Five steps to overcome procrastination and finally get stuff done.
I never thought procrastination was issue for me. You know, I’ve put off my fair share of homework back in the day, but I hated the feeling of worrying about my homework even more than putting it off. It wasn’t until much later in life when my lovely husband would point out my procrastination. It wasn’t like I was putting off doing the dishes or getting groceries. It was the stuff I perceived to be really annoying or stressful. I realized I began to get so comfortable with overthinking all my reasons for avoiding something. Clearly, this did not help at all. It only pushed me further from my goals which in turn made me feel worse and get more frustrated. One day I sat down and came up with a plan to just “get it done” so that I am not haunted by my procrastination any longer. Here’s what helped.
- Write it down
- Don’t think about it
- Make sure the task is realistic
- Ask for help
- Write it down
When you get things out of your head and onto paper it helps take some pressure off of it. By turning it into a tangible item, you know feel as though you have more control. Plus, there is not greater feeling than crossing something off of a to do list once it’s complete. Utilize calendars, post it’s on your bathroom mirror, alarms on your phone, etc. Use whatever you need to get it done.
2. Don’t think about it
Thinking is a blessing and a curse for me. Sometimes I find myself so in thought about something only find out I just wasted 30 minutes when I could have completed that task I was thinking about. Somethings do deserve thought, but for most items, less is more.
3. Make sure the task is realistic
Whatever you want to achieve, make sure it is realistic. I can’t tell you how many times I beat myself up about not doings something that wasn’t even feasible in the first place. For example, telling myself I need to have a published book in 6 months. While this might not be that far fetched, I now realize I should have given my self more leeway considering I have 2 toddlers, work full time, have a husband who rarely gets home before 9pm and am taking graduate courses. It’s not fair to beat yourself up ever, but especially for something that is unrealistic!
4. Ask for help
Bring in all of the reinforcements! A more daunting task may need more support. It might help to clue your partner, parents, or a close friend in on what you are working on to increase accountability. Join facebook groups, and outsource when you need it. I decided to have a cleaning company come 1x per month and this helped take the pressure off of always keeping everything clean.
All of these things have been very useful for me. However, the most important is believing in my self and managing myself talk. If you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. If you tell yourself that it is going to be impossible to make dinner tonight, then it will be. If you can shift your thoughts to support your goals rather than tear them down, you will be damn near invincible.