There are lots of great one liners out there about procrastination…
“There’s no time like the present for postponing what you don’t want to do.”
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can avoid entirely.”
-and my favorite-
“If you have something to do and you put it off long enough, chances are someone else will do it for you.”
Are you a procrastinator? Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
- Filling day with low-priority tasks.
- Reading emails several times before acting.
- Starting on a high-priority task then almost immediately going for a cup of coffee.
- Leaving an item on your to-do list for a long time even though you know it’s important.
- Regularly saying “yes” to tasks others ask you to do while ignoring what’s on your list.
- Waiting for the “right time”.
I venture to say all of us procrastinate from time to time. Sometimes we find ourselves intentionally procrastinating maybe because we are afraid of failing, are faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, or frankly because it just feels good! Other times we may unintentionally procrastinate because we confuse activity with accomplishment or we struggle with a need for perfectionism. Those who can recognize and overcome their procrastination struggles will succeed as…
“In study after study, the people who get paid more, promoted faster, are ACTION ORIENTED. They launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to steadily and single-mindedly work.”“Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy
So how do you overcome procrastination? A few suggestions:
- Remind yourself continuously, “later is ugly.” Discipline yourself.
- Work as if you only have one day to finish.
- Break overwhelming jobs into manageable chunks. If I sit down today and think I’m going to write my PS&P packet, I’m never going to start! But, if I tell myself I’m going to do a piece of it, that’s much more likely to be accomplished.
- Use a Pomodoro timer.
Using a Pomodoro timer is my favorite technique for forcing myself to start on overwhelming tasks. When using the Pomodoro technique you decide on a task and then set to work for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes you take a five minute break. You repeat this four times, then take a 15-30 minute break. What you will find is that even the most daunting tasks are doable if you only have to chip away at them for 25 minutes.
There are several online Pomodoro timers available. One of my favorites is: https://tomato-timer.com/
See you back here next week as we discuss PRIORITIZATION!