Thursday, January 8, 2015

How To Stop Procrastinating!

I once went on a missions team of about 50 people. A couple of weeks after I got home I received a letter from one of the girls that I hadn't gotten to know very well. Along with the letter was "a round tuit."


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In the letter she wondered if getting "a round tuit" would help us get "around to" answering her letter! I've always been a letter writer, so I answered. Funny thing is, her response must have gotten lost in the mail, or else she didn't get a round tuit.

But getting around to it is hard for all of us on some tasks and for some of us on a majority of tasks. How can a person stop procrastinating...now?

True Story: I wanted this post to be for the first of January when we all have those great resolutions in our mind and the determination to go with them. If you will check your calendar you see that neither today nor the post date is January 1. There are a lot of reasons (good reasons, really!) that it was not done. So I write to you with ideas to help you stop procrastinating, ideas that have helped me, but remember that I'm reminding myself, too.

Here are eight tips that have passed the test with me. Maybe they'll be the key to more fun family meals at your house!


8 Tips to Stop Procrastinating

1. Stop being so perfect! -- Sometimes "good enough" really is. If the conditions to do something have to be perfect, if the final product has to be perfect or not at all, you will never do it. Inviting someone over for a meal that is just so-so is still a great invitation for them!

2. Limit Yourself -- Set a timer for the task you hate. Whether it is cleaning the bathroom or doing exercises or organizing your recipe file, if you set a reasonable amount of time to do work on you will make great headway. I often set a timer for 15 minutes for a cleaning job I hate. Although I'm not done, I'm usually motivated enough to finish. But if I'm not, I give myself permission to stop and do some more later.

3. Be Nike -- Just do it! Did you drop a paper just short of the trash can? Train yourself to bend over and pick it up right away. Decided not to wear those jeans? Force yourself to hang them up again. See something that is out of place, need to file a paper, is there a light left on? Just fix it now. Then the task is never overwhelming.

4. Reward Yourself -- If I clean the kitchen floor I might allow myself 10 minutes to read a good book or make myself a cup of coffee. My mom used to make herself do something she didn't like before she had a diet soft drink. Whatever will be a little reward for you, use it to motivate. It gives a sense of achievement!



5. Beat the Microwave! -- Are you reheating a cup of coffee (for the 4th time--we call our microwave an overpriced cup holder!)? Or melting butter? Or thawing meat? See how much of the dishwasher you can empty before it dings, or how much of the counter you can wipe. Next time you have the microwave running, don't stand watching it, look around to see what you can do!

6. Announce it -- Tweet or post about how you are planning to overcome procrastination or a job you will get done by a certain time. That makes you accountable to a crowd and you have the feeling of accomplishment when you can add a comment about actually getting it done!

7. Get a friend -- Do whatever you are procrastinating about with a friend. Hate cleaning out the garage, taking down Christmas decorations, pulling weeds? Ask a (good) friend to help you. Remember how doing homework with a friend made it much more fun...okay, maybe not fun, but at least more enjoyable?  Same principle applies to grown-ups.

8. Scratch it off -- To Do lists make you feel so accomplished! I give you permission for the first item on your list "write to-do list." Yes, I write things on my list that I have already done just so I can cross them out!



If I put something off until a deadline, I am under pressure and everyone around me feels the brunt of my stress and anger--anger at myself for not doing what I needed to do when I needed to do it. Save yourself and your loved ones a lot of problems and go do it...now!


***What is your favorite way to avoid procrastinating?***




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4 comments:

  1. It's been a long time since I've heard of a `round tuit`.
    I wonder if the western world, with all its technology, has simply forgotten the simple act of getting a `round tuit`.

    I am visiting from Friendship Friday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a fantastic list - thanks for sharing! I love number 3 - Be Nike! It's so true to 'just do it'!

    Found your blog via the Friendship Friday Blog Party!

    Em

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  3. This is a great list. To do lists are my no 1 way of staying focused and not procrastinating.

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  4. I am definitely a to do list kind of person! I write both what I need to do and what I'd like to do making sure to cross off most everything on that list each day.

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