Procrastination is truly the thief of time. The time you will never get back, as well as time wasted. Did you ever have a goal to accomplish but couldn’t get started? You make a plan in your head step by step how you are going to reach your goal. Then you ponder some more and tweak the plans in your head. Promises are made like, today is the day you’re going to get it done. Another lie you tell yourself is, this evening first thing I’m going to get it done. Next, you tell yourself you’ll do it tonight before bed. Before you know it you’re in bed and guess what? You still have not written the paper. For myself, I even seem to get sleepier at the thought of completing the task because I am so stressed out and frustrated it literally makes tired. This is procrastination. Procrastination bleeds you emotionally and drains your energy. Being a procrastinator can make you feel like a failure. At the very least it can make you irritated with yourself and make you want to give up on doing what you set out to do in the first place. You will give up and submit to failing, even before you give yourself the opportunity to start. Read on to learn ways to stop procrastinating and get it done!
Time management is kryptonite for procrastination. For the sake of keeping this blog simple and pointed I will use as an example the task of writing a paper due in a week. When you first know you have a paper to write do an outline. An outline breaks down your work into small tasks and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Choose a topic and write out what points you want to make and set a deadline of one day before the due date. The extra day will give you time to perfect the paper, for now, you want to concentrate on writing the paper. Be realistic with yourself about the timeline you are setting. Most of us already have established patterns and daily schedules we cannot deviate from, so we must deliberately set time aside. Give yourself time in fifteen minutes increments and set a goal for every 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes time frame is less intimidating than thinking you have to write your paper in one sitting. A wandering mind is a procrastinator’s playground. The best time to set up your fifteen minutes is when you know you are usually most focused and have energy. For some people it is early in the morning when it’s quiet, for others it may be in the middle of the day like during like lunchtime and there are those who focus better at the end of the day. Leaving your work until the end of the day is not a good practice for procrastinators.
Set a precedence for what you expect from your time by prioritizing your work. Prioritizing means putting your friends on hold. Turn your cell phone off, the phone is a distraction. Find a place to write and research that is quiet. It is better if this is a place you are familiar with as new places may raise your anxiety and curiosity which are distractions in and of itself. By prioritizing your time and work you are more likely to stay on track. For more information on staying on track check out my blog Get Back On Track: Don’t Give Up Your Goals.
You can do this! You are a gem, a true jewel and irreplaceable. The world is waiting for you to shine.