Not getting around to things we must do until the last minute can become a life time pattern if we don’t realize it and change our habit. I don’t know the statistics, but I would guess most people struggle with this issue.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.
- Mark Twain
I’ll think about it tomorrow.
- Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind
According to Success magazine, there are some myths about procrastinators. First myth, they are lazy. Not necessarily so, says the research. Some are and some aren’t. Many procrastinators get a lot done, just not what they should be doing. The second is that they work better under pressure, how many times have you heard this? It turns out most procrastinators feel they work best that way because that’s the only way they ever work! Actually procrastinators are not as productive as those who don’t work that way.
Now, we have identified the problem!
Is There Anything You Can Do to Stop Procrastinating?
- Just get started. Devote 10 minutes to starting the project and then you’ll be into it.
- Minimize distractions. You know what they are. Don’t allow them in your work space.
- Restrict your time. Don’t set aside all day. Create more urgency by seeing how much you can do in an hour, for instance.
- Do the hard part when you’re most productive: Otherwise you’ll want to put it off as well.
- Be accountable to someone: Alright, I know this is hard when you are the problem. If it is someone else, hold them to it.
- When dealing with others (like your kids) let them feel the consequences. Let them fail. They need to see the cost of bad habits.
I have a big shout out here. My assistant, Judi, never procrastinates. She is the most efficient person I have ever met. She has simply developed the habit of always attacking what needs to be done first and completing the work early.