Tips to Beat Back Procrastination
By Randi Morse
I have always been someone who procrastinates. I can remember my mother yelling at me constantly about how my procrastination made my life more stressful, and that I would be much happier if I learned how to stop doing things at the last minute.
Procrastination is actually a very common personality trait. Some people procrastinate only when they are at home, while others procrastinate both at work and in the home. A little bit of procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you are someone like me who tends to thrive when a little bit of stress is added. If you are somebody who chronically procrastinates to the detriment of your lifestyle, you may find some of these tips helpful.
When something looks like too big of a job it is extremely common for chronic procrastinators to avoid tackling the task at all. Set yourself reasonable goals. For example, if you set a goal of trying to repaint your house in a weekend, you are likely to fail. There is a great deal of work that goes into painting homes, from scraping to clean up to the actual painting. Thinking about that huge amount of work can make it easy to shy away from even starting the project.
Break It Up
Breaking down large jobs into smaller batches makes whatever chore you are doing much more palatable. Let's go back to that house painting example. You know your house needs to be painted, so break up each part of that job into smaller portions. For example, set one weekend to scrape the house and get the old paint off of it. Set the next weekend, or even the weekend after if you want a little more of a break, to wipe down and do final cleanup. Then set another weekend for painting trim and a fourth weekend for painting the main part of the house. When you set small goals the task doesn't seem as intimidating, which makes you more likely to dive into it.
Setting deadlines is another great way to help avoid procrastination. For me, I have a large whiteboard on my wall that I write down all of my deadlines on. I even write down lists of chores I need to do and when I want to have them accomplished by. This not only gives me a visual reminder of what I need to do, it also gives me satisfaction when I'm able to cross things off my lists.
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