Projects backed up, sink chock full of dishes and tardy again with another headache: enter the domino effect of procrastination. It makes us feel forgetful, guilty, rushed, anxious, tired and cranky. Looking last week at the negative aspects, let’s now look at how we can avoid or eliminate this infection of our productivity before it spreads.last week at the negative aspects, let’s now look at how we can avoid or eliminate this infection of our productivity before it spreads.
Occasionally we need to delay things to focus on a priority. Being flexible is healthy and sometimes necessary. But when postponement becomes a pattern turning into procrastination, it is unproductive and potentially harmful.
Books, entire careers and industries focus on procrastination and how to prevent it. I’ll touch on a few strategies proven useful to me and my clients. Keep these in mind and let’s finally kick procrastination to the curb!
Get Motivated. We do things that motivate us. If a task, project or idea isn’t motivating, ask why. Is it too complex? Maybe you don’t like, agree with or feel it’s necessary. If so, can you legitimately defer, delegate or decline? If not, find a way to get motivated. Difficult projects should be tackled early in the day when your mind is sharpest. Break complex items into doable, small sections. Don’t like it? Find an enjoyable partner. Memory issues often can cause a lack of motivation-fight through and keep going!
Eliminate Distractions. Procrastination is a villain of productivity and distraction is its evil twin! Today there are too many distractions stealing our time with only so many hours in the day. Getting sucked into emails, others’ conversations, social media and everyday interruptions squanders our productivity. We should stop to smell the roses of life, but it cannot be all we do. So ask, what distractions disrupt you the most? Minimize these to eliminate procrastination and focus on what’s important.
Be organized. Superman’s is kryptonite, procrastination’s is organization. The heart of procrastination often is a lack of organization. When organized, less gets missed or delayed. This won’t eliminate it entirely, but it will help us understand what’s getting pushed from one to do list to the next. For left brained individuals, organization comes easily. Others aren’t naturally as comfortable. If necessary, seek assistance from an organized person. They will jump at the opportunity to help! If not, there’s a whole industry devoted to getting organized. Break down life into sections, projects or days. Be organized, prioritize and then…
Just Do it! Nothing can substitute. There are just things in life which must be accomplished. Use all these techniques to prepare. But at some point, there’s no getting around just getting it done. So let’s roll up our sleeves, put our best foot forward and just do the job! There’s no better feeling than completing a well thought out and well executed task, project or goal.
We’ve warmed up our minds, now let’s stop procrastinating! Let’s start Spring leaping into the challenge of overall wellness. Watch for details next week on a fun, engaging opportunity to spring into wellness in your life! Until then, just do it!