Everyone experiences procrastination from time to time. Some people are chronic procrastinators, while others claim they work better under pressure. Its not about being lazy, but often people run out of time or take on too many projects. Most people procrastinate due to feeling overwhelmed.
Like many things, procrastination is a habit, and habits can be broken and retrained.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Divide big projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. The first key is to break down projects. For example, you are given an assignment to write a 400- page novel. For most people this would be a daunting task. But what if we reworded the project and it asked you to write a page a day? To most people, that would be a lot less overwhelming.
Write it down. This can be listed in no particular order and will give you a handle on just what you need to accomplish. A calendar is a useful way to schedule short-and long-term goals. Often it is easier to start with the worst task.
Schedule priority items. One useful way to schedule items in order of priority is to use deadlines. For example, if you have a five-page paper to write, scheduling to work on a page from 6 until 7 each night will allow you to finish your paper on time. This can apply to many other items as well, such as paying bills.
During scheduled times, do what was scheduled. Often people will avoid working on the priority by cleaning their closet that hasnt been tidied up in seven years anything to avoid the priority item.
Schedule in breaks and rewards. One form of a break might be relaxing or meditating for a few minutes between work sessions. Others might enjoy a walk or a treat such as chocolate. Leisure time or time doing a hobby may also be a satisfying reward.
Find yourself an accountability partner, someone to help monitor your progress. Tell them your plans and continue to tell them as you proceed. Sometimes your accountability partner can be used to help delegate tasks to others.
Try to set realistic goals for yourself and your time. There are only 24 hours a day and at least seven of those should be spent sleeping. That would leave you with 17 hours. Use your time consistently.
Be honest with yourself about how much you can do. Learn how to say no if you are unable to take on a task.
Make a to-do list and include time approximations for how long each part will take. Always add in extra time for unexpected interruptions.
Dont be too hard on yourself. The more stressed you are about what you have to do, the less likely you are to do your work. Concentrate on your strengths and develop a can do attitude.
Dont be a perfectionist. It doesnt always have to be done perfect, just do it.
Jessica Dolan is the bringer of order for Room to Breathe Home Organizing and Staging. This weekly column is a collaboration of Centre County Communities that Care serving Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Philipsburg-Osceola area school districts, and Care Partnership: Centre Region Communities that Care serving the State College Area School District.