Procrastination is a big problem for many, many people. And finding time is a lifesaver when you’re running out of it – quickly!
You know all-too-well about procrastination when you have, say, a project that you found out about two weeks ago but haven’t worked on yet. (It’s the one you kept saying that you would get to tomorrow.) Suddenly that deadline actually IS tomorrow!
Procrastination has created a big problem for you – so what do you do?
Well, first let’s look at some reactions to avoid …
Procrastination Don’ts: 5 Things Not to Do:
• DON’T flee or hide – you’ll get through this.
• DON’T keep procrastinating.
• DON’T panic.
• DON’T fall into the trap of self-criticism.
• DON’T give up.
With procrastination the details may vary from one time to the next, but the basic story remains the same. You’ve been putting something off, or letting other priorities get in the way of completing a task. And while that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach may make you want to disappear, but showing up is the best antidote!
To successfully complete your task, set new patterns in place right NOW. Commit to making this project a success, and use tips below as building blocks for better time choices from here on – and remember, it’s never too late!
Procrastination Do’s: 5 Tips to Help You Get the Job Done.
DO create a boundary for yourself. Let others know you need undisturbed time until your project is completed. Enlist in their support, if needed. Let the answering machine take your messages. Direct your full attention and energy to the task at hand.
DO assemble the tools you’ll need for the job. What do you need to complete your task? A computer? Papers from work? Coffee? Gather nearby whatever will help you to get the job done.
DO clearly define your task. To do this it really helps to envision your end point. Then brainstorm what you need to reach it. What is the most direct route? Let simplicity be your guide. If you get caught up in the details, it’s time to translate thought into action.
DO get started. This is the top priority. Once you get started, keep going. Do not let doubts or interruptions stop you. You may hit bumps, but keep moving. Give yourself small breaks if you need to, but set a time frame for them and return to your task quickly.
DO know when to stop – remember that DONE is better than perfect! Your goal isn’t perfection, it’s to get to the end of this task on schedule. Once you have finished, if you have time, you can go back and polish your work. If it helps, think of your finished product as a starting point rather than an endpoint!
PROCRASTINATION BONUS TIP
This is really important, because it builds self-trust and reinforces a friendly (as opposed to self-critical) relationship with yourself! Once you’ve gotten out of that corner you backed yourself into, congratulate yourself! You have learned first-hand how boundaries, focus and mobilizing yourself enables you to meet your deadline. This is just one example of the benefits you will enjoy if you regularly study your time choices to enhance your effectiveness. Become your own friend and hero. Rescue yourself from a life of urgency and avoidance! With practice, you will experience increasing success at finding time.© Copyright 2014 Paula Eder, Ph.D.