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Sam Dobson Writes: Overcoming Procrastination

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Overcoming Procrastination

What's that old saying? You are your own worst enemy. This couldn't ring more true in my case when it comes to getting shit done. I have procrastination in my blood, always have. It's a miracle I graduated college, really. When Blake and I first started dating, he would be utterly dumbfounded when he'd find me typing away and explaining that I had a paper due in a couple of hours. Days later I'd report my grade of at least a B with a shrug of my shoulders. That's how I rolled. Not because I didn't think I needed more time or because I thought my work was perfect as is, simply because I was (and still am) a habitual procrastinator.

It wasn't just school. I procrastinate in almost all aspects of life. I often wait to the last minute to pay bills or complete chores that have to be done by a certain date. Anything with a deadline becomes a last minute thing. I'll have a month or two until something has to be completed and I will find myself stressing the week before (or worse, days before) to get it done. I don't want to say that this hinders my ability to produce quality work, it just causes unnecessary stress in my life.

When I really start to get lazy and let procrastination temporarily take over my life, I often find myself thinking "what would happen if I really applied myself?". I have so many ideas and aspirations yet I never have time to execute any them, scratch that. I never give myself time to execute them. The couch gets comfortable, the hubby gets lovey, the wine keeps flowing, the distractions and excuses are endless. When I found myself crunching hard yet again under a deadline that "crept up" on me, I thought it might be high time for a change. So I did what I always do, turned to the internet for help.

Tips For Overcoming Procrastination

1. Make Daily To-Do Lists

If you don't already make To-Do lists, get in the habit of doing so. To make the habit stick, make one every day. Have only an errand or two to do one day? Make a list anyways, it will strengthen the habit so that one day it becomes second nature. I make my To-Do lists in the morning and keep it handy all day so that I am frequently reminded of what I aspire to accomplish that day. Out of sight, out of mind is a weakness of mine. Keeping my To-Do list up front and personal all day, will ensure that I don't ignore my daily goals. If you are glued to your phone, download a To-Do app. 

2. Eliminate Distractions

What's your productivity kryptonite? Can't get enough reality TV? Funny Youtube videos keep you laughing all day long? Is social media your constant distraction? Eliminate those distractions that kill your productivity. 
One of my biggest distractions is Pinterest.com...just sucks me in. 

3. Reward Yourself

Any time you are attempting to reach a goal that takes work or motivation, setting a reward is a viable tool. If I write five blog posts this week, I will reward myself with a mani/pedi. If I work out every day this week, I will treat myself with frozen yogurt, or something like that. You get the idea. Make the reward something small that is actually do-able, something you don't normally get or do.  

4. Don't Set Yourself Up For Failure

Setting your goals for the day, week, or month is important for productivity and to keep yourself moving forward. With that being said, setting those goals too high can be damaging to confidence. If you set yourself up for failure, not only will you find yourself behind on the goals you set, your determination could also take a hit. Set goals that are manageable, ones that you can realistically achieve. 

5. Share Your Goals With Friends & Family

Making your goals public knowledge can help motivate you to get things done. For me that could mean announcing on my blog that I intend to finish something by a certain date. Tell your coworker your sale goal for the day or share your weight loss goal with a challenge group. Sharing your goals with others will help keep you accountable.

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