The urge to procrastinate is present in us all. But actually procrastinating is another thing. Some people procrastinate so much that they are more or less paralyzed, and others procrastinate so little that they have effectively become non-procrastinators. If you’d like to become one of the latter, our NYC professional organizer can help make that dream a reality with a few easy steps.
Be honest about the problem
It’s easy to live in denial when it comes to procrastination. Time management tips sound good, particularly when it comes to this slightly painful subject, but for whatever reason even people who are disciplined in other areas of their lives have huge blind spots when it comes to procrastinating. Getting honest about this is easier than you think, but it does require following our NYC professional organizer’s tips for identifying procrastination. Do you, for instance:
- Complete items on your to-do list in reverse order, finishing the easy items first?
- Let pressing items on your list stay there day after day?
- Fail to stay on-task when working on the most important piece of work in front of you (by answering emails, making phone calls, loading the dishwasher, etc.)?
- Overcommit, including to clearly distracting requests from others?
- Obsessively check your communications channels (email, voicemail, texts, social media) in the hope that something pressing will come up to justify not finishing what you’re working on?
How to fix the problem
Now that you have taken honest and sincere stock of your tendency to procrastinate, it’s time to face this anxiety multiplier head-on. Here are 6 time management tips from our NYC professional organizer to truly become a non-procrastinator.
- For 21 days, simply make tasks you’re in the habit of avoiding part of your daily routine and complete them as often as necessary.
- Do the tough things first rather than last. By getting the harder items off your list each morning you’ll have a sense of well-earned pride, and relief from anxiety, throughout the day. Alternatively, tackle these tasks when you’re at your own peak energy level during the day, but don’t let any days go by when the tough things don’t get done.
- Start working on the tasks you’ve been putting off – just get started. There are three hard parts of every project: starting it, finishing it, and everything in between. You’ll never get to the second two unless you do the first. As Mark Twain said, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
- Break the task into manageable pieces. A 3-hour task broken up into 6 half-hour pieces (done consecutively!) is more likely to get done than a 2-hour task that you try to do all at once.
- Be realistic with how much time the project will take in order to set a fair start date for yourself. Don’t pretend that it’s going to take more, or less, time than you dedicate to it. Make time work for you, not against you.
- Reward yourself for finishing each dreaded task. Get a cup of coffee, have a 5 minute chat with a friend…. make the experience a positive one for yourself, or you won’t stick with it. Not procrastinating can actually be fun!
Most people’s lives get dramatically better once they have a handle on procrastination. Let us know how following these time management tips is working for you.