I view myself as a go-getter. Someone who is very productive. All my life I have been driven to set goals and achieve them. Most people that know me would completely agree with these statements. However, I have a little demon called procrastination inside of me. I’m sure we all do and like anything else some more than others. But, it is a quality in myself that I really dislike. The good thing is that I have it under control so that it doesn’t affect others. Most people wouldn’t label me as a procrastinator, but I am. I feel like I am defending myself by stating that I tend to procrastinate the inconsequential things in life because when it comes down to it what matters is how I overcome it.
1. Make a List
The first step to beating procrastination is to make a list. My husband is a huge list person. I’m talking about daily lists in his planner that state even the trivial, such as take out the trash or workout; things that are such a staple in his or our daily routine that we don’t really need a reminder. I say this laughing because I know that the reason he does this is because it keeps him on a routine for the bigger more important things in life that need to be done. He doesn’t walk around giving everyone in our house a list, but believe it or not, I do appreciate his lists. I will peek at them occasionally to see if I’ve completed things or not. After nine years of marriage, I have adopted the list system for even daily minor tasks and it has helped me stay on a routine for those larger tasks. It has stopped my procrastination once and for all!
2. Set a Reminder
I like to use my calendar to schedule my day but I also use it as my reminder system. It helps me see clearly what I need to do on a day to day basis and when that little ding sounds and I get a pop-up up on my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad I know that I can close out the task if it is complete or snooze it if I’m not quite there yet.
3. Get Into a Routine
Procrastination isn’t typically limited to only work or only home; it usually seeps into both aspects of your life. But, if you couple the two things above with a routine it will help you easily transition out of your old habits. For example, make Monday the day you do the wash and Tuesday the day you shop for food. Give every day a structure and plan and it will help you be on time and more productive. Now the good thing is that at work you normally have a set schedule for meetings and bigger events, so what you can do is set aside increments of 10 to 30 minutes for getting things done. A big problem for most people is getting their day started once they are at work. Instead of taking 25 minutes to get coffee, turn on your computer, and say hello you can prepare your coffee before work or arrive to work early to allow additional settling in time so that you start your day on time. I’m sure if you make little changes like that daily it will help you throughout the day.
Procrastination is something we all deal with, but for some,it may be a larger problem. Try and use the steps above to gradually wean yourself away from that bad habit and reward yourself for the progress. Remember if you have a setback don’t throw in the towel, just start fresh the next day.