Tips to Stop Procrastinating
Happy New Year! I hope this note finds you doing well.
Every New Year many of us are quick to commit to resolutions, and unfortunately, many of us abandon them just as quickly! Did you know that the top resolutions are losing weight and starting an exercise program? But let me clue you in that the 3rd most popular resolution is (drumroll, please) to stop procrastinating!
If that is a resolution you might be considering, here are some valuable tips:
1. Start Some Lists.
· Making a list feels like you’re doing something. Bing! You’ve got your reward.
· Crossing something off your list feels good. Bing! Another reward.
· Making a list reduces the risk that you’ll forget to do something – and therefore that you’ll mess up and fail. Bing! Your brain likes that a lot.
2. Change Your Environment to Concentrate and Feel Inspired
· Find a place you can concentrate – if you need ambient noise then hit the coffee shop. If you need quiet, turn off the TV, silence the alerts and notifications from your phone, and close down your email.
· Find a place you feel good – a sunny spot? a reading nook? an uncluttered space like a library carrel or the park?
3. Create a Playlist
· Jam out to 80’s Hair Bands or calm down with yoga music from a streaming source.
4. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines
· Break down the project into each specific task between inception and completion.
· Then set a specific deadline so that you know you have to finish each task on time to be able to hit the overall goal of completing on time.
· Get an accountability partner or allow yourself a small reward for each completed task along the way.
5. Schedule Time Blocks
· Set specific times of the day or week to do one thing like an hour each week to respond to non-essential work emails or 15 minutes each day before lunch to just walk outside and breathe – so good for your mood and your health!
· Consider “Day Theming” like our great-grandmothers did. Monday was bed changing, and Tuesday was wash day. In modern life that might be blocking Thursday morning for errands and Thursday afternoon for outside appointments like a doctor, dentist, or the salon.
· Consider what parts of the day you may feel more sluggish so that you maximize important tasks or meetings for times you are at your best.
6. Just Do It, but Don’t Overdo It
· Don’t overcomplicate your lists, timelines, or time blocks – these need to be doable!
· Recognize that not everything can be perfect every time. Make or do something real but rewarding and that will be good enough.
7. Tell Others About Your Goal
· They will ask you about your progress and that helps keep you accountable to yourself.
· Get a Motivation Buddy with whom you are comfortable discussing your project, goals, and progress and to whom you can truthfully admit if you hit a snag or fall back into bad habits. This person is not your drill sergeant but someone who wants you to succeed and will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Let me know if any of these tips help you become more productive.
Happy New Year!