Constructive procrastination, or what I call "I'll Just Do This One Thing First" syndrome, is something I excel at. Even as I type these words my brain is busy searching for something I "need" to do first.

According to the dictionary to procrastinate means to postpone or delay needlessly. We all delay things at times. Sometimes there is a valid reason to put off doing something other times, we procrastinate and we delay needlessly.

There are many ways to procrastinate. Sometimes you purposefully decide to put a task off until the next day when you are in a better mood or in the right frame of mind. Other times you may delay to add some time pressure. You may think that the added pressure will help you focus and do a better job.

My favorite way to procrastinate involves keeping myself busy doing other things that truly need to be done. By doing this, not only am I not wasting time, but I cross lots of things off of my to-do list. Unfortunately, these tasks may not be the things that really need to be done at that moment.

Here are some of the strategies that I personally find help to spur me on and get me moving.

1. Eliminate things that are typically distracting. For me that means:

- Shut down my email
- Close my Internet connection
- Clear off my desk. By the way, clearing my desk doesn't mean organizing, I simply get things out of sight. And in case you are wondering, even though I am pretty well organized, I accumulate things on my desk too.

2. Put my priorities first.

- Send the phone to voice mail. I love when the sound of a phone "rescues me" from a task. But just because someone else calls me it doesn't mean that their needs are more important than mine. Under most circumstances I can get back to that person on my schedule and we're both happy.

3. Find someone to hold you accountable.

- I work with a coach. I make commitments to her. I talk with her about what I plan to do as well as how and when I am going to carry out that plan. What I like about working with a coach is that once I've really thought my plan through is that it is much easier for me to execute and I know my coach will ask me about it when I speak with her next. And because a coach has your best interests and goals in mind but is not personally vested in the outcome a coach can be truly supportive. However, depending on what you are working on you can use a friend, family member, colleague or other trusted person for support.

4. Just do it. OK, this seems obvious but there has rarely been a situation when the reality of doing a task is as bad as I imagined it being. Usually, when I take a deep breath and just start, I gain the confidence and momentum I need to keep on going or at least move the project forward to the next step.

There are other strategies that can help you defeat procrastination. The ones I've mentioned here are the ones that work best for me, I hope they work for you too.

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a Coach and Professional Organizer.

Work with Carrie to get places and get things done on time, figure out your priorities and get the projects that you start done. Cross things off your to-do list, stay focused, get organized, stop procrastinating, and keep the motivation and momentum going for the long run.

Break the hopelessness cycle! Work with Carrie to carry through on the steps it takes to reach your goals.

For free resources, including Carrie's 4-part ecourse to help you get organized, and get out from under your piles, please visit