Tips to Stop Procrastinating
Okay, so think to one of those days where you have a massive list of errands to run. I’m talking about four to five hour’s worth of stuff. Now, think about those days when you have all of that, but you find yourself sitting on your couch, nonchalantly going about breakfast. Then, you talk yourself into an episode of the age old classic, Friends. Then, you talk yourself into another episode. Then, you think, well, maybe I should clean the house. Oh! And you’ve been wanting to fix that light bulb upstairs. Then, you should probably call your friend who you haven’t talked to in a while. Then, all of a sudden, it’s dinner time and you aren’t completely sure where your day off has gone. Yet, you are absolutely aware of where your errand list went: nowhere.
Here are a few things to know about procrastination. According to this lovely article, procrastination’s seemingly tight grip on the human race really is more of a “modern” dilemma. While it has been around for many years, its prevalence to our lives, and our apparent suffering from it has increased dramatically from 1978 to 2002. And apparently, “Each year, Americans waste hundreds of millions of dollars because they don’t file their taxes on time.” Talk about a struggle. Another interesting thing this article highlights is the amount of people who frequently procrastinate (and do it very well, I might add), but are unhappy with that. We (I cannot tell a lie, I’m a huge procrastinator) procrastinators regularly participate in an action we do not like or enjoy. We are acting against our own interests.
Here are ways to fight our seemingly natural tendencies, and to not wonder where your day has gone at work, or at home.
1. Be specific. Specificity is important. If you have a big project ahead of you, pick one specific thing to work on. The vagueness, and the overwhelming size of the project will inevitably be its own downfall. Pick something small to work on, and be proud when you can check it off your checklist.
2. Speaking of checklists…make one. BUT! Here is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about checklists: “Don’t be stupid about it.” I know that sounds strange because you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m being proactive and brilliant by doing this,” but even checklists can become ridiculous. Pick the things that are necessities, the time sensitive stuff, and write those down. Do not make a massive checklist when you know you won’t get it all done. Be reasonable and recognize what you can and cannot handle.
3. Give yourself fierce and hardcore deadlines. That sounds redundant because it was. I wanted to drive that point home. Do not give yourself wiggle room. Write them in big red letters on your calendar and act as if you will lose your job if they aren’t done on time. Motivation will get you a long way.
4. Limit your choices. This goes hand in hand with being smart about your checklist. If you overwhelm yourself with so many things to get done, you are going to choose what is more satisfactory to you and also, what you really shouldn’t be doing.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Make good choices. AND STOP READING THIS BLOG AND GO DO YOUR WORK.