"There's nothing to match curling up with a
good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house."
"Procrastination is something best put off
"The best way to get something done is to begin."
Based on assumption, we can say that nearly all of us are guilty of procrastination at some time in our life. An awkward phone call that we'd rather not make, the new job offer that we are unsure of our ability to carry out, the potentially difficult conversation that we know we have to initiate. It's so easy to put off the task, in the vain hope that it will go away.
But what really happens to us whilst we put off doing something that we know we must do? We tends to worry about it. If it's a task we are putting off at work, it hangs over our head while at home, maybe even nagging at us over the weekend, when we should be relaxing. Generally, it is not the things that we are doing that cause us stress, but those things that we have to do but keep putting it off.
To do something about our bad procrastination habit, we need to know how life feels without it. I suggest that to start with, you set yourself a rule to banish procrastination for the next two weeks.
The first step for you is to identify the reason for procrastination. You could be putting off doing something because you regard it as uncomfortable, unpleasant or boring. I find the best way to stop procrastinating for these reasons is to promise myself a reward for completing the task. Surprisingly, the reward does not have to be great. A ten-minute break, a cup of tea and buscuit or an ice cream all work for me.
You could also be procrastinating because the task seems overwhelming or too difficult. In these circumstances, you should break down the task into small parts and start of by doing the bits I feel comfortable with. I find that once this is done, the rest of the task does not seem so daunting. Difficult or complex tasks, of course, deserve a much bigger reward once completed!
We all know that if we were to write down a task list at the start of each day, we get a lot more done. Everyone knows that you should always do the important jobs first - the ones that will give you the maximum return on investment. For jobs that I know I am prone to procrastination on, I break this rule and get them done first. They are then out of the way and I remove the stress of them hanging over my head as quickly as possible.
By banishing procrastination from work, I found my job became less stressful and I got a greater sense of achievement. I then decided to tackle procrastination at home. Mowing the lawns when I plan to instead of putting it off. Doing the washing-up straight after a meal, putting things away as I go along. It's surprising how quickly my new approach has become habit and even more surprising that I seem to have much more (and better quality) free time.
Procrastination causes stress to our mind and affect our body, don't we all have enough of that already? Deciding to do something about it is the first step to achieving more, feeling more relaxed, enjoying a better quality environment and a greater sense of achievement. The real beauty is - it's not hard to do!
I still remember that jobs I am putting off because I have a negative view of them, are invariably never as difficult as I think they are going to be, once I do them.
You can overcome procrastination if you really want to.
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