“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” – Christopher Parker
Here you are, hours before a deadline and you’re really regretting taking that extra snack break to check your social media the day before. It happens to all of us: We’d rather do the most mundane of activities before getting down to the nitty gritty.
The first step is to figure out why you are procrastinating.
Is it poor organization? Maybe it takes you 20 minutes just to find the document you need to sit down and complete the task. Genuine disinterest in the task? Try and figure out why it is you’re averse to completing the task. Or maybe you’re a perfectionist? You’d rather avoid something than try and complete it perfectly. Whatever your reasons are, you have to commit to the idea that nothing will ever be perfect. Repeat after me: Perfection is impossible.
So how do you start getting stuff done!? Let’s start here:
1. Visualize what it would be like to have completed the task.
If you’re like myself, you might be guilty of the “out of sight out of mind” complex. I tend to throw items in my closet willy nilly and I NEVER see them again. It’s helpful to imagine what it would be like to see for example, neatly organized shelving with labels in your closet. Apply this concept to any task and getting through to the end will be much easier.
2. Be realistic in your approach to time management.
If you have years of files to organize, structure your time accordingly. For example, out two Sunday afternoons to complete the task and create time at the end of your reorganizing to “procrastinate”. Yes, I said the ‘P’ word! It’s human nature to reflect, so don’t get down on yourself for taking a trip down memory lane, just remember to use the other ‘P’ word and plan for it!
3. Tailor your work environment to optimal task completion.
Are you working on your computer? Turn your phone to “Do not disturb” mode. Close all other browsers with irrelevant work. Are you cleaning your house? Turn your phone to “Do not disturb” mode. Throw on some music that get’s you moving. Maybe something funky like James Brown or music tailored to focus with no lyrics like classical. It’s always more fun to work to music.
4. Use the Buddy System!
No, I’m not talking about the bathroom. Get an accountability partner! Maybe you have a friend who’s also been complaining about getting her closet cleaned out or starting on that passion project or side hustle. Use them as motivation. Maybe this means you both go to a coffee shop and work at the same table, or maybe you have weekly phone calls. As a member of Integrous Women, you have access to Integrity Partnerships for this exact purpose.Whatever the platform, you have another person to call you out on your procrastination.
5. Reward yourself when you complete a task!
This method doesn’t just work for animals. If you work hard and you get something done, rewarding yourself will help rewire your brain so that you associate getting things done with something good. So go do some self-care ASAP!
Remember that procrastination is a road block that you’ve built yourself. You have the tools to take it down!