7 Tips to Nip Procrastination in a Bud

30 Dec

A year from now you may wish you had started today.  ~Karen Lamb

So I got an email recently from Amina, one of my readers, asking to do a post on procrastination. So what did I do? I procrastinated. I started to write down notes of what I wanted to post but that soon turned into a to-do list. Then I opened up wordpress so that I can just start writing and somehow I ended up on Twitter.  Procrastination is a common problem. Whether you’re a chronic procrastinator or you’re just paralyzed by an overwhelming task,  procrastination can throw a serious wrench in your productivity. Here are 7 tips for nipping procrastination in a bud.

  1. Prioritize It – Sometimes we procrastinate because we’re trying to take on too many things at once. When a task comes across your desk prioritize it immediately. Either Do It Now, Delegate It, Dump It or Defer It. And by defer, I mean to schedule a future time to work on it.
  2. Take Baby Steps – One of the common reasons for procrastination is that your goal is overwhelming and you’re not sure where or how to start. Break large tasks into simpler, smaller steps and tackle those one by one. It’s easier to get started if you are looking at tiny speed bumps rather than a huge mountain
  3. Determine your Peak Hours – Some of us our morning people while others do our best work in the middle of the night. Take advantage of when you naturally have the most energy to tackle your hardest tasks.
  4. Schedule It – Write it down in your planner or type it into your blackberry. Schedule the specific time when you will work on this task and this task along. If it helps, schedule the individual action step. So instead of scheduling ‘work on my manuscript’ (<– big, scary task) write in ‘write 2,000 words.’ (<– smaller, totally doable task).
  5. Put It Out There – I find that if I tell someone about what I’m working towards, it makes it easier to complete it. Heaven forbid other people think I’m a slacker! Or ask for their support. If you’ve been putting something off for the longest, find an accountability buddy who can check in on you and help push you to completion.
  6. Reward Yourself – Who doesn’t love a little reward. Give yourself a pat on the back as you finish each task. Plan a treat for yourself once you complete the task. It’s easier to stay motivated if you know you have a fun little treat waiting on the other side.
  7. Stop Being a Perfectionist – I had a life coach tell me once that Done was better than Perfect. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes we procrastinate because we are trying to do something perfectly. But oftentimes it’s easier to just get something done and then go back and re-adjust later.

So there you have it. My 7 tips for conquering procrastination. I hope this helps! And if anyone has any questions or issues they’d like me to address on the blog, go ahead and shoot me an email (nblades@gmail.com) or tweet me (@PolkaDotCoach). I’m always looking for new topics to explore.

Nailah

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4 Responses to “7 Tips to Nip Procrastination in a Bud”

  1. Amina December 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Thank you so much!!
    I am taking notes
    Do you think that procrastination is also because there is so much pressure to be perfect, the best of the best?
    happy new year!

  2. nblades December 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    @Amina – Yes I definitely think trying to be perfect can have a lot to do with proscratination. We have to try our hardest to let the perfectionist go so we can get things done. Thanks for the request – I hope this helps!

    N-

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Resolutions. « - January 14, 2010

    […] Polka Dot Coach’s 7 Tips to Nip Procrastination in A Bud […]

  2. Overcome Burn-out and Stay Motivated « Polka Dot Coaching - March 2, 2010

    […] Need some more help getting motivated? Here’s some additional reading on Goal-Setting, Procrastination, and Setting The Bar Too […]

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