Everyone procrastinates at one time or another but some make a habit of it. What causes procrastination? The tendency to procrastinate is caused by having things that need to get done and they seem too overwhelming or not exciting enough to get off our “To Do” list. You look at your “To Do” list and pick the lower priority, easy jobs and avoid the taxing, urgent and critical tasks. You fill your time with busy work. Then you believe you just don’t have the time to get the task done.
One common cause of procrastination is perfectionism. No one and nothing is perfect. Thinking that you must do the job perfectly on the first try will likely prevent you from ever getting started. This expectation creates stress, anxiety and the fear of failure.
* IF YOU FEEL THE TASK IS TOO OVERWHELMING:
Break it down by writing down steps you need to take to get the task done. If it is still too overwhelming, break it down again into mini-steps you can do on a daily basis. Build the steps into your schedule. Keep yourself on a timetable to make sure you are making steady progress. Daily success can be a powerful motivator and can give you the momentum to succeed. For example, Spring Cleaning. List the chores that need to be done. Washing windows, flipping mattresses, washing floors, cleaning in dark corners and so forth. Next decide how to break down the list. Assign yourself one room each day. If that is too much, just wash the windows in one room every day until they are done. Be reasonable. Determine a deadline and don’t forget to reward yourself when you are done.
* BE REALISTIC.
If an item keeps showing up on your “To Do” list and is repeatedly bumped to the next day, maybe it isn’t that important to you. Ask yourself if it is really your goal. It could be someone else’s goal, or their goal for you. Figure out if you want to do it or let it go.
* DO YOU FEEL UNDER-QUALIFIED?
Is the project more than you can handle alone? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Call a friend or family member to help you out. Do some research to figure out how to get the task done yourself. Take a class to sharpen your skills.
* ARE YOU BEING DISTRACTED?
What else is going on to take you away from this particular task? Figure out what and why and make the necessary adjustments to eliminate the interruptions. Don’t answer the phone, don’t check your email, close the door and let the kids know you need some time to work on this project.
* DO YOU JUST HATE DOING THE JOB?
If you detest washing windows but they need to get cleaned, why not try swapping this task with someone else who is willing to do the job you hate. You can do something for them in return that they hate to do. Then, everyone is happy! There are benefits to overcoming procrastination. Once you recognize that it’s okay to not get the project done perfectly, but just aim for progress, you will find that you can overcome procrastination. You will feel in more in control and won’t have that weight on your shoulders and you will see that your “To Do” list gets completed and you will no longer procrastinate.
Audrey Cupo is a full time professional organizer and sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping busy moms get organized with her services and her U Can Do It product line. Visit her website athttp://www.4abetterspace.com to learn more about her products and sign up for her free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use”.