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Archive for Procrastination

It is said that, “Procrastination is the thief of time”. We all procrastinate to some degree – you know…those undesirable tasks like cleaning the bathroom or going through the piles of paper on your desk.  They are not fun, but they must be done!

The trick to good time management is to work smarter, not harder.  The following five strategies are the same ones I teach my students for getting a handle on homework and studying for tests.  They really work!  Try them out.

1.    Chunk It. Rather than spending three hours cleaning out the garage, plan to work one hour a day for three days.  This is a very good strategy for those chores or big projects that feel daunting or unpleasant.  Spending 60 minutes at a time, rather than saving it for a last minute marathon session will save you a lot of stress, and you will most likely do a better job on the task.

2.    Plan It. We all have fun things we would rather be doing – the key is balance between work and play.  Is this you?  You don’t work effectively because you have so much on your mind, or you feel guilty when you are not working because there is so much to get done.  A good time plan is a very effective way to handle procrastination.  Actually block out time on your calendar for your project, and stick to it.

3.   Reduce It. Some call this the “making a molehill out of a mountain” method.  If you have a habit of procrastinating try this.  The next time you’re tempted to put off doing something you know you should, ask yourself, “what is the NEXT action I need to take?”  Overwhelm is one of the main reasons we procrastinate, so the key is to reduce the size of the task – over and over and over — until you get it done!

4.    Discipline Yourself. Did you know that procrastination and perfectionism often go hand-in-hand?  Some of us feel that if we can’t do a project “just right” we can’t do it all, or we put if off and off and off.  We leave ourselves an “emotional out”.  We didn’t have time to do it well, so it isn’t a true reflection of our abilities and we don’t lose any self-esteem over it.  It is important to try and figure out why you procrastinate and deal with the root issue, so you can learn to self-discipline and overcome your block.

5.    Ask for Help. There are many people who can help you with time management and organization.

  • Find someone you trust and is a good fit with your personality.  Ask them lots of questions and what kinds of methods they use.
  • Look at the costs and benefits of procrastination.  Would it actually save you time and money to have someone help you?  Just this week I spent four hours with one of my clients going through paperwork.  We found $79 in cash and change and four checks for $80 each.  She made money having me help her. 
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  We all struggle with different areas in our lives.  Get the support you need.  Remember BALANCE is the key!  Take breaks when needed so when it comes time to focus you feel refreshed and capable.