8 Anti-Procrastination Tips to Read Later

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8 Anti-procrastination tips to read later

By Ruth Michel

Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Yet many of us, with a prideful grin, attempt to master the evasion of responsibility. And, in the free time we create by avoiding accomplishment, we joke with Ellen DeGeneres, “Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.”

Well, if it makes you feel better, you’re not alone. College libraries fill up as they’re about to close. Christmas cards become New Year’s cards and then bi-annual cards. Doing the dishes means buying more silverware. Why is it so darn hard to “just do it,” as Nike encourages?

I’ll spare you the list of excuses. Instead, here are some tips on beating your procrastinating… if you dare.

Break it into chunks.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you think about the big project looming overhead. You can let it scare you, or you can divide it up into manageable chunks. Step one probably doesn’t sound too bad!

Move like a tortoise.

Think back to your days as a student. Remember the first week of school when all your professors commanded, “Study half an hour every day, and then you’ll be fine!” I can’t say I ever did, but consistency really does win the race.

Swallow the biggest frog first.

Once I got handed a rubber frog at a conference. The speaker told us to keep it by our mirror or computer as a reminder to take care of the slimiest, squirmiest thing on our list first. Then, we’ll have no reason to procrastinate because the unpleasant tasks are in the past.

Make a list.

Jotting down lists has never been easier than with SmartPhones. Even if you don’t actually check everything off, the act of making a list keeps you from being ignorant of just how much you need to do. Do I really have time to go out for drinks after work? Check your list.

Get inspired.

A lack of motivation can be killer. Find what gets you excited, in-the-mood, ready-to-work. Maybe it’s a walk in the woods, a chat with your mom or frozen yogurt. The key here is not going overboard and using your inspiration-seeking as an avoidance technique!

Find a companion.

Work with someone who is focused and like-minded. There’s always the risk that you’ll end up goofing off too much, so be choosy. Also know when to call it quits and go solo. Sometimes the best advice is to work alone.

Give yourself deadlines.

Some people work great under pressure. If you have to create your own by establishing mini-deadlines, then do it!

Think of what you’ll gain.

If you stay on top of your game, then you’ll be relaxing with your family, going out on the town or enjoying much-deserved “me” time as all the procrastinators are uniting to turn out a rushed product. Chances are you were more thorough and slept better last night.

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