I am a planner, an organizer, a scheduler. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am on top of things, I always get the job done, and I rarely let anything fall through the cracks. Normally, this is true, but what many people don’t know is that I am a chronic procrastinator.
Procrastination isn’t all bad. In fact, I willingly let it happen sometimes because a burning desire to blow work off usually means I need a break, so I take one. But sometimes, I get into that procrastination gutter and can’t seem to roll out of it (you know what I’m talking about, right?).
Being the systemic planner that I am, I of course, have a process for getting away from procrastination when it’s not productive and starts to cause that slow burning panic. Here are some of the techniques I use to stop the procrastination cycle and get back on track.
- Focus on no more than your three top priorities at a time (put the rest of the list away!).
- Tackle the biggest of those three priorities first thing every morning.
- Break down big tasks into manageable, bite-size chunks.
- Be aware of your distractions.
- Allow yourself time to be distracted.
- Force yourself to focus for short periods of time (start with 10 or 15 minutes).
- Shut off email notifications, instant messages, social media and texting during focus periods.
- Give up on doing everything perfectly and just get it done.
- Create a baseline to keep you moving every day.
- Set SMART goals…and actually use them to push yourself forward.
- Ask yourself periodically if what you’re doing, right now, supports your goals.
- Use an Action Planner to stay on track.
- Get an accountability partner.
- Pad your schedule to include some buffer time and take off some of the pressure.
- Create self-imposed deadlines to challenge yourself.
- Remind yourself how bad you want it.
- Acknowledge your successes and reward yourself for a job well done.
- Delegate tasks that don’t require your individual attention.
- Create motivational mantras that get you moving.
Have you ever fallen into the procrastination gutter?
What did you do to snap out of it?