52 Weeks: #39 Fighting Procrastination

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Do you procrastinate? I’ve noticed that the things I procrastinate the most are those that I think I’ll fail at. For instance, I don’t think of myself as a writer and even after five years with this blog, writing posts is still not easy for me. Knowing this about myself and the potential I have to stress about it, I’ve been able to overcome my procrastination habit by simply adjusting my schedule. How?

I rarely write my blog posts in advance. I always leave it until the night before which I know just sounds like an excuse to put it off until the last minute, rather than an actual strategy, however writing my posts any earlier just gives me more time to sit and stew about it. By scheduling it this way I know I only have so much time and I’m able to focus in and get it done. I write the post, hit publish and that’s that. I don’t worry about it after that. I also have a very short attention span so having this self imposed deadline forces me to concentrate and stay on task thereby, believe it or not, causing me less stress in the long run.

garden

image courtesy of WisDoc

In a book called When Organizing Isn’t Enough – SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, author Julie Morgenstern offers six ways to break the bad habit of procrastination that I thought were right on. Here is an excerpt of those six ways:

Discover your optimal times frames ~ setting aside either too much time or not enough time can make you procrastinate (as is the case for me and my writing)

Choose the best time of day ~ be at your peak energy when you tackle the things you tend to procrastinate

Create bite-sized chunks ~ break overwhelming projects down into a series of smaller steps, delegate pieces you find particularly challenging

Get expert guidance ~ if fear of making a mistake or doing a bad job is what causes you to stall endlessly, run it by someone for feedback

Stop when you say you will ~ determine how long you’ll give something, and stick to it. Set a timer.

Choose to make your life easy ~ putting things off until the last minute is also a way to throw unnecessary obstacles into your own path, making your life more difficult. Retrain yourself to believe things don’t have to be so hard!

I’d like to add one more….Eat the Frog!

frog

image courtesy of today is a good day

This expression refers to biting the bullet and doing the least desirable chore first to get it out of the way. It’s amazing how getting that one thing done lifts a huge weight off your shoulders and makes everything else to follow that much easier. This one step alone literally has changed my life. If you’d like more information about it, check out the book Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.

What type of projects do you procrastinate on the most?

Which of the above procrastination habit breakers do you think would be most helpful to you if you implemented it today?

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Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!



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Comments

16 Responses to 52 Weeks: #39 Fighting Procrastination

  1. 1
    raven says

    I decided to link to our playroom and bathroom – both projects that we’ve heavily procrastinated on. I am horrible at chunking a job into manageable bits, because I never consider it done after just doing a chunk. Oh, no – the WHOLE THING has to be done before it’s “done”.

    I decided enough was enough when we did the Master Bathroom. We did repaint – the walls and the cabinets – but we haven’t fixed a lot of other things including the storage, the vanity and shower that need replaced, etc.

    I was hit by something. These aren’t seperate chunks and only the whole thing can count. Sorting out the junk drawer, that’s a single project – redoing an entire room? That’s full of *seperate* jobs. The chunks ARE the jobs.

    So repainting gets a checkmark as a job on its own. Hanging a divider for privacy got its own checkmark. When we get to the vanity and other things, those will be their own seperate jobs. It really is, for me, about learning how to break it down into what’s reasonable to handle in the time I have within whatever budget we’ve set. It takes a long time to save up a couple thousand dollars and several days of labor to redo a bathroom; it only costs about $60 to repaint, and one weekend.

    Next time I’ll link up to the media room – there’s 4 walls and it’s huge. One wall is done. That’s how that room is getting chunked.. one wall at a time. I hope this way works better, because it sure makes more sense! Thanks, Laura!

  2. 2
    Claire @ Claire K Creations says

    I know exactly what you mean. It doesn’t matter how organised I am I can never bring myself to write my posts earlier than within 24 hours of when I’m posting them. I’ll give your anti-procrastination tips a go. Thanks!

  3. 3
    Mindnod says

    @Raven

    That’s the best way to tackle large jobs. I love ticking off small jobs and that just encourages me to do more.

