Hello. I’m Britni Danielle and I’m a procrastinator (*hangs head in shame*).
And according a very unscientific poll I conducted on Facebook, I’m not alone.
As a matter of fact, about 20-percent of people identify themselves as procrastinators, and another 20-percent probably waited so long to reply to the survey they were unaccounted for.
But if I had to choose my main, and potentially most problematic, character flaw it would be procrastination.
How bad is it?
Well, I’ve been honing my skills for years. In middle school I’d wait until about a half an hour before my bedtime to start my homework, and in high school and college, essays remained unwritten until the last possible moment I could finish them and still sneak in two hours of sleep.
Grad school was much of the same (except I chose nights out instead of watching TV), and today, now that I’m a full-time writer who has to stick to stiff deadlines (and I meet them); I still wait until the last possible moment to get things done.
So what gives?
While I HATE the lengths I have to go through to get things done, clearly I’m getting some benefit from procrastinating, because otherwise I wouldn’t continue to do it. But honestly, it’s something I’d like to finally shake.
Because Google has the answer for everything, I searched for “how to beat procrastination” and an article from Psychology Today popped up. It said to finally slay your procrastination demon you can employ 8 simple steps (yes, EIGHT):
1. Make a list of everything you have to do.
2. Write a statement of intention.
3. Set realistic goals.
4. Break it down into specific tasks.
5. Make your task meaningful.
6. Promise yourself a reward.
7. Eliminate tasks you never plan to do. Be honest!
8. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task. Then increase the amount by 100%.
Although they seem like reasonable tips, by the time I finished reading them, I knew it was just too many steps for chronic procrastinators like me. I mean, if I have to go through each of these steps to get myswlf to complete a task on time…it’s not happening.
So what’s an easy way to finally kick your procrastination habit?
Pick one thing and just start.
Yup, that’s it.
(Agree? Click to tweet this: “Beating procrastination is easy, but you’d rather make it hard.” – @BritniDWrites)
The fastest and easiest way to overcome your procrastination addiction is just getting started.
If you’re like me, you already know what you have to do; you don’t need a list to sort it out. So instead of wasting time prioritizing each task by how long it will take you complete it (or how much you dislike doing it), just pick one (probably the one due the soonest), and get started.
Once you master that you can get all fancy and assign levels of importance, plan out a schedule, and figure out what tasks you need to do now verses later, but until you build up your anti-procrastination mojo, researching and planning is your enemy.
I can’t tell you HOW many times I’ve written out lists complete with how many minutes (or hours) each task will take only to be so completely DONE with that whole process, the list was the only thing that got completed.
So if you’re trying to break your procrastination habit take it one day and one task at a time and JUST DO IT. NOW.
Are you a chronic procrastinator or a recovering procrastinator? How are you dealing with it? Please leave a comment about how procrastination has affected you.
*Want to join a fantastic group of recovering procrastinators & go-getters? Join us over in the #GOALdiggers Facebook group!