Techniques to Manage Procrastination
What not to do : I don’t know where to begin, so I can’t begin at all.
What not to do: I have to do EVERYTHING!! Nothing less will do.
What to do: The most important step is to pick one project and just focus on that one.
BREAK THE TASK DOWN INTO SMALL STEPS
What not to do: There’s so much to do and it’s all so complicated. I’m overwhelmed by my taxes!
What to do: I don’t have to do the whole project at once. There are separate, small steps I can take one at a time to get my taxes ready for my accountant.
SET UP SMALL, SPECIFIC GOALS
What not to do: I have to write the book within six month.
What to do: If I write two pages a day, Monday through Friday, I can finish one chapter in a month. I’ll have six chapters in six months.
TAKE ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME
What not to do: It’s too much. I’ll never get it all done.
What to do: What is the one next step on my list? I’ll concentrate on that step for right now.
REWARD YOURSELF RIGHT AWAY WHEN YOU ACCOMPLISH A SMALL GOAL
What not to do: I can’t take any time out until I’ve completely finished this.
What to do: I spent an hour working. Now I’ll call a friend.
USE A TIME SCHEDULE
What not to do: I must devote the whole week to this project.
What to do: I can use these times this week to work on my project:
Monday 7-8, Tuesday 7-9, Saturday 10-12
LEARN HOW TO TELL TIME
What not to do: Sorting through these papers and reorganizing my file cabinet will be easy. It won’t take more than an hour, so I can do it anytime.
What to do: Sorting papers always takes longer than I expect, so I’ll get started tonight. I’ll spend an hour filing one stack of papers.
OPTIMIZE YOUR CHANCES FOR SUCCESS
What not to do: I’ll do my writing this weekend at home.
What to do: I’ll write during the week in a library or in my office. (Choose whatever conditions are optimal for you to get work done.)
DELEGATE, IF POSSIBLE
What not to do: I’m the only one in the world who can do this.
What to do: I don’t have to do it all myself. I can ask someone else to do part of the job and still feel a sense of accomplishment.
JUST GET STARTED
What not to do: I can’t write this speech until inspiration hits.
What to do: I’ll write whatever comes first into my mind and then I can improve it later.
LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED
What not to do: I have hardly made a dent in all there is to do.
What to do: I called three clients and made one sale, which is more than I did yesterday.
What not to do: I should be able to work full-time, take an evening class, be president of PTA, keep up with current events, spend more time with my family, and exercise an hour a day with no trouble at all.
What to do: I have limits. I can take on fewer responsibilities and still feel productive and like myself.