I’ve got to put my hands up and admit that I am a procrastinator, but I recognise this fact and have actions to insure those tasks I keep putting off don’t get shelved until the last minute!
So how many of these statements apply to you?
- I usually have to rush to complete tasks on time.
- I avoid important tasks on my to-do list and fill my time doing low-priority work.
- When I need to do something that may be a little tasking, I put it off until I feel more inspired.
- I frequently find myself doing things I had intended doings days ago
- I sit down to start an important project only to immediately go off to grab a cuppa.
- When deadlines approach, I often waste time by doing other things.
If, like myself, you find that some of these apply, then I’m afraid to tell you that you too have that disease known as procrastinationitist (OK, I may have made that up!).
No problems, Dr. Nutburn is here to help you…
Prescription A (Work out the WHY):
Is it simply that the job is unpleasant or boring? If so, attack it head on and get it out of the way quickly because it will just loiter there distracting you from other tasks.
A common thought process for procrastinators is that it has to be perfect! Unless you have the resources or knowledge base, it’s not worth starting is it? Sorry to say but ‘good enough’ is often just that. Your work is likely to be at a much higher standard than some so be aware of this ‘why’ and just go for it.
Is it too over-whelming or outside your comfort zone? Are your skill-sets in doubt? Accept this and go for it… you’ll surprise yourself as I often do!
Prescription B (Recognising):
Put off the low important tasks and set a time to do these later (this is prioritising!). Look at the statements made earlier and know which apply to you.
Be aware of continually re-scheduling tasks. This is okay occasionally but check you aren’t doing it regularly for the same tasks!
Prescription C (Look at strategies):
From a psychological point of view, procrastination is a habit. Habits take at least 21 days to form and we all have different ways of taken new ones on board.
Take what you can from these following tips. Try them for 3-4 weeks to insure you have a better chance of creating them:
- Prioritise – Put jobs in order and do them in that order.
- Peer pressure – ask someone to check on how you’re doing against set objectives
- To-Do lists – Create orders so that those ‘unpleasant’ tasks don’t ‘accidently’ get missed!
- Consequence vs Actions – what are the disagreeable consequences of NOT achieving the objective?
- Rewards – Set yourself rewards for accomplishing a task. I enjoy making a decent percolated coffee as a simple reward so this doesn’t have to be big.
- Time constraints – set a time boundary to start and complete tasks.
- Jigsaw – Large projects can be broken down into segments. Focus on the important parts (borders) then bits that work together (colours/shapes) and then the rest (infill).
- Try! – We sometimes assume a task will be worse than what it is. Start by simply giving it a try
So start understanding ‘Why’ you are procrastinating, ‘Recognise’ your triggers and ‘Strategies’ how to overcome them.
If you are struggling to find time to complete tasks, getting frustrated with putting things off or feeling overwhelmed by what needs to be achieved, Coaching to Success understand what you are going through so call for a free assessment by contacting Neil Nutburn on 07761 187238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help.