Procrastination – Strategies that worked for me!

I have to admit, some days I am a procrastinator, not every day, but some days.   In the past I was a much bigger procrastinator then what I am today.   If I didn’t like to do something I would just keep putting it off until I finally got tired of seeing it on my “to do” list after a few weeks, “bite the bullet” and finally get it done.  Once it was done, I would have a huge feeling of accomplishment and wonder why I just didn’t take care of it sooner. 

My procrastination was never about client work as those were tasks I always loved to do; it was always about “my stuff”, certain projects I had to do for myself or for my business.   For instance, tax time was always a huge source of procrastination for me, getting my paperwork and electronic files together to bring to the accountant were one of those items I always seemed to have left for the last possible moment.

Now as I mentioned, I’ve gotten much better over the years and have learned a few strategies to help me get through those moments when procrastination tries to creep in.   Maybe they’ll work for you too!

  1. Break the task down into smaller, manageable pieces.  Large projects can be a little overwhelming and can trigger the “procrastination gremlin”.  Break your larger project into smaller pieces, and work for shorter periods.
  2. Get the hardest or the easiest over with first. I have always preferred to tackle the most difficult pieces first to get it off my plate, however other’s work much better by taking on the easiest pieces, building momentum then working on the most difficult.  Whatever works best for you is the way to go.
  3. Have someone hold you accountable.  Share the details and goals of your project with your Coach, a co-worker or a friend who is willing to hold you accountable for getting the work done.  Have them send you weekly check in emails to discuss your progress.  My Coach has been an amazing source of support during these times.
  4. Reward yourself.  This has to be my favourite strategy.   I don’t think we reward ourselves enough for a “good job done”.  For me, a reward is a source of motivation, it does not have to be anything elaborate, it could be just taking a few hours off earlier from work.  If a reward would motivate you, then treat yourself to something that really gets your gears in motion.

The one thing I realized about procrastination is that putting things off till later eventually rolled into the “now”.   So there really isn’t a later.

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