Have you ever put off doing something just because you didn’t feel like doing it? That’s basically procrastinating. APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari claimed that 20% of us are chronic procrastinators, and he was a pioneer of modern research on the subject and a professor of psychology at DePaul University. This is the extreme end of the spectrum as the rest of us fall somewhere in the category of situational procrastination, which means we pick and choose the tasks we delay according to the task itself, coupled with the degree of pleasure it provides. Read more about that at www.magicalrealities.co.uk/blogs, because today’s all about…
Crushing the urge to “Do It Later”
Recognize your personal mantra – What do you tell yourself as you delay a task? My personal mantra is “I’ll do it tomorrow”. It’s earned me the nickname Scarlett O’Hara! More on self-talk on my personal blog. (link above)
Stop the ‘have to’ and ‘should be’– Phrases like ‘got to’, have to’, ‘must’, ‘should be’ etc. are self-defeating and only serve to induce feelings of guilt. Stay in the present moment and focus on the task at hand.
Make your tasks party sized – Get specific and structured with your tasks, i.e. My son’s birthday is coming, and instead of writing ‘organize party’, I’ve listed: ‘order cake’, ‘order present’, ‘buy party food’, etc.
Do what you dislike first and reward yourself later – Get the crappy tasks out of the way and out of your mind, leaving the more pleasurable tasks. Self-gratification is like chocolate; we love it, but too much is bad for us. Plan rewards for yourself, and don’t forget to make it fun.
Become accountable – Accountability is a very powerful tool as we often don’t want to let others down, so ask a friend, partner, colleague or even a coaching professional to gently hold you accountable for your actions.
Take action – Gregg Krech, turned taking action into an art form and brings it into a new perspective in his book, ‘The art of taking action’.
Good luck fellow procrastinators, and please comment below.