Ah, procrastination - I see it in my clients, my friends, and in myself. It haunts us all. My ability to avoid even the simplest tasks continues to amaze me. When I first moved to Portland, I started working from home a lot more, and BOY let me tell you... becoming self motivated took me years to figure out. Luckily for you, I am willing and able to share all of my tips, tricks, and secrets. Read on!
Break it down
When we are avoiding a task, it is usually because we don't know where to start. Break the task down into as many micro tasks as possible. What is the very first thing you would need to do in order to accomplish this task?
Eat That Frog!
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” - Mark Twain
If you haven't already read Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, I highly recommend it. The basic concept is this: when reviewing your most important tasks for the day, pick the one you hate the most and work on that one first.
Track Your Time
Seriously! It can seem silly at first, but I guarantee you will gather insights on this one. Set up a page in a notebook, breaking down your time throughout the day into 30-minute increments (or 15-minute increments if you want to get crazy!). You will be AMAZED when you see where your time goes.
Treat Yo' Self
Do you have a daunting task on your plate? Schedule a reward for yourself once it is successfully completed!
Use the Buddy System
Sometimes all it takes is another person expecting something for us to get our butts in gear. If you have something especially important that you need to complete, ask a friend to check in regularly to ask about your progress.
Set a Timer
If there is something you just can't stand to do, set a timer for a few minutes, and get started. When the timer goes off, you just might find yourself thinking - screw it! Let's just finish!
Take a Breath
Here I go again, spouting the wonders of meditation! Our brains are so hellbent on avoiding tasks we don't want to do, sometimes we don't even know we are procrastinating. Taking a breath before looking at your to-do list can help you be more mindful around what's going on in your head and your heart.
We all procrastinate. However, if you feel like you struggle with this more than others, read up on executive functioning. Knowing what's going on in your brain is the first step in creating new habits to help yourself.
Just Do It
Easier said than done - but sometimes we just need to put on our big girl pants and parent our inner child.
What do you think of these tips? Drop me a comment and let me know what helps you the most with procrastination!
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