Believe it or not, today, September 6th, the Tuesday immediately following a long, lazy Labor Day Weekend is officially Fight Procrastination Day. How can the holiday gods be so cruel?
If you know anything about procrastination you’re problem most familiar with its tendency to deceive. You feel like you’re gaining the luxury of time by waiting until the last minute but you’re quickly reminded that time inevitably runs out leaving only the gaining of stress and anxiety.
This simply isn’t the way to live. The sacrifice of time now, leads to a cool, calm, collected head later. It’s completely worth the initial reaping to benefit from what is sown.
If you’re like many procrastinators, timeliness may not come easily to you. Below are simple action items that may help.
- Pre-plan. The key to avoiding procrastination is, obviously, to get things out of the way upfront. This may take pre-planning. Map out what you need to do and when it needs to be done days, or even weeks, in advance. Knowing what’s coming down the pipeline ahead of time can better prepare you to tackle the task when it’s time. If it is a hefty task that needs tackling, taking it on bit by bit can lessen the overwhelming feeling that often leads to procrastination to begin with.
- Avoid over-committing. Be realistic with yourself. Tailor expectations to what you know you can meet and when you know you can have them met. Try not to have too many overly-ambitious moments, too far in advance, when you make commitments and find yourself scrambling, ill-prepared, or flaking out when your deadline approaches.
- Sike yourself out. You’d be surprised how effective this method can be. If you have an assignment due in 2 weeks, mark your calendars with a deadline that’s just one week out. This shifts your mind into gear and allows you to plan, get started, and maybe even complete your assignment prior to your when it’s due. The real excitement comes in beating deadlines with ample time to spare.
- Treats and incentives. Give yourself a pat on the back or a treat of your liking every time you do something before you thought you would. Rewards increase the desire for rewards. Keep the practice of only rewarding timely behavior, and before you know it you’ll be on time, all the time, if only for the reward.
- Accountability partners. Find a person you’d hate to let down and let them know of your deadlines and/or plans. Have them check in with you periodically to ensure that you’re doing what you said you would. Even if you have trouble meeting your own deadlines, you’ll be sure to meet there’s.
Any helpful tips for procrastinators not mentioned here? Please do share.