A lot of us know someone who always comes up with great ideas. One day that person is excited about a breakthrough product that he or she has ‘invented’. Sometimes that product is developed and distributed, albeit by someone else. Another time the great idea is a novel, which will be adapted for the screen, and become a blockbuster movie. Or TV series. It will be the next Game of Thrones. But procrastination keeps people like them from
finishing starting any project.
Well, a lot of my friends could safely say that that person in their lives is me. You see, I have always had great
excuses reasons not to do what I really love. And, to be honest, I am a hedonist, so I spend a great deal of time time just enjoying myself. Or sleeping. Or shopping and getting dressed in the morning.
But enough about me. This is about how YOU will get out of your rut.
6 Ways To Battle Procrastination
1. Starting tomorrow, use a timer and jot down how long it takes you to perform every. single. task. I mean it. How long does it take to brush your hair? To select underwear from the drawer? What I found out through this exercise really shocked me. I did not realize, prior to trying it, that I spend so much time on small tasks! My husband has always teased me about how long I take to floss before bed, and he is right, I spend a full 5 minutes flossing. What I learned from this experiment was that I tend to indulge a lot when performing some of these routine activities , at the detriment of the ones that are truly meaningful to me. I really don’t like to rush.
When you know how long it takes you to carry out the activities that are essential to your daily life, you will know how much time is left for those that bring you joy or a sense of purpose. And if whatever time left is not enough, you will possess important information to help you budget time.
2. Set up a daily schedule and stick to it ruthlessly! It is arguably easier to stick to a schedule when significant others and children are not in the picture. But I would say that it is perhaps even more important when they are. Sink full of dishes keeping you from writing, making that phone call or picking your wedding dress? Ignore them. Ask yourself “how would I feel if my house was always clean, but I was not fulfilled because I cannot find the time to do the things that I am passionate about, and feel called to do?”
3. Enlist help and delegate. This is a tough one for control freaks like myself, who are very particular about the way they do things. But having a little faith in others might lead to some pleasant surprises. It might come as a shock to find out that other people perform certain jobs better than you. And even if their performance fails to meet your standards, look for solace in the fact that your time has been freed up to do something else that you care about. My reason for wanting to control situations, stems from the fact that I am a perfectionist. My mode operandi is to focus on each task until it is completed to perfection. As a result, I have no choice but to neglect other activities because I ran out of time. Not only is that attitude extremely time consuming, but it can also be anxiety inducing. Procrastination is a way of avoiding that feeling, and buying more time to make things perfect. Which brings me to tip #4
4. Don’t try to make it perfect! Two years ago I secured domain names, and hosting accounts for, not one, but two blogs. This is almost too embarrassing to admit, but this is the first time ever that I published a post! Why did I wait so long? Because I wanted my posts to be flawless. And I just didn’t have that kind of time. Not when I was getting a Masters degree, giving birth like every other year and moving cross-country.
Then I started noticing that I lot of the blogs I follow have minor grammatical errors, or blurry pictures. But that did not stop me from liking them. More importantly, I’ve watched some of those bloggers develop and grow, and saw the quality of their material improve. All because they were working at it and getting tons of practice, rather than waiting for everything to come together. Waiting to go back to your pre-baby body to buy that gorgeous dress? Don’t! Buy it now, and wear it proudly. Feeling good about where your are now will probably give you an extra incentive to look even better.
5. Find people who will hold you accountable. You can try to find a mentor, life coach, or just a friend who will remind you of your goals. It is a good idea to join a group of people who are working towards similar goals and who will help you set deadlines.
6. Take the first step. Even the most successful people, in any field, were not excelling at what they did when they were first starting out. Perhaps you will be the exception, but the odds are not in your favor.
Ok, so it looks like I just wrote a post to myself!