Friday, November 5, 2010

10 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

When a person is bored or uninterested, certain tasks and projects can seem like torture! This feeling usually leads to procrastination, and procrastination often leads to guilt. Here are some practical ways to avoid these situations and overcome procrastination:

1. Recharge Daily
Be sure to get enough sleep and rest each day so that you have the necessary energy you need to accomplish your tasks.

2. Get a Friend Involved
It's harder to procrastinate when another person is involved. If you have a task you aren't looking forward to, invite a friend over to help you out. If you have errands to run, find a buddy who you can run errands with.

3. Reward Yourself
You're much more likely to complete that boring task if there is a dinner out or a new CD waiting for you when (and only when) the task is complete.

4. Do Things in Pieces
Procrastination often comes from feelings of overwhelm. Break tasks, even small ones, into steps so that they are manageable and provide you with a sense of direction.

5. Use Music
Turn on some fun and upbeat music and let it pump you up! 80s music and show tunes are often great pick-me-ups that will give you needed energy to tackle your tasks.

6. Don't Be Afraid to do 2 Things at Once
Don't be afraid to balance routine or monotonous tasks with something that is more likely to hold your interest. You can pay bills while you watch TV, or talk on the phone while cleaning up the house.

7. Delegate
Do you find yourself procrastinating on chores at home like cleaning and laundry? Or maybe paperwork at the office? Delegate them! Kids, cleaning people, laundry services, administrative assistants and more are all available to take some of those boring tasks off your list and free up your time for the stuff you'd rather be doing.

8. Prioritize
Perhaps you're procrastinating on a task because it's really not that important. Maybe you'd love to re-organize your book shelves, but never get around to it. If it sounds like a good idea but in the end it's really not that important to you, don't let it hang over your head.

9. Get in Touch with the End Result
Before you begin a task or project that has high procrastination potential, get in touch with the outcome. When the task is finished, what will that mean to you? What will be better in life as a result?

10. Just Do It!!
Don't think about it too much, just jump in and get it done!

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Train Hard!

Adam Freeman
Master Personal Trainer


Brennan Smith said...

This is great stuff, Adam.

Your "get a friend involved" and "reward yourself" tips reminded me of the book "Carrots & Sticks" by Ian Ayres (same guy who teamed up to create, which is a place where people commit to what they want to accomplish, and then choose a mentor / friend to help them stick to their word . . . good stuff).

A reminder to your readers that you can't really do #8 (prioritize) unless you know what needs to be done. The most useful way to be really clear on the big picture of what needs to be done is to write it all down.

Then, you can choose your Daily Top 6 items from that Master Action List, and knock them out (while listening to great music . . . show tunes Adam? really? love it) and then reward yourself later.

Thanks again for a great post!

Sandy Cooper said...

As a recovering procrastinator, one thing that works for me is my "Five minutes or Five Things" mantra. With tasks I hate, I set a timer and tell myself, I will only do it for five minutes. I can do anything for five minutes. Or I will only do five of these (thank you notes, pieces of mail in the huge pile of papers, dishes, etc).

I find that I often go longer than my five minutes. Or the task doesn't seem so scary once I've made a dent in it.



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