Do you find yourself struggling to get things done in a timely manner? Do you have an i’ll-do-it-later mind set? Do you put things off until the last minute and then find yourself frantic and stressed to get things done? If this sounds like you, rest assured, you are not alone.
Procrastination may seem harmless, a joking matter even, but I assure you that it is not. The unacknowledged truth about procrastination is that it causes undue stress and depression. I say this because I know it to be true. I know it to be true because I am a recovering procrastinator. How am I in recovery? Read on and I’ll tell you how.
1. Get fully ready for the day as soon as you get up – And get up on time. I have found that I get waaayyyyy more accomplished if I get up before 8 a.m., actually put on clothes and make myself somewhat presentable. For me, this means my painting clothes, brush my teeth, a quick skin care routine, and a messy bun. People know I make handmade wooden signs so if I have to run out in ratty clothes, no one really thinks anything of it lol, but whatever makes you feel like you are ready to take on the day, do it.
2. Make lists – And make them the night before. Some people think making lists are for the hyper-organized and slightly neurotic but for people like us, lists are essential. Especially if you are like me and suffer from ADD. One of my biggest reasons for procrastination is feeling overwhelmed by the thoughts of doing all the things so I just end up not doing any of them. Making a list helps me get all the things out of my head and on paper in front of me so I can SEE what I need to do. I suggest making 3 lists for the day – things that MUST get done, things that you NEED to get done, and what you WANT to get done. Categorize your tasks and do the “must” list immediately. Get it out of the way. You will feel your stress decrease right away. Then move on to needs, and then if you have time, start on the want list.
3. Put away the phone – This is by far my biggest distraction. People get so aggravated at me because I am awful about answering my phone or not responding to a text message but I have to keep my phone in another room or at least out of reach if I’m going to get anything done. I am the world’s worst “scroller.” 75% of the time, it’s out of habit that I end up on it anyway and I don’t even really need anything from it when I pick it up.
4. Set aside personal time each day – Y’all I know this one is hard. Especially if you have kids, but you seriously have to do it. Take some time each day to do what you LOVE to do. If it’s snuggling with your kids, make time. If it’s playing Candy Crush, make time. Allow a set amount of time to do what you love and make sure everyone knows that disruption of this time for anything short of a life or death emergency will result in severe consequences. Feeling robbed of enjoyment is part of the reason we procrastinate. If we carve out personal time each day, we know we have that to look forward to. We know the day will not pass without us doing what we love for a little while. It makes doing the other things seem less daunting.
5. Make yourself get started. – In my personal opinion, this is both the easiest and the hardest all at the same time. I know once I get started, I will be fine. Once I get that momentum going, I can accomplish a crazy amount of things. But it’s the getting started…and it requires two things. Will and motion. Just. Get. Started. Tell your head to shut up. I know that whiny, little, voice that says, “but I don’t wanna” but you can’t listen to it. You have to tell it to shut up, stand up, and literally just start the task. May hardest things are cleaning house and making my signs. The two things I absolutely must stay on top of but some days I find myself putting it off a little longer and a little longer until the day is gone and I have accomplished nothing and the next thing you know, I am stressed to the point of tears and I’m not doing my best. On the flip side of that, if I make myself get to work on signs early and I do what I can to stay organized and stay on top of the house, my stress level goes way down. I’ve used this phrase many times and in many different circumstances but it is the most literal in this one and that phrase is ‘Nothing to it but to do it.’ Just. Get. Started. Get the momentum going and a lot of stress will bid you adieu
If you clicked on this because you are a chronic procrastinator, I hope this helps. Please feel free to share and help someone else deal with the unnecessary overwhelm procrastination creates and always remember, God loves you no matter what!!!