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February 9, 2012 / mike54martin

So What Are You Waiting For?

Up to twenty percent of us are chronic procrastinators. Why do we delay, defer, postpone or schedule? Who knows? Who cares? If you are ready here are a few ways to help you get through the sometimes deadly habit of procrastination.

Admit you have a problem

Take a look at your work habits and determine why you are putting off doing some particular tasks. You might find that you are not deliberately avoiding you maybe don’t have the time to get it done. If that’s the case then you don’t have a procrastination problem you actually have a time management problem. That’s good news because it’s easy to fix by setting priorities and sticking with them.

Set priorities and stick with them

Start your day off with a “to do” list that prioritizes your most important tasks. Watch for some tell-tale signs of procrastination. These might include leaving something until the last minutes of the day when you run out of time to complete it. Or starting in on a job and then getting up for a cup of coffee or checking your e-mails before you get it done. Stay focused on the job at hand and don’t give in to distractions that can take you in another direction.

Deal with your time management problem

Get yourself a good time management book and start following some of the techniques they suggest. You may never be perfect at time management but you will be better and that will certainly help you deal with your procrastination.

Eat the elephant in small bites

Take large or particularly difficult tasks and break them down into smaller and more manageable pieces. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This will get you moving and as you complete the smaller pieces you will feel good that you are accomplishing something and eventually you can cross that job off your list.

You may be perfect, but… Let it go

It’s also okay to give yourself permission to do the best job you can rather than always striving for perfection in everything you do at work. Sometimes perfectionism leads to procrastination and we put so much stress on ourselves that we can just give up on the job completely or leave it until another day. It’s okay to be human, make some mistakes and complete a task that is very good, even if it’s just shy of being perfect.

Put down the stick

Stop beating yourself up about making mistakes or your procrastination habit and don’t let others do it either. The last thing you need when trying to get over a difficult habit or pattern is negativity, from internal or external sources. Learn a little tenderness with yourself as you are growing out of both your perfectionism and procrastination.

Change your Thinking and Change your mind

Most procrastination is about our thinking. We put up mental blocks that get in the way of getting things done. Sometimes our thinking gets us so worked up that we start avoiding tasks that just have to get completed. The secret to avoiding procrastination is to change our mindset and reset our brains so that we can actually accomplish what we set out to do. Change your mind and your thinking and your body will follow.

One Comment

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  1. Kitty kilian / Feb 10 2012 6:20 am

    A post written with empathy. And good advice I think. There is a large group of people (those with ADHD, who have trouble focusing on tasks they dislike, or who will always prefer doing things that motivate them intrinsically) who often chronically procrastinate to a level where they loose jobs because of it. They especially need empathy and sometimes loving assistance.

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