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Tips and Tricks on How to Break Down Procrastination Habits

Tips and Tricks on How to Break Down Procrastination Habits

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How to Stop Procrastinating

Prune your to-do list of the non-essential items you know you’ll never do.

For that must-do task you’ve been putting off, just do it – ideally, the first thing in the morning. This frees your mental energy – often, not-doing something drains you more than doing it.

Identify a part of the disliked task that’s fairly pleasant – such as calling a colleague for information – and do that first, to get your feet wet. Or make a list of the various steps involved.

Schedule chunks of time to tackle work that requires concentration. Actually make an appointment with yourself. Let voice mail pick up your calls. You’ll make a lot of headway in a short time.

If the task is really objectionable, promise yourself you’ll tackle it just for 10 minutes, then if it’s killing you, you can stop. You may find it’s not so bad and can easily keep going until finished..

If you want to avoid being distracted by email or the internet, put your computer behind you. You’ll have to swivel around in your chair to check your email for the umpteenth time, or to Google something you’re only mildly curious about. Going to the computer will now be a conscious decision.

Avoid the temptation to shift from one half-finished task to another. This task-hopping is a form of stealth procrastination that many of us do without knowing it.

Some of the best procrastination advice is from Alan Lakein – pre-tech era, but still excellent.

By Guest Author Natalie Gahrmann and reprinted with permission from Jan Jasper. (c) Jan Jasper 2009. Jan Jasper is author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, and Technology, published by St. Martin’s Press.

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