Description: In this episode, Melissa and Maribeth (from ADD Professionals) offer tips to beating procrastination.
Many for us are challenged by procrastination. The most frustrating thing about procrastination is that we often spend more time worrying about the fact that we are procrastinating, than we would if we would just complete the task! So here are some tips on beating procrastination.
Three steps to beating Procrastination:
1) Write down one important thing you are procrastinating on.
2) Break that large tasks into tiny fragments.
3) Do a small bit of it at a time starting.
OK, This seems like fairly obvious. We've heard this one for years. So here are some practical tips for making this tried and true plan actually work for you.
Don't spend too much time planning ahead. We are really great at getting stuck in the plan and never beginning. Remember the plan is NOT the project! Don't get lost there.
Be honest. Leave time or “a margin” to procrastinate, because you know you are going to! You may even need to leave time to have a breakdown, get frustrated or become distracted. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes to start and only 5 minutes to actually complete the task. If that is reality, schedule that amount of time. It is ok!
Set a timer. Make it a contest with yourself. Set the timer for the time you realistically needed to finish the project, print it out and put it on your boss's desk!
Set the timer for shorter periods of time, if the project takes a long time and you might becoming bored, say 20 minutes, 10 minutes or even 5 minutes - whatever your attention span is on this project. There are some things we cannot do for more than 5 minutes without a break. Be realistic!
Stick to the timer. As soon as you start the timer, start working. Then, when the timer goes off, STOP! We often get sidetracked or hyper focused on the details of a task. What should take 20 minutes becomes 3 hours. Then, we avoid starting the next task on the list for fear of it taking another 3 hours too. Stick to the timer!
Avoid Distractions. You know your mind will try to wander. So, at the beginning of your task, try extra hard to stay focused. Then, as you begin to make progress, you will become more focused on the task and the distractions will not be as tempting. Protect the time you have set aside. You and your task are important!
Dare to be “average”. Yikes, I can’t believe I said that, but it can be true. Perfection paralyses can happen. DONE trumps perfect every time!!
Enlist support. Choose very carefully someone supportive to phone or check in with daily with your wonderful progress. Supportive, guilt-free accountability really helps keep us motivated.
If you master these tips, it is very probable that you will become a very successful "EX" procrastinator!