I don’t know if there is a self-help group for people who are guilty of procrastination or not, but if there is I should be a member. Perhaps you can relate with the old joke:
“I need to join the self-help group -Procrastinators Anonymous. I just haven’t done it yet.”
I have been a habitual procrastinator most of my life, and in spite of that, I still get a lot of things done. I tend to do the things I like though, and put off the stuff I do not like, which makes sense. But those things that get postponed can sometimes prevent me from making progress on my bigger goals.
That means the dusting—sorry other things to do. Vacuuming? No, must take out the trash, feed the cat and do laundry. I think most of us do the things that must be done and wiggle out of other tasks. Most procrastinators, I mean like me.
I did read an article recently that found there are actually benefits to procrastination. We put off tasks that often did not need doing. They turned out to be busy tasks, but did not add to our income, level of happiness or contentment with life. So some of the things on our to-do list tend to not matter in the long run. For those that do matter, here are some tips to help you stop procrastinating.
Why Do People Procrastinate
To be able to defeat any patten and change our habits, we first must identify with why we do things. Understanding ‘the why’ behind your procrastination aids you in overcoming it. Here are some reasons you may putt off things on your to-do list: poor organization, feeling overwhelmed, fearing that you will fail, lack of confidence, fear of being successful and perfectionism.
I know that I like things “perfect”. When I finish something, that critical eye will think “it looks great, except for… the color, that font, that image, etc. It is usually something that no one else will ever notice. But I see it with a perfectionist view and have trouble completing things when they are just not right. I just keep working. But
DONE IS BETTER THAT PERFECT
I have gotten so much better in the past year, but if I am not careful, the critic in me will stop my progress. It is a constant battle with the critic.
I also deal with the fear of being judged. Many times I will procrastinate when I am putting off finishing a project. In my mind, I feel that if it is not perfect, others will notice and judge my efforts.
Write Out a To-Do List to Defeat Procrastination
Part of the reason I often get overwhelmed is that there is so much to do that I don’t know where to start. So now, I write things down and next to each item I give it a number. The order in which they are important and need to be finished.
Writing things down help you focus and spend your time completing tasks, instead of worrying about everything you need to do. However, if your list is very long, call it a master list and only add some of the items to your daily to-do list.
Otherwise, you will add to your stress at having 37 items to do that day, lol.
Writing things down helps us calm that overwhelmed feeling and concentrate on the important tasks. And if you have a business or that is your goal, make sure that some of your tasks are those “money tasks” that help you grow business.
Break up Big Tasks into Smaller Tasks
When you have a large project to complete it may seem overwhelming so break it up into manageable tasks. If you want to submit a product to a bundle, there are a dozen different things to do: create the product, write a description, write a sales page, link to your shopping cart, make product images, use the bundle submission form, add the affiliate link for the host, etc.
Break that into individual tasks and spread them out. You will gain momentum when you experience success and will be eager to complete more tasks. Smaller tasks are easier to complete and less overwhelming.
Stop Distractions that Lead to Procrastination
It takes longer to complete your list of projects when you stop and check your phone, watch tv, check Facebook and email. Give yourself some uninterrupted time to work. An hour of uninterrupted work time will make a huge dent in your list. Then give yourself a small break and work for another uninterrupted time period.
When we allow distractions to sidetrack us, it is intentional. We are trying to avoid doing tasks for a variety of reasons. Perhaps we feel we don’t know enough to accomplish something. Those self- limiting beliefs keep us from making progress.
And we are all different. Some people can work for hours at a time, others need breaks to sustain the energy. Whatever your situation, focus on work and tune out distraction whenever possible to maximize your time.
Do the Most Difficult Jobs During Peak Times
I am not a morning person even though I get up at 5am each day. For 20 years I have been getting up early so I can get to work and do some planning before students arrive. But, I am not at my best. I do three times the work in the late afternoon.
I do all my creative work when I am at my best. Early in the morning, it takes me much longer (and I make more mistakes). I am at my peak in the afternoon so that is when the more difficult or time consuming jobs get done. And that is when there are fewer mistakes.
Give Yourself Rewards
There are two types of motivation: Extrinsic and Intrinsic. Intrinsic is when you do things because you find value and you are motivated. You get things done because they need doing. Extrinsic motivation is when you are rewarded for getting work done.
As adults we all want to have Intrinsic motivation because we just get the job done. However, it is nice to give yourself a reward every so often when you complete a big project.
Accountability Partners or Groups
If you belong to different mastermind groups, you may belong to one where you set monthly or quarterly goals. This will keep you accountable for working towards those goals. You can also get additional tips from others on procrastination.
You may also be able to connect with individuals to share goals and progress with. Each of you holds the other responsible for making progress on the goals you want to achieve.
For more information on productivity, check out these blog posts 8 MINDSET MISTAKES THAT AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS and REASONG WHY YOU NEED TO KEEP LEARNING. And the STOP THE PROCRASTINATION PACK from EKIT.HUB has a workbook as well as articles that you can read to learn more. And since this is PLR, you can sell the graphics and workbook to your customers.