Do you ever procrastinate?
Abe Lincoln may have outlined it best when he said; “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today”.
Or perhaps you might prefer Ellen DeGeneres’ take on it, “Procrastinate now, don’t put it off”.
But seriously, I imagine for many of us the answer is yes, at least some of the time. Here a few things that may help you push past this negative and limiting state of mind.
Give yourself 10 minutes.Having trouble getting started? Try working in a sort of frenzy for 10 minutes. Force yourself to take action, whatever it is, for 10 minutes. The best choice would be doing the most difficult task you have on your plate. After the 10 minutes are up you will likely find you have the energy and momentum to keep going beyond that. And what seemed so hard wasn’t really that hard after all.
Make anxiety work for you. If you have trouble finishing without the proverbial gun to your head imagine it’s the 11th hour. Provided you work well under pressure, incorporate this into your planning, but do some preliminary work beforehand – take notes, strategize, and do some set up work.
Use a Buddy System.Make yourself more accountable by working with a buddy or even a group of people. A friend or colleague looking over your shoulder makes you more accountable. When you share your goals and things you want to accomplish you’ll suffer embarrassment when you don’t achieve them. Check-in regularly by phone or in person.
Working with a partner can also be fun and an opportunity to learn too. Your partner likely doesn’t have the same goals as you have, but this can lead to greater insight of your goals. Their fresh perspective can also provide inspiration when you actually sit down to do your work.
Create a positive work space that inspires.If you work from home at all (a home office or as a secondary office) don’t work in the darkest, most depressing place you can find. You may be spending a lot of time there so make it an inviting place to work. Once in a while for inspiration take your work outside the office to the library, or a favourite coffee shop and bring a pair of noise blocking headphones just in case – even the library these days can be noisy!
Visualize the future wanted.Visualize and get your emotions involved. Think of that favourite place or a favourite activity you can do when you accomplish that big goal you set for yourself. Make it more attractive by imagining sharing that place or activity with your family and friends.
But don’t just wait for the big achievement of the goal. Reward your progress as you move along the journey.Small rewards can help you stay motivated.
And finally hang out with inspiring people, people you know or even you only know through their books or blogs. Connect with them regularly, it will pay off.
What things do you do to battle procrastination? Your comments are always welcome.