Thanks for your input on my pre-blog question about procrastination. I have finally found my ’round to-it’ and so here, eventually, is the Procrastination blog!
Procrastination is a state of mind and a stressful habit. You know from experience that leaving things to the last moment means that you can never deliver your best work and there will be no time to deal with last minute problems. However, we all still do it! Hope some of these ideas are helpful to you.
1 Use the term ‘live-line’ rather than ‘deadline’ – it will put you in the here and now and it is just ‘nicer’!
2 If you know that you work better under pressure, create a make-believe live-line that falls several days before the real time due and plan to work ‘frantically’ towards that!
3 Make a ‘to do’ map or list and stick it where you can see it ALL the time! The first item on your to do list is to make one, so you start off with a success right away!
4 Just start! Even if it is just a matter of taking some paper out, or opening a new file on your computer, do it. Build some fun into the task. Yes, fun! It will help to keep your motivation high and it is always easier to focus on something that is enjoyable.
5 Pick one thing that you usually leave until the last minute and commit to completing it to a suitable timetable – give yourself a reward when you achieve this. Overcoming your procrastination habit is building a new brain pattern, remember your brain is ‘plastic’ so it is possible to do this.
6 Does being a ‘Perfectionist’ make you procrastinate? Decide in advance what level of ‘perfection’ is appropriate for the task. Learn to ‘let go’ by working on the ‘good enough’ principle.
7 Keep your eye on the clock. There is a limited length of time that you can invest in any one task. Set a timer, lose yourself in the task and still keep in a timely manner. TURN OFF your phone / emails (or set them to mute); schedule specific times to check them.
8 If you are always late for appointments, set your watch 5–10 minutes fast. Realise that by being late (either in person or with a task) you are showing lack of respect for others. Someone will be inconvenienced by your poor manners. Concentrate on how it feels to be on time and not rushed and stressed. Revel in that feeling.