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 Tackling Procrastination
One of the biggest reasons for procrastination is actually dread. Our minds have a way of making a distasteful or difficult task seem more overwhelming than it really is, and that leaves us reluctant to dive in and tackle the job.
Tackling procrastination requires that we recognize this mental struggle and confront it head-on.
Here are some ways to overcome the mental struggle so we can defeat procrastination and move forward.
Tackling Procrastination by Being Realistic
There are two components to being realistic. First, we have to bring the task down to size so it isn’t quite so overwhelming. Then we have to break what’s left (the real picture) down into manageable pieces so we can start tackling the task.
If the task is big, take it in chunks. For instance, 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.
Tackling Procrastination by Rewarding Yourself
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.
There’s also the reality, though, that sometimes we’re just tired and need a little rejuvenation. It’s not shameful or selfish to need to take some time for self care before we dive into a project or task.
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.
Tackling Procrastination by Ditching Perfection
Do you know the difference between excellence and perfection?
While we all want to work with excellence, it can be easy for those of us with highly structured personalities to confuse this excellence with perfection. And 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 one of manageable excellence.
You’re not failing. You’re not compromising. You’re presenting your best work by turning an impossible task into a possible one.
Tackling Procrastination by Finding 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!
Where do you find such a partner? There are a number of options. It’s often surprisingly enjoyable to tackle some of these tasks with our spouses our even our children. But, it can also be a good excuse to get to know another homeschool mom who needs to tackle a similar task.
It might even be that your partner isn’t actually sharing your task with you but is instead tackling procrastination on their own task as they work beside you. It could be that neither one of you needs help with your task, you just need someone to hang out with.
Tackling Procrastination by Minimizing Distractions
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 that makes tackling procrastination a challenge? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out!