We all suffer from it from time to time. It's inevitable. Some people even dare call us lazy for it. But there is an appropriate word for it - It's procrastination. I don't think there's a cure for it, but I do think we can work around it and make it better.
You know exactly what the symptoms look like. In most cases it goes a little something like this: you KNOW you should be doing something IMPORTANT. Not just some random task but something that HAS to get done. You don't like that you have to do this. You decide, instead, that, even though you've seen that damn Honey Badger video on youtube a little over 20 times, 21 times will make it so much better. So instead of doing what you are supposed to do, you are watching the video, and an hour later, you find yourself going through every animal planet narration ever made on youtube history. Great. Now what happened to the very important thing you were supposed to do, uh?
Psychology Today states that procrastination reflects our own struggle with self control. Another key point that was made was that procrastinators, like myself, perform better under pressure. I cannot tell you how accurate this is for me an many people and clients I know. I feel like when I have only one thing to get done I distract myself and avoid doing it, but when I'm overwhelmed with an endless list of tasks, I find myself working through them better.
I am no expert at solving the procrastination a lot of us struggle with but part of the work I do allows me to coach individuals in figuring out ways to work through it. It's difficult getting through that bump on the road once you've hit it but it's doable.
My mind is constantly in motion and what I do is, if something comes up, an idea, or a task, I immediately take note of it or write it down. My first and probably only tip is to keep an ongoing list, which I personally do have. This list consists of goals as well as tasks. They are not divided into priority because as an experienced procrastinator, I could care less what gets done when. LOL.
The way I do it is I have goals for the day, the week, the month, and long term business goals.
My daily goals or tasks are those "immediate" things that need to be taken care of - laundry, food shopping, phone calls, etc. all could fall in this category. Something that helps me take care of those little pesky things is to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to make that call or to buy my daughter's xyz or to wash my funky gym clothes.
My weekly tasks are bigger projects that may also involve paperwork. Some of the daily tasks could fall in here if I don't make them a priority or if I don't get to them. I do this in order to not beat myself up for not accomplishing one of my daily tasks, such as the laundry. I am human and I realize stuff happens that may prevent me from doing getting to everything on my list. I also try to add behavioral patterns I want to change or work on, as well as goals involving my competitions. An example of that is sticking to my diet 100% for the week without being tempted to cheat. Hard for me since I have kids that love to eat hearty meals as they should since they are growing teens, but that is a goal I every week that keeps me focused.
My monthly tasks and goals are those bigger projects that also fall under the long term goals. These tasks and goals involve more intense paperwork that requires more attention, taking a class, and even a particular purchase that may help my business.
I still procrastinate but the running lists have helped me tremendously to stay on task and focused.
Every night before I go to bed I make an attempt to read over my lists and review what I've checked off and what still has to get done. In the morning or once I'm done with my cardio session and settled in, I do the same.
Even writing this short blog was on my list and now I can check it off!
I'd like to know, what are some things you do to fight procrastination? Do you keep a running list like I do?
Until next blog!