Procrastination – ah, the word that we all love and do. Good thing is that it’s a habit we can break. Most of us dislike change – eww – and we do not welcome when change occurs. However, we will benefit greatly when we become willing to CHANGE and develop new habits to help us overcome procrastination. Here are a few ideas to help you learn how to overcome procrastination:
- Remember that is it motivation that gets you started but it’s HABITS that keep you going. Don’t get ready to get ready – just get started!
- Write down your goals – you decide whether you are focusing on personal goals or professional goals. Writing them down will help you focus on them. Be specific. The more detail you write down, the better.
- Prioritize the goals. Why? Because as the saying goes, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. Prioritizing the goals will assist you in moving forward in achieving them.
- Here’s some fun: write out an action plan and make it REALISTIC! What? How do I do that? If you aren’t that good at estimating how long something will take, use a factor of “x 2” or “x 3” to determine length of time (this reminds me of someone I knew years ago who would answer the question “how long will it take to get there?” with 40 minutes. I learned to multiply by a factor of 3 – yes 3! – And that we would actually take 2 hours to get there! This person did it for EVERYTHING, so clearly he had no sense of time and I had to learn to recalculate the time to manage my own expectations.) I digress.
- Do you know the 80/20 rule? Okay, you don’t. An example of the 80/20 rule that is easy to understand uses the clothes in your closet. You probably wear 20% of the clothes 80% of the time. Now let’s apply the 80/20 rule to the goals, plan and schedule you have written down: to keep yourself from getting started, learn to make decisions with just 80% of the facts. We aren’t shooting for perfection – we are shooting for DONE.
- Do you tend to have all or nothing thinking? Meaning that if you can’t do it perfectly you won’t do it at all? Yeah, that is a sign of procrastination. Breaking up your goals, plan and schedule into smaller increments will help you keep moving forward. Use something like a timer and set it for 15 minutes to focus on a task. Then when the 15 minutes is up, you can choose to set it for another 15 minutes or stop. It’s amazing what we can get done in 15 minutes versus thinking we have to work on something for hours on end.
Okay, do you think you can do this? If not, consider finding a friend, family member, peer or even hiring a life coach to help you get started and keep moving forward. If it’s regarding an area of your home or office, I’m here to assist! Don’t live in the Metro DC area? Not a problem! We can do Google hangouts or Skype calls and I can coach you remotely and help you get started on organizing.
“Perfection is the worst enemy of good enough.” ~ Anonymous
Don’t let perfection or procrastination keep you from achieving your goals.