We all do it—at least some of the time. We put off doing things we need or want to get done.
Heck, I even wanted to put off writing this article.
As I write this, the sun's shining and the wind is a perfect 10-12 knots out of the south. My boat is tied up in her slip while I sit here banging on my keyboard. I also have a long list of other things to do.
How much do YOU procrastinate? Do you think you do it a lot or a little?
Here are 7 ideas that will help you to get more of the right things done.
1. First off, RECOGNIZE when you're procrastinating. All too often, we don’t even realize we're doing it. It's tempting to work on things that are more enjoyable. We can be busy, but we may be busy at things that are not the best use of our time. Hey, if you're going to procrastinate, at least enjoy it. CHOOSE to put something off and GOOF off.
2. Commit to doing the unpleasant or difficult task for a short period of time. I will sometimes tell myself that I will work on X for 30 minutes. Once I'm started I have momentum and it's not uncommon to find myself several hours into a project that I had only committed to working on for half an hour.
3. Make sure you really HAVE or WANT to do it. Our To-Do lists get longer all the time. Make sure you aren't just putting wishes on it. Does the item really HAVE to get done? Do you really want or need to get it done; or would it just be NICE to get it done? If not, dump it.
3. Delegate it. Are you sure YOU have to do this thing? We can often find someone else to do what we have been putting off. And they can often do it for less and will enjoy doing what we don’t enjoy.
4. Schedule a 'Get 'er Done Day' (or afternoon). Get a buddy to make a list of things they've put off and you make your own list. Call each other at the beginning of the agreed-upon time, share your lists and then go to work. Have a little celebration at the end of the time period--and maybe schedule another one.
5. Don't confuse the complicated with the difficult. Sometimes we put off doing something because we don’t know how or think we need more information. This can be the case, for sure. But many times we delude ourselves by thinking we need to know something when in actuality we are putting off doing the difficult. This could be a hard decision or an action that will likely be unpopular. If this is the case, acknowledge that you are indeed procrastinating (see item #1).
6. Schedule it. Instead of having a task or project on your To-Do List, put it in your schedule as an appointment. And keep your appointment. You can still choose to put it off, but at least you will be doing it consciously (And you can "snooze" it).
7. Make commitments—especially public ones. It's a lot harder to wiggle out of something when we've told someone we would do it. Your chances of overcoming procrastination are much better when you've stated what you will do. Part of the reason why I wrote this article is that I have a commitment to provide useful, challenging, inspiring and practical information to help you and your business grow.
Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet.org and helps people and businesses grow and prosper. By being a Diamond Club Member of SuccessNet you can expect to reach new heights of achievement by creating the support structure you need to accomplish your objectives.