Well, I’ve put this article off long enough. It’s time to talk about procrastination!
What is Procrastination?
Oh, come on. You know what procrastination is. It’s the exact opposite of “never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” Procrastination is putting things off. Way off. We all do it! (And that’s not just me being presumptuous; there have actually been studies on this).
My Name is Lauren and I’m a Procrastinator
I was recently made aware of a Procrastination Survey. I took it. I scored a 69 out of 100 which meant that I “rank in the top 10%-25% of the population in terms of your level of procrastination.” Yikes! And, to be honest, taking the survey was a form of procrastination itself—since I was supposed to be working on something else at the time.
But if I’m such a horrible procrastinator, how do I ever get anything done?
How I Get Things Done:
- Stop lying to yourself. When you say “I’ll feel more like doing it later” will you really feel more like doing it later? Probably not. So why not do it now? And don’t tell me “I work best under pressure!” Believe me, I’ve used that excuse before too.
- Take baby steps. You don’t have to do your project all at once! Break the task down into smaller segments.
- Be organized. I like to use a dayplanner. You can use a notebook, a calendar, Post-It notes, an organizational computer program, or whatever else it takes: Just make sure you make a plan—or at least a sketchy outline of a “plan”—and try your best to stick to it!
- Be neat. I’m talking about your work area. If your desk is so messy that you can’t find the project you were working on—how do you expect yourself to actually get it done?
- Don’t take on too much. Often, the reason people procrastinate is because they don’t know their own limits. If you take on too many tasks at once, you’re bound to put at least a few of them off.
- Set deadlines. Even if your project doesn’t have a strict deadline, set one for it!
- Treat yourself! When your cat or dog does something extra good, you give them a treat, right? Do the same for yourself when you complete an especially difficult task!