Tips to Stop Procrastinating

Don’t Put Off Today What You Can Put Off
Until the Day After Tomorrow

(Guest Post by Kathryn Hansen)

Did you ever hear that phrase “Don’t put off today what you can put off until the day after tomorrow”? Procrastinating is exhausting!That used to be my motto! Yes, I am human and I tend to avoid doing stressful or negative tasks. 

Stressful or negative tasks are different for everyone and many people choose to put off doing a task rather than  “getting it over with,” as my mother used to say.

For example, if you have a room in your home that stores many sentimental objects or family heirlooms, you may feel undecided about what to do with items in that room. 

This indecision can cause a certain amount of stress and not deciding can make you feel guilty or you may “beat yourself up.”  You may avoid the room and justify that by telling yourself you have other more important issues that need your attention or that you need to do more research on the value of the items before you decide.

In my experience, this avoidance of cleaning out the room can take years.  After a while you forget about it, until some unsuspecting visitor opens the door and you are standing there with your mouth open, appalled at yourself.  Then the guilt and embarrassment starts all over again.  It is a vicious circle and always ends up with you feeling terrible about yourself.

What can we do to avoid this?

First, accept that this is normal behavior and you are not alone! Here are some tips to avoid procrastination and start feeling good about yourself again:

1.   Make a To Do List.  I know, I know, I did that before and I lost the list, right? But this time make the list and post it where you can see it everyday, like on the refrigerator, with a magnet.  Put a start date on the list.  Choose the same time each week, if possible, to put some time into this project.  You may find that you like how it makes you feel to know you got this project started.  Work on it every day or every other day.

2.   Choose a date.  During the week when you have at least ½ to one hour of uninterrupted time to work on it.

3.    Gather your supplies.  What do you need to start, garbage bags? Labeled boxes? Label boxes that denote Garage Sale,  Donate, Auction items, the Dump and give-aways to friends or family members, etc.

4.    Start with the Easy to Do List.  Make the first few items on the list easy to do, so that you can get them done, see some progress in just a few minutes and feel good about it.

5.       Check each completed task as you go and put the list back on your refrigerator so you can see your accomplishments.
Clipboard with Checklist

6.       Choose a reward for yourself once you have completed that ½ to one hour so that you feel motivated to continue. The reward could be a nice cup of coffee or tea or some personal time to read a book.  Anything small that you enjoy doing.

7.       More Rewards.  Once you have completed the entire project, reward yourself with something bigger. A trip to a movie or bookstore.

8.    Make another list for the more difficult tasks and don’t forget to reward yourself for getting it done.

Reward Yourself

Pretty soon you will have the whole room completed and you can savor your BIG Reward! Just think how good you will feel when it’s all done.

dog runningIf you need help with cleaning out, deciding where everything should go and disposing of items, call Moving Forward and they will assist you with all your downsizing, de-Cluttering and disposal needs!

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