Six Steps to Fight Procrastination

It may seem easy to delay but why put off until tomorrow what can be done today?!  Procrastination has a cumulative effect.  It may start as just one task that is set aside but over time repeated delays prolong completion of important projects, decrease others’ confidence in our abilities and even keep us up at night uneasy about the consequences of what we left incomplete.  To help get things done follow these simple steps and conquer procrastination before you can say, “I’ll do it later.”

1. Make a list of all your current projects. Which ones have been outstanding the longest? Are they still really essential? If the answer is, “Not really,” then take them off your list. For some of the remaining tasks, delegate to family, friends, or co-workers if possible.

2. If a project seems too big and overwhelming, start with something small. Clear out the old magazines from the rack. Tidy up the scraps of paper on the fridge or bulletin board. Clean out your purse or briefcase.

3. If you are simply overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, break it down into small steps. Assign each step to a different day on your calendar, and make yourself accountable. Even if you can grab ten minutes here and there, you’ll see progress toward completing a large project.

4. If there is a project that you absolutely must get done today, do whatever it takes to forge on. Spend a little money to hire a babysitter or order take-out if that will keep you working.

5. Work with your daily rhythms and habits. If you’re a morning person, take advantage of the early hours to tackle your most difficult jobs. Likewise, nightowls might accomplish more after the rest of the house is quiet and asleep.

6. If you can’t seem to motivate yourself, grab a partner. Sometimes just the camaraderie of a friend can push you through a tough job. If you need a really neutral, non-judgmental assistant to guide you through, consider contacting your professional organizer for project, paper, or time management help.

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