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Why Wait? 5 Tips to End Procrastination

end procrastination

Some planner personalities love to plan. Laying out a schedule is energizing. Organizing is fun. Checklists are a delight. But when it comes down to putting everything into action? That's not nearly as fun! It can be tough to spur ourselves to end procrastination and actually get the job done.

Whether it’s an overall tendency to create a plan and never get around to implementing it or a struggle with putting off specific tasks because they’re overwhelming or distasteful, procrastination can be a huge detriment to your success as a homeschool mom. Life just seems to always fly by you, and your carefully laid plans and dreams of an organized life keep you from really getting things done.

Five Tips to End Procrastination and Get Things Done

Like with many other aspects of planning and scheduling, intentionality is the secret to not getting stalled out in our tasks. At some point, we have to push ourselves to stop perfecting the planning process, end procrastination, and actually dive into the task at hand.

If you are ready to learn how to end procrastination, move from the planning stage to the implementation stage, and stay focused to accomplish more, here are some tips to help you progress from a well-laid plan to completed tasks.

End Procrastination by Writing It Down

Yes, I know that one of the biggest ways planners procrastinate is by staying in the planning stage. And, in order to end procrastination, we have to move on from planning to doing. But that doesn’t mean we have to stop making lists. In fact, checklists and to-do lists continue to be important anytime we are trying to tackle a task.

Often, though, in order to move into the tackling stage of planning, we neglect to write down those lists and instead try to just keep everything in our heads. Ouch!

When you keep a list in your head, you’re going to forget something. It’s just the nature of being a mom. And when you forget, you procrastinate.

When you take the time to turn your plan and goals into a practical, written checklist, you’re more likely to end procrastination once and for all so you can effectively accomplish your tasks. (And it can be really fun to check off each task!)

End Procrastination by Prioritizing Wisely

Maybe you already love those checklists and write everything down, but you find it too easy to jump on the tasks you enjoy and push the distasteful or overwhelming tasks to the bottom of the list. That’s a recipe for procrastination if I’ve ever seen one!

This is where prioritization comes in handy.

Number the tasks on your list in order of need. If the majority of the “need” tasks are at the top of the priority list, mix in a fun task every now and then. But take active steps to end procrastination by staying focused on the priorities.

End Procrastination by Taking Small Steps

Sometimes we procrastinate because a task is too large or overwhelming. We planned well for it, but maybe each step of that plan is just too big to process or feels to overwhelming to tackle.

If a task is overwhelming, take a step back and break it down. Now, be careful here. If you prefer planning over tackling, the temptation will be to go back to the drawing board and redo the plan. That will NOT help you end procrastination and get down to business. 

Instead of returning to the planning stage, choose one of the following two ways to break down an overwhelming task:

  1. Set a timer and focus on the task for 15 minutes. Do as much as you can in that time, then stop and move on to something less overwhelming. Come back later and do another 15 minutes until the task is done. Yes, you’ll have to leave things undone temporarily, but actually getting started could be all the motivation you need to end procrastination and get the job done.
  2. Quickly create a small checklist that breaks the large task into a set of smaller tasks that will take 10-20 minutes each. Think of this as your organization step (remember the SPOT method?) rather than as a continuation of the planning stage. It’s just you getting your ducks in a row so you can end procrastination and dive in. As soon as you have a smaller task outlined in your checklist, jump in and tackle it!

End Procrastination by Rewarding Yourself

When you accomplish something you’ve been procrastinating on, that’s worthy of a reward! Your reward can be as simple as getting to complete a task from your list that’s enjoyable, or you can choose to savor a piece of chocolate, read a chapter in your book, or enjoy some other quick break activity.

Before you dive in, pick a reward that energizes you. Then set specific break times, either by setting a timer or noting that you can take a break when you complete specific tasks. Let that be what spurs you to end procrastination and dive in, knowing that the reward is waiting for you. 

Try Again

When you fail (I don’t mean to discourage you, but you will fail now and then!), get back up and try again. It’s that simple.

You will procrastinate. It’s just reality. But tomorrow is always fresh. Get back up with a new focus and work down that priority list. You can do it!

Are you prone to procrastination? What other traits show up with your planner personality? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out!

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.