How to stop procrastinating?

procrastinator

Christmas is around the corner, and the month of January will follow quicker than we think. Not that I believe in New Year good resolutions! Becoming a better person is certainly a work in progress, all year round. I thought I was improving because I was finally able to arrive on time at work, by waking up at 4.30 am. Which is a big achievement for me who really need my ten hours sleep!

But with the crazy traffic situation, we experienced for some time in Lagos, I had to take drastic measures! I thought I was on the right path also because, since September, I was getting most of my work done without postponing it, as I used to. So I was quite happy with myself.

But here I am again, lagging behind in my work, hence the need to ask this recurring question once more: how to stop procrastinating? I don’t think there is a common answer that will fit everybody. What works for me will not necessarily work for someone else.

As far as I am concerned, the best way to motivate myself to get to work is to remind myself of the following quote by Maya Angelou: ‘There is nothing to it but to do it.” Everybody has already experienced that: once you start, the difficulty will just disappear and you will keep wondering what was holding you back.

If that quote doesn’t work, I will scold myself for letting myself down, because I strongly believe that, in many cases, procrastination is linked with low self-esteem. It is like you don’t believe that you are good enough to do the work at hand, so you try to avoid it. Let’s face it, everybody procrastinates, but successful people less than others. By successful people, I don’t mean people with money, but people that actually add value to others’ lives

What also helps to overcome procrastination is to have set goals you want to achieve, in a precise time frame. I have noticed this trait in people around me. The ones that set targets for themselves are more likely to procrastinate less.

Life is a good teacher and you can certainly rely on your instinct, but I am also a firm believer in tips. I have been married for more than 26 years now, I have raised two daughters and I got many advice along the way, from real people of course, but also from all the books I have read about relationships or raising children. Some advice are good, some are just fake. You have to use your common sense to know which one is good for you.

That is how I came across an article written by Dale Partridge, entitled “How To Become A Morning Person & Love It” that I want to share with you here:

 

Night-Before-1

PLAN AHEAD: I am actually very good at this. You won’t believe it, but I have my outfits planned beforehand for the whole week, and organized in my wardrobe according to days of the week. However, That doesn’t prevent me for needing a full hour to get ready in the morning!

WAKE UP TIME: What is all this craziness, we are hearing lately, about successful people needing only 4 to 6 hours of sleep? I beg, I really need my ten hours straight! which I can’t have because I am a night person and I am really struggling to go to bed early enough to get up at 4.30 am!

 

No-Wire-2

TURN OFF ELECTRONIC DEVICES: The last thing I do before going to bed is check if there is no last message, email, missed call…. I am completely dependent!

 

After-Wake_up-3

Email-Move-5

WORK ON THAT PASSION PROJECT: When I am able to publish a new post, it certainly gives me more energy to tackle my other tasks.

 

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GET FOCUSED: This is actually a great motivator – Asking yourself : “How can I add value today? What can I make better? What am I grateful for today?”

DON’T SKIP YOUR WORKOUT: Sorry, but I don’t like exercising. I tried the treadmill, it is really boring, even while listening to music. The only thing I enjoy, is walking. I live in a safe but rather popular neighborhood and I tried it, but it is like everybody is seated outside, staring at you as you are passing by, and it is not pleasant! Oh, and I like swimming also, except for the hair situation! However, I know that moving is essential and I miss the stamina that comes with working out!

DON’T WATCH TELEVISION: This, I think, is the greatest advice of them all. Television is just a killer of energy.

 

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First-Things-8

DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT : I was not doing this one right at all! I was thinking that it was easier to get rid of the less important things first in order not to loose too much time, but I can see now that it was a way to avoid facing the important task (see above what I said earlier on low self-esteem).

 

No-Busy_Work-9

DON’T DO BUSY WORK: is that cup of tea so urgent that you can’t start your work right away? From now on, I will rather tackle the essential work head-on!

You can read the complete article of Dale Partridge, entitled “How To Become A Morning Person & Love It” here.


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