Given the results of procrastination – hurried work, mistakes, stress, missed deadlines – it’s a wonder why anyone would put off what can be done right away. And yet who doesn’t let projects slide, especially ones we don’t like doing?
If you find yourself procrastinating on a task, try thinking of it in very specific and concrete terms to encourage you to complete it sooner.
One way of doing this is to break it down into parts. For example, if it is a writing or speaking project, you could list the following steps:
- Make a decision (topic, main points, goal)
- Write an outline
- Get input, do research
- Write a first draft
- Review with others
Breaking a project into steps makes you aware of the time required and will usually spur you to get started.
It’s important to not let your mind wander by trying to analyze why you’re stuck and why you’re putting it off. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety, do your best to ignore these negative and debilitating thoughts. Instead, focus on breaking the project up into small, manageable parts.
More in Part Two Tomorrow…