Breaking the Habit of Procrastination

It’s easy to put things off when your schedule is jammed packed. With so many tasks to juggle on a daily basis, sometimes the most important ones are left for the next day. Time is our enemy. When it’s spent, we can never get take it back. It’s limited and irreplaceable so make sure you spend it wisely – every day.
Here are some tips and advice to help you keep moving forward and removing all obstacles and urges to procrastinate.

Make your goal or task list is visual
By using a whiteboard or a list where you can see your task list, you are reminded of what needs to be done. Have other people like friends or family members hold you accountable for the tasks that need to be done.

Track your progress
On your whiteboard, divide your list between “To Do”, “In Progress” and “Complete”. The idea is to get as many tasks on the “To Do” column to move along to the right side into the “Complete” column. By seeing tasks move to the next column, you see your progress and feel encouraged that things are moving along. Make a habit of updating your board each day.

Identify the Most Important Task
Each day, identify the most important task or tasks that must be completed for the day. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your list. Focus on the most important one (for example, go grocery shopping) and if you are able to get help with other non-critical but necessary tasks, delegate them to friends or other family members who can help.

Commit to completing your most important task
Build a habit of finishing what you start but also be realistic about your ability to complete it within the time frame you set out for yourself. You will fall back into procrastination mode if your task is too difficult to complete within the time frame you set.

Remind yourself of the benefit of your most important task
If you feel yourself making excuses for why you don’t feel it is necessary to complete your task, remind yourself of the benefit you reap from completing it.

Take a break if you get the urge to procrastinate
If mid-way through your project or task, you feel the urge to procrastinate again, take a break. Reboot, recharge and refocus on the task at hand. Remember your commitment to complete what you start, remember the benefit of doing the task and the feeling of accomplishment when you track your progress and see your “To Do” list get shorter.

The idea is not to overwhelm yourself with the scope of the tasks at hand or the length of the to-do list you have. It’s about identifying the most important priority today, tomorrow and the future and committing to starting it and completing it within the time frame you assign it.

Tell us what techniques you use in combatting procrastination.

About the author

Chanelle Dupre

Chanelle Dupre is a single mother of 2, an accomplished marketing executive, journalist and enterpreneur. She's written for numerous magazines and newspapers on single parenting subjects.

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