Procrastination can creep in and easily become a habit. Once it does, it can erode your capacity to function effectively. But, breaking a habit is no easy thing to do, let alone face starting. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a constant work in progress.
Once you accept that procrastination could exist and it’s something, you know you’ve needed to deal with, but found a way to procrastinate out of doing it. Ever notice the easy, painless stuff gets taken care of, but the difficult, hard, painful stuff, can so easily be procrastinated away.
At least for me anyway. Let’s take a doctor or dentist visit for example. Hate them, put them off until the last-minute or my wife has driven me into compliance, (I’ll let you guess which one is the real motivator) and then I suffer the consequences. Which at my age can become costly?
So once you have become compliant, and you also feel enough is enough, be gentle with yourself. It can be so ingrained in us, that we don’t fully recognize all the ways we actually procrastinate.
Start out by taking a large or complicated task and breaking it down into smaller parts that you can accomplish easier. It’s important to bear in mind that the most difficult or complex tasks are simply just a series of smaller jobs.
Make a verbal commitment to someone else about improving your time management skills and your desire to avoid procrastinating. Even if you live alone, all our time is not our own. So we need to involve the people close to us so they are aware of what we are trying to do and hopefully be supportive. Allow others to become involved in your efforts by reviewing your progress, helping you set deadlines and evaluating your results. This will most likely create a commitment on your part to fulfill the expectations they’ve set for you. I should interject, as with anything, be care who you choose to share intimate things with.
Sit down and map out a plan to manage your time more effectively. By breaking it down into smaller chunks makes it easier to meet deadlines. When a deadline is looming, make sure you allot time each day to work on the project so it doesn’t sneak up on you in the final hours or days. Learn to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked.
Reward yourself for good behavior and accomplished goals. Don’t wait until you’ve accomplished the ultimate goal, but reward yourself for your successes along the way. Make sure the reward is something you like to do.
Treat yourself to the newest book by your favorite author and take the time to read it. Indulge in bubble baths or relaxing music.
If you’ve gotten into the habit of working late, make sure you develop a new habit of going home on time each night. It may be listed last, but I believe it’s one of the most important if not the most important SPEND TIME WITH THOSE CLOSE TO YOU!
By making a commitment to avoid the avoiding, we’ll soon be well on our way to finding more time and finding ourselves more relaxed, productive and less stressed in the process.