  4. 4
    Margo says

    Since you say “eating the frog” has changed your life, then I am definitely going to have to try doing the least desirable job first! I really appreciate all your tips. Your 52 weeks of organizing has really helped me get my house in good shape finally after being married for 22 years. It gives me that extra motivation I need, and then seeing the nicely organized area makes me want to go organize something else. Thanks!

  5. 5
    organizingwithe says

    I must be in sync with you!

    Just this week I decided that I spend too much time trying to remember things that I should be doing. Now, I just do them when I think of them. No more time wasted procrastinating! and my brain seems much clearer!

  6. 7
    Emilie says

    I put off cleaning and organizing my friont porch more more than a month…I did not want to to do it and so it just keep moving down the “to do” list. Well last night I was sick of seeing it on my list and at 10:00, after the kids were in bed, I did it!!! It took me about an hour but, wow, is it better. It is not 100% done but I need to organize part of my basement before I can finish it. I feel so much better now and I can’t wait to hear what my husband says when he gets back home tonight!

    Thank’s for the idea to do 52 projects. I made a list of about 37 in about 5 minutes…some needed to be broken down more but I got many many done over the summer…I too love to cross things off!

  7. 9
    Becky L. says

    I was procrastinating on painting the dining room. Guess what, it’s almost done! I also procrastinate on getting up on Friday since it’s my day off after working 3 days in a row and I just don’t wanna get up~ha~ha!

  8. 10
    Ann Dunaway Teh says

    I love Eat That Frog!! I teach a class to graduate and undergraduate students and I always include it. I need to go back and revisit it myself! I’m definitely a procrastinator and this was a great reminder. Thank you!!

  9. 11
    Jaimie says

    Let’s just put it this way: I’m catching up on my favorite blogs instead of cleaning a house that needs some serious attention. I woke up this morning and looked at my kitchen and though, “How and when did this mess happen?!” Well, the truth is, it’s been happening all week; I should have set aside twenty mins. each night to tackle a few small chunks, and I wouldn’t be sitting here procrastinating now!

  10. 12
    Messy Wife says

    I just found you through readysetsimplify.com (#12 above). I added my own link that I worked on last week. I recently wrote a post on “Eat my frog” and it was my own report. Quite interesting to find it useful for linking up here.

    My most recent post was also on Procrastination. I think it answer your question on what I think I needed to improve on today. If you find the time, please feel free to let me know what you think :)

    It is so much fun to have a list of people working on it together. Thanks!

  11. 13
    Heidi of Operation Organization says

    I’m the same way with blogging! :) I find that with any task I’m likely to procrastinate on it’s often just the step of STARTING that I need to overcome. Once I get the gumption to simply start, I get momentum and motivation to want to finish.

  12. 14
    Deneice says

    I am rebounding from a really tough time. It ended with me being laid off after finally earning my degree and the same time my second child went into the military. Its been rough. I am really not even the same person. It really has me in a long term slump. I had worked outside of the home for 9 years and earned a degree…. and well, I just couldn’t do it all. With three children, pets and a working at night husband….well you get the idea.

    When my husband was unemployed because they closed the factory we had to downsize. I really purged a lot of stuff when we moved into a smaller home. There is little storage and stuff is just everywhere. Its not sorted well or even in one place and much is un-find-able so not usable. Very disorganized and really difficult to hunt things down when needed.

    I am slowly working on things. It is getting better.

    My tricks so far:

    I recently began using Space Bags for bedding and other fluffy items that take up highly desirable real estate in the closets.

    As I walk from one end of the house to the other (restroom is on the far side of the house) I pick up something I can put away along the way. It may be picking up handfuls of trash or just an item or two going to the same location.

    Finishing projects! I have made a vow to myself to not begin a new project because I have so many started. I sit down, pick something up and finish it. Then I PUT IT AWAY.

    So….that is my “big” ah-ha tricks so far.

    I do plan on having a lovely home. I just am not pressuring myself to get it done TODAY.

    • 14.1
      Laura says

      So proud of you, you are making some lasting changes that will benefit you not just today but your future as well. You are on the right track!!

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