When you wake up one morning and are finally tired of being greeted by an ever-growing list of to-dos, it’s time to reconsider your game plan. Rather than putting everything off because you have “no energy” or you “will do it tomorrow,” make the decision to do it anyway. It’s no secret that we all have days when we don’t feel at our best. However, when those days come, we have to persevere and take care of our responsibilities despite our lack of energy or interest.
Today, you’re going to unbox a fun new trick that is sure to help you put in work. Today is the day you decide to postpone your procrastination.
Good news: Procrastination doesn’t mean you’re lazy.
That’s right, you can let out a sigh of relief. Despite what people may say, you aren’t lazy because of your procrastination. In fact, if you take a deeper look at procrastination, it’s an active choice. Here are some signs that you may be procrastinating:
- You start something important, then allow a less important task to distract you.
- High-priority items are often left on your to-do list.
- You’re often waiting for an opportune moment to begin a task.
Here are more examples of procrastination!
Knowing that, all you need to get into gear and set off toward your goals is to make a different active choice—the choice to postpone your procrastination. In other words, you must decide that you’ll no longer put responsibilities on the backburner.
Instead, start putting those responsibilities at the top of your priority list. And all the tasks that you’ve been using as an excuse to put off more important to-dos will now be placed on the backburner.
Once you’ve chosen action and are ready to postpone your procrastination, these practices will help you keep rolling with that choice.
Make fewer decisions.
If you want to minimize your chances of procrastinating, minimize the number of choices you have in a day. Don’t create the world’s longest to-do list. Set 3-6 high-priority tasks that you want to complete in a day and get after them. If you complete them all, great! Use the rest of your time to finish a less important task or plan for tomorrow. If you don’t complete them all by the end of the day, use your last hour before bed to plan out how you’ll resume the following day.
Don’t create more decisions in the middle of your workflow. For instance, don’t pause and ask yourself, “Where should I eat lunch today,” or “Should I go grocery shopping?” You could “should” the day away. Instead, make those choices before you start working or after you’re done. If they happen to pop into your head while you’re working, write them down but don’t distract yourself by trying to address them immediately.
If you constantly find your flow state being interrupted by thoughts like these, highly consider planning your day in advance.
Create a plan!
When you’re planning a day in advance, there are two things to keep in mind: your big priorities and your habits or routines.
Creating and maintaining healthy habits and routines can be a real struggle sometimes, especially when you live a busy life. Factor them into your daily plan. Whether you like to meditate for 15 minutes, exercise for 45, read for 30, or spend quality time with loved ones for an hour, include it all. These habits and routines that add value and meaning to your life, or help you prioritize physical and mental wellbeing, shouldn’t be sacrificed because of poor planning. They should be maintained because of proper planning.
Once you’ve set time slots for those activities, it’s time to tackle your daily goals (the 3-6 high-priority tasks we mentioned earlier). If you’ve got to make some business calls, then schedule those calls at the start of the day and anticipate how long each one will take. Suppose you need to go build new connections with people. Calculate every time constraint that process might entail. No matter what your big priorities for the day are, the critical thing to consider is your time.
Find a partner to help you postpone your procrastination.
In the fight against procrastination, it’s okay to enlist outside assistance. Surround yourself with friends, family, and team members who want to see you succeed. They will hold you accountable to your words and actions. If you have a trusted friend that’s willing to help, send them your daily task list. Have them give you a call at some point during the day to check your progress.
Even better, get the help of the people you live with if you’ve got roommates or live with your significant other. They will be able to keep a close eye on you and recognize when you’re drifting off task.
At the end of the day, only you can convince yourself to postpone your procrastination. So, believe in yourself and trust that you’ll accomplish whatever you set out to do. Stay determined, be positive, and have high expectations for yourself! You can do this!
If procrastination isn’t such a big issue for you, but distractions are, check out our other blog “Disposing of Your Distractions.”