We all do it. If you’re reading this blog you are probably putting off doing something, in which case it’s fine… I like where your priorities are at.
Procrastination is just one of those things that haunts us no matter what we are doing (heck, I’m procrastinating right now just by writing this… You’re welcome). Personally, I often feel that I work better under pressure, but that is no excuse for waiting until last minute to get things done.
In an attempt to make life a lot less stressful, I have come up with a list of ways to help procrastinitus (that’s the medical term). Although it’s in my genetics and therefore not really my fault, I have found these steps all very helpful. Try them out, and let me know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Find out what the most important tasks are. Priority #1: Read my blog. Everything after that is up to you. For example: You should probably choose to write your huge research paper before getting on Facebook to creep on all of your exes.
2. Make a To-Do List
If you’re like me and love to-do lists, you probably have about 50 of them floating around in your car, purse, binder, under your pillow (sleeping on it won’t make it go away, I’ve tried), etc. The trick, I’ve found, is to only have one list. Go figure. Don’t overwhelm yourself by adding a million things to the list just for the satisfaction of having things to cross off. I know it feels great to cross something off of your list, but when that something is “brush my teeth,” for instance, that doesn’t count. Let’s hope you do that anyways.
I have found success in only allowing myself to add to my to-do list after I complete something that was already on it. It’s like the First In First Out principle of accounting. This ensures that ALL tasks get accomplished, and your “clean the bathroom” task doesn’t sit on your list for a year, that’s gross.
3. Set Time Aside
Make time every day, or at least every week, to tackle your to-do list. I hate to break it to you, but there are only a certain amount of hours in the day. I know, I know… it shocked me too. If you’re a work-a-holic like me, you have to set this time aside, or you will never complete what needs to get done. Set down the work-a-holic drank for a second, get some coffee, then to-do your little heart out.
4. Encourage yourself
Remind yourself that there are some things that need to get done, even if you are dreading it. I carry post-it notes around with me to give myself little nuggets of motivation. For example, I’ll stick one right on an assignment I’m dreading that says “this paper is NOT going to write itself.” As much as I’ve tried to feed my pencil new led and erasers, it still hasn’t sprouted legs and started writing without my help. When that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.
There are many other ways to help in curing procrastination, but everyone needs to make their own remedy. Find out what works for you, and please leave a comment sharing your success or best procrastination stories!
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness; no laziness; no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” -Lord Chesterfield