Do you ever procrastinate? What goes through your mind as you continue to put off a task? More than likely, it’s either a distasteful task that you just don’t want to do or it’s a task that feels completely overwhelming and nearly impossible to tackle.
Occasional procrastination happens for a variety of reasons. When we feel run-down and exhausted or when one of our children needs some extra TLC, what feels like procrastination is really just prioritization, and it’s a good thing. But if your personality lends itself toward procrastination such that it becomes a regular occurrence, it’s probably time to make some very intentional changes.
Tips for Overcoming Procrastination
Our minds have a way of making a distasteful or difficult task seem more overwhelming than it really is. Here are some ways to overcome the mental struggle.
For example, if the task is big, take it in chunks. If you’re faced with a job that will take a steady three days, don’t try to rush and complete it in one or two. Instead, give yourself some breathing room and allow a week.
A realistic mindset also helps when a task seems very distasteful. We often increase that distaste by rehashing all of the ways the task is horrible. Instead, focus on the idea of a job well done to help you balance the negative with positive.
Sometimes we all need a little carrot dangled in front of us to spur us on. For big tasks, you might need little rewards scattered throughout. Smaller tasks can benefit from the delayed gratification of knowing that a treat is waiting at the end. What motivates you? The chance to play a game with the family or work a puzzle? A nice, long bath? An episode from your favorite TV show? Whatever the case, choose a reward, then dive in and work toward your goal.
While we all want to work with excellence, sometimes our inability to reach perfection can cause us to freeze up and never accomplish anything at all. If your personality lends itself toward this, rework the end goal to be more manageable. You’re not failing. You’re not compromising. You’re presenting your best work by turning an impossible task into a possible one.
Find a partner.
Sometimes the struggle is simply not wanting to work alone. So, find someone to work with you. Not only will a partner cut down the time it takes to complete the task, it will also hold you accountable. And the fellowship time is a wonderful side benefit!
Kids, smart phones, doorbells, and more can cause huge distractions. Find a time when your spouse can take the kids or you can trade off play time with another mom, silence the phone, and put a “do not disturb” sign on the door. In other words, actively do whatever you can to minimize the distractions that will keep you from completing the task in a timely fashion.
Does your personality lend itself toward distraction? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out!