PROCRASTINATION is a Dragon we must face & slay at some point in time!!
We ALL have our “To Do” Lists & they are jam-packed!! Sometimes we want to scream & sometimes we just want to run away!!
Now, I am dating myself here, but there was this add for a bathwater additive & it said, “Calgon, take me away”. It was a pretty ad with beautiful scenery & you felt like you were away somewhere. My point is we have ALL wanted to run away!! (I would rather do my tangling art than do the task!! LOL!!)
Every day we look at our “To Do” Lists & I KNOW there is something on them that we keep avoiding & putting off. This is where “PROCRASTINATION” raises its ugly head!! Once it gets a foothold in your life it is hard to remove!! But, how do we stop Procrastination in its tracks??
We think we are setting goals & priorities but are we really?? Usually, our priority is to do what is easiest….the old “out of sight out of mind” trick. But it is still avoidance & procrastination.
How many of you have purchased classes, or programs or memberships with tutorials…..intending to do them, watch them, complete them….and NEVER finishing them?? I know I have!! In fact, as I was thinking about doing this blog post, I looked to see what courses I hadn’t completed….I have NINE courses I haven’t finished!! We all do it!!
So how do we fight this Dragon of Procrastination?? There is a multitude of useful techniques & suggestions out there. I am just going to share with you what works for me!!
Usually, the thing we are procrastinating about is something that we just can’t ignore so we have to bite the bullet eventually & just do it.
- I always start with a Brain Sweep. I sit down & write every thought I have down. If I think of something more than once, I put tic marks by it for however many times I think of it. I usually keep my Sweep List on my desk & I add to it as I go, over a couple of days or a week. Then I sit down with the list & cross off anything I have NO control over or that is someone else’s responsibility. I put those things on something I call my Bird Feather List & then destroy it when I am done. Like a bird preening its feathers. It discards damaged feathers, ones that he can’t fix. I know we all have some items on our “To Do” Lists that we have no control over, can’t fix, or are someone else’s responsibility!! It feels good to discard that list & it feels like a weight is lifted. Not my burden any longer!!
- Next, I PRIORITIZE the Sweep List. I see if some things are related. If so, I put them together. I make 2 Lists from this. One is for really important things like set appointments or time-sensitive things that have a deadline. Then I separate each of these lists into Work & Personal.
- Now, I look at what is getting in the way of my completing the tasks. Sometimes it can’t be helped because you need a piece of the puzzle that someone else is working on or you just don’t know how to do it & need help. Whatever it is that is holding you back, you need to get REALLY clear on it.
- Now let’s take a look at how much time is required for each task. This is where you need to be VERY realistic!! Put how long you think it will take to complete each task on the list, next to the task.
- Now the FUN part!! A least it is for me!! I get my planner out & schedule all the set appointments & the time-sensitive stuff. Next, look at the timed items & see if they need to be broken down into more steps.
**Setting priorities & goal setting follow the same path. Once your priorities are set, then you can set your goals. The process is the same.
- Once you have set your priorities & have your steps defined, it is time to schedule the first few steps into your planner. Keep your Master Sweep List handy so as you complete a step you can schedule another one. SOON you will have completed that thing you were avoiding!!
Now, for some of us, it just isn’t that easy!! The task is either too uncomfortable for us to face or too overwhelming.
For those tasks, I recommend something I call Sensory Enhanced Tasks. What I mean by that is, think about your 5 senses & think about what you love. For each sense, write down 3 things that you love:
Sight ~ I love the sight of: _______ ________ ________
Hearing ~ I love the sound of: _______ ________ ________
Smell ~ I love the smell of: _______ ________ ________
Touch/Feel ~ I love the feel/feeling of: _______ ________ ________
Taste ~ I love the taste of: _______ ________ ________
Now, you can choose something from this list to help you complete the task!!
FINALLY, the task you have been procrastinating on is completed!! This is when you reward yourself!!
I always determine what my reward is going to be before I start the task so that I know what I am working toward. It gives me incentive!!
If all else fails, I make a contract with myself.
I state what the task is that I need to complete. I state the date by which it will be completed. (If it has multiple steps, I put a target date for each step.) Then I date & sign the paper & post it above my desk so I have to look at it!! It is a constant reminder that I have to complete this!!
I love checking off the task “appointments” in my planner as I complete them!! Sometimes, if I am particularly proud that I finished something, I put a gold star by the task. The kid in me LOVES stickers!! ::tee hee::