Your entire life is a series of projects, personal or professional. It’s human nature to procrastinate, some of us are masters of the art. There are projects we need to tackle, but don’t. What happens when nothing seems to help?
Here are some outta-the-box ways I beat procrastination:
Decide to do SOMETHING toward the project by making changes in your life pattern. These changes (even small ones) can make a difference. Wash your face in hotter or colder water. Put on a different pair of shoes. Use a different pen. Get a fresh notebook and write the name of the project on the cover. CAVEAT: don’t allow these changes to become excuses for additional procrastination.
Admit you are not working on the project and perhaps choose not to, but “if you were”, list the critical path steps that need to happen on the project. Just jot them down. In a row. With little circles and arrows. If you were going to actually do the project, what is the first (or next) step?
Identity and list – but do not judge – your reasons/excuses for not doing the project. How do you feel about each one; are they valid and to whom?
Identify and list – but do not judge – each of your procrastinating behaviors. Here’s a few I use: desk neatening, researching the right equipment, waiting for a resource such as time or money, watching TV, getting fresh coffee, staring into space, having internal conversations, walking the dog and I don’t even have a dog.
Get a cheap timer, one that clicks and dings, such as a kitchen egg-timer. Go to the spot you’ll work on the project, and set the timer for 15 minutes. While it clicks, flood yourself with all the procrastination you possibly can. The second you hear the ding, shut it off and jump into step one of the project.
These ideas focus on one person you can change, and that’s you. What if others bottleneck the project? You’ve done all you can but someone else doesn’t like the project, holds it up for some reason? Take the person to lunch, get coffee with them, but don’t talk about the project. You may want to read that last line again. If they bring it up, schedule a future meeting, but right now you just want to talk about anything else. Try this, you’ll be amazed.
Glad that’s done. Now there’s a project I really need to jump on…but first, I need some fresh coffee. Hey, is that my dog barking?