastinating because the task seems so overwhelming. Take a stack of 3×5 cards and put each step of the task on a card. Then lay the cards in front of you and ask yourself “What do I need to do first?” Take that card and lay it upside down. Then ask “What do I need to do second?” Take that card and lay it upside down on the first, and so on. When you’re done the large overwhelming task has now been broken down into steps and seems much more manageable.
3. Make an appointment with yourself
Put the task that you are procrastinating on in your calendar as an appointment. Keep the appointment!
4. Take action
Do the first step, then the second. Once you get started you’ll get momentum and you’ll get the task done much sooner than you thought. Then you’ll wonder “Why didn’t I do this 2 weeks ago when it was due?”
5. Give yourself a reward
When you’ve accomplished the task that you’ve been putting off give yourself a reward. And, sometimes the reward is just getting that messy task off your desk! But, it’s also a massage and a movie!!!
Want to know more? It’s all in my book “Organize with Confidence” . Check it out today!