Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband dearly, it’s just that he procrastinates … lots, which sometimes (read always) drives me dilly. Now I can’t really complain without taking a good hard look at myself, and while I must admit that I do procrastinate on occasion, I’ve been working hard to break the habit.
Productivity expert, Tracey Foulkes, in conversation on ebizradio.com
Podcast | Click HERE to listen
Here’re some solutions for kicking your procrastinator (not literally and not my husband) in the proverbial you know where. Some of which work most of the time, and most of which work some of the time.
Habits of no-longer procrastinators:
- Set Goals: Having clear direction helps with the focus. If goal setting is too scary a place to start, jot a list of things you desire and get going from there.
- Break your goals into quarters: Working on more than one desire/goal at a time might be overwhelming. Focus on one big task per quarter to keep you moving forward.
- Work off a list: Paper or electronic, whichever works better for you; choose the one place to dump action tasks out your head so you free up place to focus on taking action. One life – one list!
- Prioritise your list: Julie Morgenstern teaches prioritising according to revenue or job specification. Ask: What on my action list brings me closest to bringing in the money? This is a good place to start.
- Highlight your list as you get things done: For visual paper list lovers, highlight off the tasks you’ve done instead of those that are urgent. This gives you a visual representation of what you’ve achieved and minimizes the blame/shame/regret for the stuff that still needs completing.
- Avoid boredom: Do whatever you need to make work more fun. Paint the walls luminous pink, fill a sweetie jar, play music, have a giggle. Endorphins = relaxation = stimulated creativity = productive.
- Be accountable to someone else: Silly as it might be that you can’t do what you need to do unless someone else is holding you accountable, if this is what it takes, stop the excuses and find a buddy.
- Set a fat and juicy reward: Think chocolate, cappuccino, massage, leaving early on Friday or Mauritius. Choose a great “I achieved my goal” reward to keep you focused and on track.
- Trigger words:When you feel yourself slipping back into old habits, have a word that when you say it, helps to brings you back on the straight and narrow. Try saying: “focus”, “do it”, “action”, “productive”.
- Affirmations: Short, positive, present tense sentences to coax your brain into creating the reality you really want. “I am incredibly productive and take swift action” will take you a lot further than negative self-talk such as “I never get things done,” “I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator.”
- Gratitude: Give thanks daily for the things that went right today, the decisions made and the actions taken. When this practice becomes a way of life, you’ll quickly discover why procrastination should stay firmly in your past.
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