Learn how to overcome procrastination and get stuff done!
A woman once told me that she tried so many times to organize spaces in her home, but “didn't have time to do it all” so she quit. She decided that because the reward didn’t outweigh the risk, she would forget the whole thing. Most of us have faced a situation where we believed that a task wasn’t worth pursuing, and everyone can recall a time when they’ve put off completing a task for one reason or another and that is where procrastination enters the picture.
Procrastination happens when we postpone decisions or actions until the last minute. For example, if you need to complete a project or work, but end up wasting time scrolling through Instagram instead even though you know that you should be working – you’ve just procrastinated. According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of "Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done," around 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators. Common reasons for procrastinating are thinking that things will take too long, feeling overwhelmed by the idea of starting a task or not being sure of how to complete a task.
Some solutions for overcoming procrastination are:
1. Visualize. Take a moment to envision how you want to feel once you complete the task that you’re putting off. Hold on to that feeling and strive to get there!
2. Break It Down. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Sometimes if we’re facing an overwhelming task (like organizing your ENTIRE home) we get discouraged and give up before we even start. Instead of thinking about all of the tasks that need to be done to get to the final goal, think about the first 3. Work your way up to the next 5 tasks, then the next 10. Slowly add on more tasks as you accomplish more. By the time you look up, you’ll be halfway through.
3. Pencil It In. Hold yourself accountable for completing your task. If you want to clean out and organize your closet, set a date and time, and stick to it. The same goes for any other space in your house. Chances are that if you make an appointment with yourself to do it, you’ll actually see it through.
4. Get Er’ Done! I’m not sure where I picked that phrase up from, but I’ve used it for so long. The main key to overcoming procrastination is to just DO something! Any step toward the finish line is progress. You don’t have to have a grand show or announce to the world (or your Twitter feed) that you’re finally going to organize your garage, clean out your fridge, or venture into the attic to see what’s been hiding in those boxes you’ve had for years. Just do it and I promise that this one small step will launch you into action.
5. Treat Yo Self. Is anyone else a fan of Parks and Rec? I loved that show and one of the main taglines throughout the seasons was “Treat Yo Self!” Although you probably shouldn’t treat yourself to a shopping spree – especially if you just finished organizing your house – you should reward yourself in some way. This signals your brain that if you accomplish things in a timely manner, you’ll receive a reward, which most likely means that you’ll continue down that path in the future.
Now that you have some tools to overcome procrastination, I hope that you use them to start getting things done! Stay safe Tidy Team 😊