Monday, October 19, 2009

do it now!

Do you put off tasks that you don't want to do or don't like to do? Do you say 'I'll just do it tomorrow?' Procrastination, for one reason or another, happens to the best of us. There are ways to help alleviate it.

1. Plan your day according to your most productive time.

Are you a morning person? Plan the most difficult or unpleasant activities during the morning when you are least likely to procrastinate and have the most energy.

2. Break large projects down into small chunks.

If you are putting off even beginning a project because you find it too overwhelming and intimidating, break the project down into smaller steps until they are manageable. Write the steps down and be specific by putting a date on each one as to when it will be completed.

3. Prevent distractions and interruptions from occurring.

When you have something that needs to be done, turn off the cell phone. Do not answer the door. Turn off the television. Remove whatever it is that distracts you from doing the job at hand.

4. Eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep.

Eating healthier foods and exercising will help you create more energy and you'll be less likely to procrastinate. Getting a good night's sleep, at least 7 hours, will help you re-energize and you'll be able to maintain more energy during the day.

5. Get organized.

Being disorganized causes chaos and is very distracting. When you are organized, you are better able to focus on a task instead of the clutter.

6. Ask for help to stop you from procrastinating.

Ask this person to hold you accountable for the completion of a task you have been putting off.

7. Create a mental picture of the project you wish to complete.

Maintain your focus on the end result as well as the process to get there. Keep in mind how good it is going to feel when you finish the project. Remember this feeling when you begin a new project.

8. Reward yourself when you have completed a task on time.

The more positive reinforcement, the less likely you will procrastinate. Focus on what you have done rather than what is left to do. On the flip side, consider penalizing yourself if you have not completed a task. For example, miss a television show if you do not complete a task on schedule.

9. Avoid overextending yourself.

Evaluate your obligations and then prioritize them. Is there anything you can omit, delegate or move to a different time frame? Set realistic goals. As the saying goes, 'bite off only as much as you can chew.' Make a list each day of every task you need to complete in order of importance. Finish each task before starting the next task.

10. Plan for setbacks because they are bound to happen.

Planning will prevent you from slowing down because of a setback. Just make sure you do not give up!

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