When you’ve been procrastinating, you need to think about the underlying issue. If you fear dentists, that will keep you from rushing to book your next dental appointment.
Two questions can help you identify and overcome procrastination:
“What’s keeping me from getting this done?”, and “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I just don’t do it?”
“What’s keeping me from getting this done?” Once you understand the cause it will be easier to deal with.
“What’s the worst thing that will happen if I just don’t do it?” If you’re procrastinating on paying your taxes, you better get the check in the mail so you don’t have to meet the IRS. If the worst thing that can happen is “the kitchen doesn’t get straightened up,” then skip it until taking care of it really is the most important thing you have to do.
Best tips to stop procrastinating
The first thing I tell clients who are procrastinating is “In the time you’ve spent thinking about it—usually worrying about it—you could have done whatever it is you’re putting off!” The next step is being certain you really have to do it.
You DO have to pay your taxes. You should call your family regularly. The report for your boss needs to be done, but you DON’T have to clean the basement or even vacuum regularly! It just depends on what your priorities are.
Once you decide you really do need to get this item off your list:
• Break the project down into manageable steps, and plot out on a calendar what you are going to accomplish on which day.
• Work in short time blocks; 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon for something that needs to be completed soon; 20 minutes per day for something where you have more time.
• Work on parts of the project at a time; gather your expenses, make an appointment with your accountant. Work towards your project one step at a time.
If you’re really having trouble getting started:
• Can you hire someone to do it for you?
• Get support. Enlist a friend to help you; then return the favor.