Tuesday, 19 May 2015

How to make procrastination work for you

It's no secret I procrastinate. I think most people do, to varying degrees. But I've made an art of it, losing hours to the rabbit warren of pinterest (and social media) and all she has to offer.
But recently, procrastination has kicked my butt, and cost me more than I thought it would. So I had to figure out how to beat procrastination. These four steps are how I cut free of procrastination's hold.

First, let me be clear, I still procrastinate. I still haven't mastered procrastination, and I'm not sure I ever will, but with these four steps, I'm getting better and getting through my days with things finished.

Step One - Set a Time Limit

Whenever I feel the urge to start procrastinating, I give myself an hour to just go with it. My goal is to get down to half an hour by the end of the year, but I've only been trying these tricks for a few weeks, so I'm not there yet. At the end of the hour, I know that I need to do whatever it is that I'm avoiding, so I get stuck in to the procrastinating quickly.

Step Two - Do Something Productive

I know it seems kind of counter-intuitive, but hear me out. My house is slowly getting deep-cleaned at the moment, because I've found that doing tasks I don't enjoy means I get over the procrastination pretty quickly. I enjoy scrolling through pinterest, so I've told myself I need to not pin but do something when I need to procrastinate. The house gets cleaned, and I can procrastinate, feels like a win-win to me.

Step Three - Make Notes of the Inspiration

I found that as I was going about the boring repetitive jobs I'd set my self that my mind was free to wander. In the time it took me to clean my desk, I came up with 4 blog post ideas, and while I was cleaning the grill, I planned the week's shopping list. Having a piece of paper handy (or whiteboard marker in the kitchen) makes capturing those ideas easy, and before you know it, you'll have the shopping sorted for the month, and an editorial calendar planned.

Step Four - Eat The Frog

Sometimes, when I've reached the end of my procrastination time limit, I find that the urge hasn't passed yet, and I still want to keep going. The only way to get around that feeling is to just sit down and start. Then I find that just by starting, everything is ok, and I don't really need to keep procrastinating.

Paying attention to these four tips has made my day a bit more structured, and I feel like I've achieved something at the end of the day.

If you try these tips, let me know how they work for you!

Linking up with Essentially Jess

29 comments:

  1. I need to read this at the moment - I'm a little unfocused on the money making side at the moment.

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    1. I'm unfocused in general, I need to follow my own advice in all areas of my life!

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  2. I think eating that frog is sooo key! I need to get much better at that! Then even if you do procrastinate afterwards, at least you've got the froggiest thing out of the way and can feel good about it! :)

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    1. I'm getting better at eating the frog, slowly, slowly

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  3. Its funny cos I can spend ages searching organisation ideas on pinterest rather than actually organising my clutter. And I laugh at how many hours I used to spend playing sims and cleaning the house in the game instead of actually cleaning mine.

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    1. I don't need pinterest to avoid cleaning!

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  4. I have to admit, I get most of my 'creative' ideas when I'm lying down. If I try to have a rest during the day inspiration strikes and I HAVE to get up to record it!

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    1. you need a notepad and pen beside you, that way you don't have to sit up!

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  5. I was actually procrastinating about writing a blog post about procrastination last night. True story.

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    1. I didn't procrastinate over this one, I just HAD to write it.

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  6. I've actually had to schedule social media free days and weekends. Sometimes I just need to disconnect to reconnect. I also find it helps with the creative side of things as well.

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    1. We're going camping in a couple of weeks, so excited to switch off!

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  7. I'm so good at procrastinating! I find if I write things down that I need to get done it helps I use my planner for a week at a time then ignore it for weeks. Something to work on.

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    1. I do the same to my planner, it must feel so unloved!

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  8. I am very good at procrastinating, but usually it is because I am so tired after work that the thought of having to tackle anything that needs a clear head just does not do it for me, so I get sucked into that social media/pretty picture world instead. xx N

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    1. Yep, I've found evenings are worst for procrastination, so I changed my routine again.

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  9. I think I need to try th time limit thing. Also purposeful procrastination totally works. Going to start having a list handy of things I need to do at home and if i want to do a mindless procrastination maybe I have to do a practical one first.

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    1. Who would have thought procrastination could be purposeful?! It's working so far, hope it works for you.

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  10. Bah - the internet ate my comment :/ Here is the short version -

    For me, I'm better to just get stuck in and do it then reward myself after. If I gave myself an hour I'd come up with more reasons (aka excuses) not not do it.

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  11. Procrastination is never something I've really struggled with. I always feel like I have something I want to do, so my time is precious.
    I have many other weaknesses though. :)

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  12. I'm usually an eat the frog kind of gal, but social media sucks me into the abyss. I think especially when you are a blogger, it's easy to fall into the trap of blog hopping and commenting on FB pages.

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  13. Such a good plan! I'm going to try this. I'm usually pretty good, but if procrastination is taking over I love the idea of doing something useful and letting the brain wander. The best way to come up with ideas!

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  14. I procrastinate but I use to be worse. Setting myself a timetable for the day has helped. eg breakfast until 8, tidy house get kids to school, walk, work on posts then stop for lunch and browse internet (my reward for working all morning).

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  15. I use a timer when I know I'm procrastinating, particularly when I need to get in an exercise session, and I stop whatever I'm doing & eat the frog when the timer goes off!

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  16. That's a brilliant title! I liked tip 3 especially.

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  17. I am a master procrastinator as well. I really do try to set a time limit and am always mad at myself when I am up til midnight trying to finish something at the last minute. I am going to try to live by your guidelines for a while and see if it helps.

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  18. Procrastination is a real problem for me - but I find if I can just make myself get started, I'm usually good to see things through to the end. Thanks for the tips!

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I love reading comments from you. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. xox

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