3 Tips From A (Recovering) Procrastinator
Have you ever had so much progress in one day that you’re suddenly face-to-face with that one thing that you know you NEED to get done… But you’ve been avoiding getting it done for as long as possible… To the point of being irrational… and you’ve been prioritizing trivial, not-so-important things in front of it for so long (out of fear, laziness, etc.) that you get this deep feeling of anxiousness just thinking about it…? Anyone?
That was my run-on question I had to pose to myself as that very feeling overwhelmed me like a fog last night. The day had gone splendidly, until I looked at my to-do list and realized I only had one thing left: the thing I had put at the bottom of to-do list for a few months now.
I had even done the things on my to-do list that I don’t particularly enjoy doing. I had gotten a nice run in (even added a couple massive hills), I swallowed my vitamins, I answered pesky emails and made a dentist’s appointment… Unless I was being pathetically creative, I was left with one choice…
Just do it. Get it done.
Some of us, (like me-self) have a sick natural tendency to procrastinate. And I don’t mean putting off a volcano science project until the night before it’s due… I’m talking about “how-can-I-cleverly-talk-my-way-out-doing-this-project-while-I’m-walking-through-the-door” kind of procrastination. It’s an every day war against oneself. But worry not! You can overcome!
1. Eliminate distractions.
Turn off email/text notifications. Search for online programs that only allow you to surf your social media sites for a scheduled amount of time while you’re working. Sanction your time, if you’re into that sort of thing. Get the crud out of your system and put your head down and work. It’ll be over soon if you dedicate 100% of your attention!
2. Focus on the end goal.
Sure, you need to plan out steps 1, 2, and 3. But how GREAT will it feel when you’re done?! The journey is important, but totally pointless if you don’t have at least a general idea of what you want. Solidify your results. Break down the steps to lessen feelings of being overwhelmed. Have clear expectations. People who say the best way to be happy is to lower expectations of yourself… well, you are worth so much more than that kind of sad statement.
3. Make your own consequences for yourself and enforce them.
The problem is that we reward ourselves for procrastinating. “Oh well… I’ll get around to it tomorrow… or tomorrow… or tomorrow…” and the circle keeps spinning. Maybe no television on Sunday night or no dessert… whatever the case may be, you know best what will kick your own rear end into shape.
There may be blood. There may be sweat. There may be tears. But it will feel so good when you take that leap.
The most difficult step is the first. But hit the ground running.