You may realize you have a problem with procrastination. You may have often felt trapped and asked yourself, “How can I stop procrastinating?” You may be looking for procrastination help. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the problem, we may have trouble implementing procrastination help. You need to find procrastination help that is not overwhelming and that you will be able to put into practice relatively easily. I will follow below with some insights and tips that I hope will help you. I have personal experience with this problem.
Almost all of us procrastinate sometimes. Some of us more than others. Procrastination is a normal human problem. Some people tend to procrastinate about everything and this makes life very stressful. When we procrastinate, we usually have the task we need to accomplish constantly in the back of our mind, and so we carry guilt and cannot rest. If you don’t procrastinate as badly, you have more peace because you don’t have unfinished tasks nagging at your concious. Procrastination gives us a clue that there is a conflict going on inside. We have made a decision to do something but there is something holding us back for some reason. Here we will explore some of the reasons people procrastinate and some things you can do about it.
Are you a procrastinator? Test yourself.
- Do you often send birthday cards late or not at all because you had trouble getting around to it in time?
- Do you do your Christmas shopping in late December or maybe even on Christmas Eve?
- Do you only get your taxes done just before the deadline each year?
- Do you often start your projects at the last minute?
- Is going to a dentist or doctor something you often put off?
- Are you waiting for the “right” time to clean out a particular closet, drawer, or cupboard?
- Do you wait for the “perfect” time to confront someone with something?
- Do you usually need more time to “think about it” before you make a decision?
If you answered yes to most of these questions you are probably a procrastinator and could use some helpful insights and tips.
Some reasons for procrastination.
- It has to be perfect. Your standards are too high or those you are working for. You will over plan and over think about it.
- You hope it will go away or not need to get done after all. This can ultimately lead to a rush at the last minute when it doesn’t go away.
- You over estimate your time. The deadline seems to be a long ways off.
- You are feeling overwhelmed. The task looks too big or there are too many details. You experience information overload.
- There is something else you would rather be doing. It’s an unpleasant task and you are not looking forward to it. Perhaps you lack self discipline.
- You are afraid of success. This seems strange, but if you are successful, you are afraid that more will be expected of you. You may be afraid of ultimately letting people down. You may be afraid that success will change your relationships.
Insights: Why do you procrastinate?
Think about the kinds of situations that cause you to procrastinate. What is it about these situations that cause inner conflict for you? What are you possibly avoiding? Think about what kinds of things finally got you working in the past.
How can I stop procrastinating? Some helpful tips:
- Remember the most difficult thing is to get started on something you are procrastinating about. How many times have you finally gotten working on something and realized it wasn’t as bad as you expected it to be? So try picking one small aspect of your task to start with to help make it easier to get started and this might just get the ball rolling.
- Write a detailed to do list. This helps to clarify the task in your mind and gives you small, practical steps to take so it won’t seem so overwhelming.
- Work from your list. This will motivate you because you will see progress as you cross items off of your list.
- Try to develop a more realistic sense of time. People without a realistic sense of time tend to be procrastinators. try keeping track of how long different things take to accomplish to help you develop realistic expectations about time. When you become more realistic, it will help to get rid of that “I have plenty of time” attitude.
- If you really see that you don’t have the time, you need to create time. Schedule some blocks of time for your project or activity before you schedule in other things or other things take over your time. You could even get up a little bit earlier to fit it in. For example, you could get up 45 minutes earlier in the morning to fit in a half hour workout if you are procrastinating about exercise.
- Take a good look at your workspace to see if is inefficient or contains distractions and think about what you can do to improve it.
- Keep distractions and interruptions away as much as possible. Let your phone take messages for a while and resist the urge to check your emails so you can have focused time.
- You might be the kind of person who likes to do the worst thing first. So go ahead and get that part over with so you can move on.
- On the other hand, some of us like to work our way up to the worst tasks. In this case, pick several simple things to start with and work on these until you feel able and confident enough to start tackling the harder tasks.
- Break your main deadline up into smaller ones. Perhaps you can give yourself a reward of some kind when you accomplish each of these deadlines.
- Try to be more consistent in dealing with things as they come along. For example, it’s easier to open and deal with a bit of mail each day than 50 letters next week when it has been allowed to pile up.
- Anticipate problems. This might help you get going more quickly, because you may realize that you may not have as much time as it seemed at first.
- If you have a problem with stalling near the end, it may have to do with expecting perfection. Perhaps you should see about lowering your standards a bit. Self talk comers in real handy here. You need to tell yourself that your best will be good enough.
- Delegate some of the more difficult tasks if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Time Management Books
God in our Stress: The Christian’s Guide to Stress Management
DeClutter Fast – Get Your Home In Order
The Art of Exceptional Living – Jim Rohn 6 CD Set
The Compound Effect Darren Hardy Audio Program
Success Magazine : What Achievers Read