Have you ever heard the expression
‘Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?’
When we put things off, we are procrastinating. Maybe it’s putting off cleaning the car, organizing the closet or paying a bill or… the list goes on and on.
So how do we beat it? Here are three ideas:
1. Break big tasks down to smaller ones. If your goal is to read a long novel for example, set small goals to read chapter, by chapter. A small goal to read a couple chapters is less overwhelming than telling yourself you have to read the whole book.
2. Don’t think about it, ‘just do it!' Stop worrying, just start doing. Getting started is half the battle. Don’t wait to get inspired to start a task. Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
3. Get the help of a friend. Maybe you’ll be more motivated with a friend at your side. Like with studying, meeting with a study buddy means you are far more likely to commit to the task.
Rely on external resources and help, such as self-help books, training programs and of course professional organizers. All of these options can help you deal with procrastination. Your success and piece of mind is important, if you need help and want to see just how much fun it can be to ‘get it done’, I am here for you.
TIME SAVING TRICKS
Less stress and a smooth running day can be yours if you use your time wisely. Here are some suggestions to help you save time.
* Make lunch the night before
* Always leave your keys & wallet in the same place
* Clean your home one room a day, or every other day
* Use a calendar to keep track of date specific tasks
* Make a ‘To-Do’ list everyday
* Try running a load of laundry while making dinner
* Set your alarm 15 minutes early
* Set our clock 5 minutes ahead
* Cook large meals on weekends that carry a few days
* Lay out your clothes the night before
* Run errands on the way home from work
Other tricks to help you manage time:
* Make a checklist of tasks for each week & month that happens on a regular basis. This will save you having to write out repeating tasks on your to-do list every time.
* Observe how you spend time for a couple weeks to see where your time really goes. Make notes of when your energy levels are high and when you feel most tired.
* Use your time tracking information to plan a master schedule for each week or month. Include routine tasks and room for creative fun time too. Schedule sedentary tasks for times you know you generally have less energy.
* Review all outstanding action files, goals and ongoing projects every week. Friday afternoon can be a good time to clear your head for the weekend.
Summer is here! Well at least officially, since no one has told the clouds to go away. I really enjoyed the few hours of sun I managed to get last week, yet I am eager to break out my rollerblades again soon.
Do you have holiday plans this summer? Planning to get away and enjoy some time relaxing, away from the demands of work and life?
Did you know that generally, people tend to feel more relaxed about their work when they are just about to leave for holidays?
It seems kind of odd to say that because it means walking away even though work is still on the table. Yet there are good reasons that many feel more relaxed before leaving on a trip.
Mainly it is because most people will take time to review all of their outstanding commitments prior. They review their tasks, get as much done as possible, delegate to others and they defer as much as they can, until after their return.
This doesn’t mean getting everything done. There are still tasks waiting for us to come back to, yet there is a sense of relief that comes from putting tasks in perspective and having a plan.
Trip or no trip, are you ready to take a holiday from
the ‘State of Overwhelm’ now?
Here are five steps to help you gain more piece of mind today...
Step one: Grab a pad of paper and a pen. Yes, you can do this in electronic format on your computer, it’s your choice. I prefer pen and paper for this myself.
Step two: Write down all of your ‘outstanding tasks’. Everything on your brain and every little reminder on the post-it notes you have dispersed around your office or home. Capture every errand, call, appointment, must read, chore, etc.
Step three: Divide it up a bit. You know ‘errands with errands’ and ‘calls with calls’. Organize it in a way that works best for you and be sure to highlight the items of greater importance.
Step four: Review the list and see if you can cross some things off. If you have things that ‘would be nice’ but are not necessary, put them on your ‘someday/maybe’ list.
Step five: If it must be done, or has a deadline, get it in your calendar. Get the stones down, as they say.
If you are hesitating to do this because you feel so overwhelmed and think ‘I just don’t have time, it will take too long’, try it anyway. The reality is that it won’t take as long as you think, and it truly will save you time and energy.
When you write things down and gather your ‘outstanding tasks’ in one place, they become visible and more manageable. Also, you are taking away the burden you place on your subconscious by forcing your mind to try and remember every thing at once.
The truth is, if you find out you have too much on your plate, you’ll really know it’s time to get some help and support. (That's me.)
You’ll also be more inclined to be a little more ruthless about crossing stuff off your list.
On the other hand, imagine how great it will feel to look over this list, plan your important tasks and be reassured that you can get what needs to be done, done!
Have you tried it? I would love to hear about your success. Post a note on the blog and share your experience with us.
Here are some related articles that will cover more ground on this topic:
I sure hope you're enjoying the summer as much as I am. The simple pleasures and time with my sweetheart is what brings sunshine to my days, so not too worry if the sun hides behind clouds, I am still happy for what I have.
One of the very few items of inspiration in my home is a small stone placed on our bathroom counter that says simply ‘Gratitude’. It reminds me that life is great and to be lived with joy. I don’t have many objects of this sort because they cause clutter and more work to clean around. I prefer my space. Yet this object has one simple powerful message, so it stays. Besides, with my fiancé painting up a storm, our home is full of beauty and inspiration already.
I am going to admit, writing this post today was a bit of an effort. When I am busy with life, projects and helping others I sometimes put off blogging and writing articles. Sometimes I am just not inspired to do this; rather I would like to be knee deep in an organizing project.
The idea for today’s post came to me as I was doing some reading and I felt it was overdue. So, I sat down, started typing, and out it came.
And now for today's post. Enjoy...
Advice for the Expert and Novice Procrastinator
It’s Thursday afternoon, and Tracy realizes that her proposal for her newest client is due by the tomorrow morning. With a busy night of family events planned, she knows that if she doesn’t get this done prior to leaving work she is going to be dropping the ball. So far this proposal is only in outline and finishing it in time seems difficult. Can she do it?
For many people the tendency to procrastinate is basically normal and at worst it creates unnecessary time pressure and some inconvenience. We all occasionally put off doing things, avoid action or feel unmotivated at times. I could have put my name in that first paragraph too.
Then there are people that really have a hard time. They may seem incapable of getting things started, let alone done. We’ll call them ‘expert procrastinators’ as they, more often than not, find themselves immersed in stress and open loops. For them it may feel like living on the edge of a storm, constantly.
Today, I’ll share some easy methods that can help anyone, ‘expert or novice procrastinator’ beat procrastination and get back to feeling less stressed and more productive today.
Article to blog… done!
My reward… cake and a walk!
Have a grrrrrreat day!