JS Tip 223: From the Time Management Workshops: Overcoming Procrastination

Oh, wow. I need to finish that project. But . . . I wonder what’s on TV . . . . 

We procrastinate. We don’t want to do the job. The job is dumb. The job is stupid. The job is boring. Yet . . . it has to be done.

Four suggestions:

Set a deadline. A deadline (“I’ll finish the project by 11:00 this morning.”) creates an urgency. It moves completion from the general to the specific. It sets a goal.

Make it a game. “Can I finish the project by 11:00?” As you challenge yourself, you address the fun of completion instead of the drudgery. 

Give yourself a reward. “Done! At 10:42! HA! I’m gonna buy me a Snickers.”

Do the toughest part first. “Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long” (Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2).

Tracy continues, “The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning.”

If you have questions or suggestions, let us know. We love this stuff.