Read time: 3-4 min
It’s silent and insidious. It frustrates our hopes and dreams. It tempts us to avoid the things we feel incompetent in doing, to put off the things we’re uncomfortable with, don’t like to do, or simply don’t care to do.
Its name: Procrastination.
In this past year, how many work- or life-changing inspirations have we received but failed to accomplish because we believed Procrastination’s lies?
Here are 10 ideas that can help us defeat Procrastination in 2017:
1. Put things away, not down. Ever watch the mail man at the post office? He takes your package and deposits it where it goes before he serves the next customer. So, put your groceries away before doing another chore. Put your keys in a basket when you walk in the door. Put your laundry away and don’t leave it out all over the house.
2. Establish deadlines. Give yourself plenty of time to accomplish the work. A realistic deadline will inspire you to finish the task. After establishing this deadline, stick to it.
3. Be a finisher. Complete one simple task before starting another. Proofread the paragraph in the report before you go to lunch. Break big projects into smaller, manageable parts.
4. Build in a reward. Reward yourself with some chocolate or a caramel-topped latte when you finish a project or a portion of the project.
5. Be accountable to your co-worker. Have them check on your progress when doing a long-term report or project. If they point out weakness in your progress, don’t begrudge them. Incorporate the good advice and push forward.
6. Say “NO” to less important duties. Focus on your goals and priorities and don’t let less important requests interrupt those key moments when you are about to finish a critical task.
7. Renew yourself. Maybe it’s time to pause and gather yourself for the last, big push. Go to the local coffee shop and smell the coffee. Walk around the block. Sit in a beautiful park. Refresh yourself and then go back to wrap up that critical task or project.
8. Break the routine. Avoid tedium and do an end-around on boredom. Try to switch tasks with another co-worker. Or maybe you just need to take a few minutes to renew yourself.
9. Eliminate perfectionism from your thoughts and vocabulary. Perfectionism is deadening. The trap of perfectionism will sap your energy, kill your creativity and encourage procrastination.
10. Plan your work and work your plan. Establish realistic milestones with deadlines. Identify the parts of your plan where you will be tempted to procrastinate. Start those difficult tasks when you are alert and have high energy. Build in rewards, encourage feedback from co-workers, say no to less important tasks and toss perfectionism out the window! And if worse comes to worse, step away and renew yourself.