Updated on May 8th, 2020.
Procrastination impacts us in many ways. It is incredibly draining if we’re ignoring something we don’t want to do or need to do but keep putting it off. What could you be doing with that time and energy if you could just get that task off your list? What is holding you back from getting to that project? Here are 5 tips for getting started and battling procrastination.
- Break it in to small pieces. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Can you break the project into small pieces? Clarify the next step. If you just moved and are overwhelmed by boxes, tackle 1 box a day. If you want to get your house organized but don’t have a full weekend (or several), tackle 1 drawer or shelf at a time. Spend 15 minutes a day (or 5 or 10) cleaning something out.
- Find an accountability partner. Do you want to get up and exercise before work 3 times a week? Find a friend to join you. Or report to a friend each time you do it. Your friend can report to you about something he or she is doing and you can support each other through the process. There’s motivation in being responsible to someone else.
- Turn it into a game. Put on some music, set a timer, and see how quickly you can get something done. Hate putting away your laundry or cleaning the kitchen? Time yourself and see how fast you can do it. Or listen to a book on tape or your favorite podcast while you’re organizing your closets. Find a way to make it fun and it won’t seem like such a chore.
- Tackle a small to-do first. Or, tackle the biggest one. Sometimes I just need a small win before I can get going on other projects. I’ll pick the easiest thing on my list, maybe sending a birthday card to a friend. The satisfaction of crossing something off my list motivates me to continue on to bigger projects. Or, I’ll tackle the biggest project on my list. If I just make that phone call I’ve been avoiding or sit down and do the research I need to do, it will remove the stress and mental drain.
- Invite guests over. It’s like setting a deadline. Host a dinner party or a backyard BBQ. Don’t just stuff everything into a closet before your guest show up. Schedule the time to clean out and find homes for everything.