Las Vegas charter school shares tips for overcoming procrastination at home and in school. These tips are easy in theory, but without motivation and personal responsibility to commit, they may fall short of positive results. Many times procrastination is analyzed as a character trait of being darn right lazy, which is not always the case. Conversely, those that we perceive as active go-getters are not always as proactive as we think either and could use some tips on overcoming their inability to get started on a project or task. Here are three tips for overcoming procrastination and will also help those high achieving posers including:
1. Write it down: At the end of every day, take 10 – 15 minutes to reflect and on a 3 X 5 index card, “write down/cross out” things that you were able to accomplish during the day and generate a list of 10 things that you need to accomplish the next day. Star the top three things that you need to finish and begin working on starting the next day. For items that are due more than one or two weeks away, place these on a task list with your mobile device or email service. Continue this process indefinitely, marking off items as you finish them and writing down a new list of items on a clean index card at the end of each day.
2. Start a progression routine: Seriously, do the things that you are thinking about procrastinating on NOW and develop a routine of checking them off and getting them done. Really, just GET THEM DONE…stop thinking and start doing. Perhaps you are dreading the work on an excel spreadsheet or writing a report. It is strongly suggested that you generate a routine that has you working on that exact project at exactly the same time EVERYDAY until it is complete. For example, section off two hours of time between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM over the next two weeks and follow the routine below:
• DAYS 01 to 03 – exercise/snack and work for 30 minutes from 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM;
• DAYS 04 to 06 – exercise/snack and work for 60 minutes from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM;
• DAYS 07 to 09 – exercise/snack and work for 90 minutes from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM;
• DAYS 10 to 14 – exercise/snack and work for 120 minutes from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This type of progression routine will get you thinking between sessions on what resources are needed to complete the project. NOTE: This is a great activity to call in a family member, trusted friend, or co-worker to call you around 9:45 AM EACH DAY to make sure that you are working on the project.
3. Reward yourself: Find two days of the week that you will reward yourself for completing your list of items. It is HIGHLY recommended that you involve that family member, trusted friend, or co-worker in your reward system. It is easier to let yourself down, but doubly, if not more difficult to let someone else down. Case in point, if you are completing chores around the house and you want to reward yourself by going to the movies, then you may just blow off the chores because this week the movie wasn’t that good or important to you. However, if you had plans to see your friend at the movie then you may be tempted to push aside procrastination and take a more proactive approach to getting things done. Some recommended days for doing things are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and below are some suggested rewards:
• Movie, concert, show, sporting event;
• Dinner, dessert, shopping;
• Park, video game, social media
Procrastination does not always equate to laziness; however, it may not bode well for successful habits in the professional world which is largely built on deadlines, due dates, and deliverables. The tips shared here will help overcome procrastination and ultimately have a lasting effect one’s personal responsibility over the course of days, months, and years to come.