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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.
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!
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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