Most often procrastination is simply a matter of not knowing how to start. Beating yourself up over not starting is only adding to the frustration so stop. No, really stop. Take a 5 to 15 minute walk, meditate, stretch, do jumping jacks. Anything to clear your mind. Now you might just be ready to tackle a small part of that big bad task in front of you.
Tackle the Ant
Now that your mind is clear let’s tackle the ant. Take 15 minutes. A quarter of an hour. A truly dinky portion of time. Is it an essay? Come up with a title/outline in that 15 minutes. Cleaning the Garage? Gather a few big bags or boxes for the keepers, donations and trash. You get the idea. Then go soak your feet, have some tea.
About that Garage
So you have your boxes all set up ready to go and you went into the garage for that bucket to soak your feet in and you noticed that box of old stuff-n-fluff that you will never use again but someone could really use and you threw it in the donations box. You already started!!! Good for you!!! Now quick grab a pen because while you were soaking your feet you thought of 3 things to include in that essay.
No Such Thing as Perfect
The possibility that your idea of perfect and my idea of perfect could be the same is about as likely as winning the lottery on the same day as getting hit by lightning. So aim for better than you did on the last essay or better than the garage looks now. Ok, so maybe aim for seeing at least half of the garage floor this time. Then make sure you have fresh donation and trash boxes out so it won’t be such a big task next time. Don’t let the idea of not getting it perfect stop you from starting.
Get your environment in the right mood for the task. That garage could use some dance music to get you going but it might be a little too distracting for writing an essay. Adjust the temp to just a smidge cooler than usual and throw a little lemon in the diffuser to help you stay fresh and alert.
There’s an App for That
Really! There are so many of us that procrastinate that there is an app for every possible type of procrastinator. Have a need to be nagged? Try Yelling Mom. My favorite is App Detox. It’s so easy to get distracted by your phone but this helps by temporarily blocking the apps you tell it to block for the period of time you tell it to block them. Go ahead. Try to check Facebook and you will get ‘Dude! You wanted to detox from that’. It even timestamps your violations so you know when you are really weak and maybe you just plan a time out for that block of time.
Make a list – UGH! – Really?
True procrastinators aren’t all that good at making lists and checking them twice. There’s a couple of things to do that might make list creating a little less daunting. Paint a wall. Yup. There is paint for all kinds of things now. Are you a magnet freak? Paint your wall in magnetic paint. When you think of a task write it down and stick a magnet on it. You can even move that magnet around until you have the important tasks on top….ouououououu….aaaaahhhhh! AND….you can paint over it with regular wall paint so no one will know it’s there….. unless it’s covered in magnets. Or paint a whiteboard or chalkboard wall. Write….erase….repeat.
No More Procrastinating
OK, so maybe that went a little far but at least now you have a handle on it. Go tackle the world/task!