JS Tip 163: From the Time Management and Goal-setting Workshops: Procrastination

You know the rhyme:

Procrastination is my only fault.
It brings me grief and sorrow.
But I can stop it anytime.
I think . . . I’ll stop . . . tomorrow.  

Putting things off.

Avoiding tasks.

Finding other things to do.

All of these.

Four suggestions for overcoming procrastination:

Set a deadline. Meet the deadline. Make it a game. Can I do this in the time allotted?   

Give yourself a reward. “If I do this in the time allotted, I’m gonna get me a Snickers!” Ummm. Chocolate.

Do the most unpleasant task first. Get the tough part out of the way first. After that, everything is easy. (Mark Callister, quoting Mark Twain, calls this the “Eat the frog first” principle.)

There’s another advantage to this: “First” usually means in the morning, when you’re fresh. Trying to tackle a tough task in the late afternoon when you’re already exhausted is almost impossible.

Envision your hero doing the task. “Would Amelia Earhart shy from the task? NO! I’ve got to do this!” “Would Teddy Roosevelt put this off? NO! Bully! Let’s get to work!” It really does help.  

The worst part of procrastination is the feeling of helplessness that accompanies it. You’re at the mercy of your lesser self. You don’t like yourself.

So do the task.    

If you have questions, comments, or arguments, let us know. We appreciate your comments. We love this stuff.

Next week will be just before the Memorial Day weekend. We’ll talk about serious things.