‘When we try to buy time by procrastinating, we condemn ourselves to running out of time.’ -W.J. Knaus
Have you ever stopped to think how much time you have lost procrastinating? I know that I cannot begin to calculate how much time I spend on social media (scrolling a not really paying attention to what I’m reading), staring out of the window, looking at pictures, and taking power naps. Wow! Procrastination can be a coping strategy to help block some of the stress that one feels but in the end it does several other things. First, it limits our productivity. We do more but gain much less. Because we fail to get things accomplished, the “work” or whatever it is that you need to do piles up. Then, because the workload increases, we end up spending less time with our family and friends doing things that we enjoy. This, in turn, causes even more stress. Can you see the downward spiral?
Instead of procrastinating and falling into a quick and painful situation, try this:
Decide what you need to do: Make a list of a few things that you would like to accomplish. Identify the thing that you do not want to do, first. That is going to be the first thing that you tackle. This is what is known as “eating the frog”. (Get the book and read it!)
Create a stopping point: Choose a set time that you will begin and end on this task and what you hope to accomplish. You may want to set a timer, or choose the completion of a certain task as your stopping point.
Remove ALL distractions: Sorry, this is an absolutely must. Delete the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram tabs off of the browser, put your phone on silent, find a comfortable place and get to work. Distractions will slow you down. Ignore them!
Work Diligently: Keep working until the task is completed or until you have reached your stopping point (a break, changing subjects, etc.).
Once you have completed the task at hand, you will feel a rush of relief and, quite possibly, some JOY!! Pat yourself on the back, scream out “I DID IT!” And move on….
Try it… it works!
Knaus, W. J. (1998) Do it now! Break the procrastination habit(link is external). (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.