Here's how you can Overcome Procrastination

ACT AFTER YOU PLAN


* start with a written plan of action to avoid getting distracted
* keep your plan simple and straightforward
* start with the one thing you must get done today to feel productive
* should be a manageable item you can complete in 10-15 minutes
* break the day up into a number of "action sessions" for other tasks
* balance the time spent planning with time spent creating or doing
* avoid over-planning -- another method of procrastination
* before ending your day, spend 10 minutes reviewing your progress
* take time to plan your actions for the next day



BE VISION-DIRECTED


* your tasks should match your values or purpose
* if not, you will find it hard to summon the energy to tackle them
* bring each task into congruence with your basic mission
* if you can't, take it off of your list



BITE-SIZED PIECES


* don't put any "to-do" on your list that takes more than 30 minutes
* if it takes longer, it's actually a series of smaller "to-do's"
* break each step out and list it separately
* you don't have to tackle all the steps of a project in one sitting
* spread a large task out over several work sessions
* you will see greater progress as you check more items off your list
* you will avoid getting bogged down in one large task or project



DECIDE TO SCHEDULE IT


* determine how much you can do or tolerate at a time
* don't push yourself too far or you'll get bored or frustrated
* plan these project "pieces" into your daily activities
* set a "completion point" for accomplishing each small task
* completion points give you an end in sight to look forward to



GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH


* don't try to do everything perfectly
* perfectionism often causes procrastination
* perfectionists would rather put it off than do an incomplete job
* rather than perfection, aim for progress
* any small step toward completion is an accomplishment



JUST DO IT


* do the worst job (or part of the job) first and get it out of the way
* once you tackle the part you are dreading, the rest is a breeze
* stop spending time planning and just jump into doing it
* set a time limit -- "I'll file papers for 5 minutes"
* alternate unpleasant jobs with tasks you enjoy
* delegate out items you can't make yourself do



PLAN AROUND INTERRUPTIONS


* interruptions tend to occur in identifiable patterns
* notice when interruptions occur, by whom, and why
* take steps to prevent those interruptions before they occur
* if they can't be prevented, learn how to delegate to someone else
* if they can't be delegated, learn how to delay until you are finished



REMEMBER TO MAKE IT FUN


* make the project and environment as pleasant as possible
* play music, open a window, have a cold drink, etc.
* give yourself the best tools and work space for the project
* take a few minutes to organize your work space
* a clean desk allows you to focus without visual distraction
* it's only a chore if you think of it as a chore



STAYING MOTIVATED


* find an "accountability partner" to track your progress
* schedule a regular time to check in with a friend or colleague
* rewarding your accomplishments encourages productivity
* give yourself a break, a treat, a nap -- whatever is a reward for you
* reward every step along the way, not just the end result
* the bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the reward


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