There was a time that I was the queen of ‘I’ll do it later’. There was always something I was ‘getting round to’, and it either got done at the very last minute with plenty of stress, or it just never got done. That needed to change, and I ended up implementing a few different things, which all came together to make me stop procrastinating!
Daily To Do
I write a to do list every morning. Everything from ‘go to work’ to ‘have a shower’ gets put on there, and usually it all gets done. There’s a little dopamine rush that comes with ticking something off, and there’s no risk that I’m going to forget something I need to get done.
To do lists are my absolute holy grail. I don’t forget nearly as much as I used to, I can go back and see which day I got what thing done, it holds me responsible, and there’s a moment at the end of each day where I tick off my final thing, and know I’m good to relax.
The Count Down
Okay, I need to get off the couch and sort the laundry. It’s hard, isn’t it?! It’s so much easier to sit there and just not do it. When I realise it’s been 20 minutes since I decided to do that thing, I don’t let it get any further. I take a breath, count down from 5,and when I get to 1, I get up and do it. It sounds silly, but I’ve found it to really work!
Relax, and Figure it Out.
Finally, why do you procrastinate? For me, it’s usually either as simple as I can’t be bothered, or because I’m anxious. Say I need to write something, what if its not good enough? What if I’m a bad writer? It’s better to just not do it, than do it and be bad at it.
Knowing the reason you’re putting things off is the first step to being able to fix it. Why can I not be bothered? If its because I’m tired, maybe I should have a nap first and then do it. If it’s because I’m anxious, maybe I need to do a short meditation and then get started.
Be careful, because this can definitely turn into further procrastination, but sometimes, you really do just need to do something else first!