Despite our finest expectations, it's oftentimes difficult to bite the bullet and get stuff done. We find ourselves too busy, too distracted, or too nervous to accomplish the things we really want to do; whether it is de-junking the craft closet, having a hard conversation, completing (or starting) a difficult project, or giving the kids a bath. We all have tasks we want to do, but also, would give anything not to do. When these tasks come along, follow our tips/tricks to procrastinate less and do more. You won't regret it.
SET SPECIFIC GOALS
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to choose what you want to accomplish. We suggest setting the goal to accomplish your most important task first. This task is usually the one that is most daunting to complete as it is usually difficult, time consuming, and a challenge. However, if you succeed, the accomplishment can give you a massive boost in confidence and productivity for the rest of your day!
IDENTIFY YOUR STALLING TECHNIQUES
We all have tactics, known or unknown, that keep us from accomplishing our to-dos. Some common stalling techniques include looking at our phones (again), checking our emails (again), surfing the web (again), eating a snack (again), calling a friend (again) ... etc. Discover your stalling techniques by completing a simply test: try to accomplish something that you don't want to do, and make note of all the random things that you do to keep yourself from accomplishing the task. Once you discover what keeps you from achieving, you'll be better able to navigate around it.
GIVE YOURSELF INCENTIVE
Just like promising cookies to your kids if they eat their veggies encourages positive behavior, so does promising 'cookies' to yourself if you complete your pre-determined goal. Giving ourselves incentive to accomplish a task makes us more determined to achieve and less susceptible to procrastination. It works like this: choose the thing that you would do if you didn't have to accomplish your task (ie. taking a long bath, baking a treat, watching your favorite show), and tell yourself that you can't do it until you've completed your to-do. Now, this only works if you hold yourself to it. If you say, 'I'll do my big scary to-do after I watch one episode of This Is Us', you're already procrastinating. Be strong and hold yourself to it! With that said, if you already know that you're a total pushover, designate someone else to stand guard over your incentive 'treat' and to only let you have it after you've completed your task. Not so surprisingly, kids are great at this. :)
RID YOURSELF OF DISTRACTIONS
We understand that we can't possibly get rid of all distractions; however, we can do our best! Here are some ideas of how we can lessen the distractions while we work!
- Put your phone away, but set it to loud so you can hear it ring if someone calls you
- Use a single window when working on your computer so you aren't tempted to surf the web
- Keep the tv off while working; watching while working just makes the work take longer
This is what it all comes down to. Though it may not seem so simple, it is. Just decide to do it, then do it! There is nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes from crossing a stressful item off of your to-do list. ❤️
As a caveat to all of this, remember, if it doesn't work out today, there is always tomorrow. There are more important things in our lives than work, special chores, and emails. Take time for the important things and when you have extra time, do the extra stuff.