Ah, procrastination. Most people experience it at one time or another. Procrastination can be a deep-seated problem involving fear of failure or success, or a natural result of overload. Regardless of why you are experiencing procrastination, there are ways to overcome it! How you choose to overcome procrastination depends on the task involved, the people involved, and the underlying reason for the procrastination. Take a look at the following strategies, and see which help conquer your procrastination the next time it rears its ugly head.
- Stuck on a task or project? Take a cue from Nike, and ‘Just Do It!’ Once you get started, you gain momentum and energy. Usually, all of the thinking about and dreading starting the task is worse than the actual task!
Don’t Start at the Beginning
- Sometimes, you get tripped up on how to start an activity. Well, oftentimes there is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning. Start somewhere else if that is easier and then work your way back to the beginning once you’ve made some progress and get a handle on the task or activity.
Take it One Step at a Time
- Many people procrastinate simply because it’s too formidable a task or there isn’t enough time to do it now. But you don’t have to do it all now! Break the task into small, manageable segments, each with its own end in sight. This encourages motivation and discourages procrastination.
Involve Other People
- Being accountable to someone else can be a very effective way to overcome procrastination. Collaborate by working with someone else to get the task or activity started and finished faster. Two minds (or pairs of hands) can be better than one! Or you can assemble an entire team if that is feasible. You can also barter with someone to do the parts of the task or activity that you don’t like or are not good at, and then in turn, do something you do like or are good at for him or her. Lastly, you can give the task or activity away altogether by delegating it to a family member, friend, employee or co-worker.
Set a “Finish Line”
- Ever notice that we call the due date for a task or activity a “deadline?” We attach a negative concept to the tasks and activities we want to accomplish. When you complete a task or activity, it is not dead, merely completed. Think instead, or reaching a finish line, so that you view your task or activity as a game or race. On your mark, get set, go!
Cause and Effect
- Use good old behavior modification tactics. Don’t allow yourself to do something else until you start or finish your project. Or set up a reward that you treat yourself to once you reach a certain milestone in the project or at its completion.
This post comes to you from my friend and fellow organizer: Lisa Montanaro! Thanks Lisa – You ROCK!!
Copyright 2011 LM Organizing Solutions. Lisa Montanaro