Firstly, as one of life’s professional procrastinators I feel I am fully qualified to give these tips. It’s a word that is thrown around loosely and sometimes describes when people can’t be bothered to do something or keep turning a very deliberate blind eye to a task that really needs their attention. I feel it can be much more than this. At times it’s actually caused me a fair amount of stress and has in the past made me feel seriously anxious.
Before we come to the tips I want to tell you a little story about a filthy woman called Eliza who has a black tiled kitchen floor. She owns 2 moulting dogs, one of which can’t seem to make it through the night without a toilet accident of any description, 2 messy children and has a ‘shoes on’ policy for her downstairs hard floors. Okay I admit I’m talking about myself. It’s been 9 days since this floor saw a vacuum cleaner, sweeping brush or mop and it’s not something I’m proud of. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m having a bit of a melt down about the sheer gruesomeness of it all knowing full well that it’s only a matter of time before someone catches an exotic disease and has to fight for their life, yet still I can’t make myself clean it.
- The most important of all the tips I feel, although always the most difficult is HAVE A WORD WITH YOURSELF. Sit yourself down and give yourself stern talking to. This might sound silly to some who are less silly than me but if you treat yourself as a close friend you will get more out of yourself ( just try it). Avoiding yourself is actually easier than it sounds so this is definitely the first step.
- Make a list. I once thought I was the biggest freak of all time because of my love of lists. I’m not. It’s more common than you think and it gets the job done, most of the time. If you can have something you can see listing jobs or even the breakdown of your jobs if you’re really getting into it then it’s such a satisfying feeling when you can tick them off once completed. I have even been known to make a list for an existing list. Don’t ask , maybe I am a freak after all. If you also have an unhealthy obsession for stationary this makes it all the more rewarding.
- The thing or usually more accurate , thingS that you are avoiding doing like the plague should be dismembered and broken down into bite size chunks that are not as daunting. This makes them a more attractive proposition to tackle and if you feel like it’s something small that can be completed quickly without hassle then you are more likely to do it and ‘get it out of the way’. For example if you have broken down a particular task into 5 small chunks that don’t make you want to jump out of a window, once you have done these 5 easy steps which make up the whole job you’ve been shelving for months, before you can blink (well almost) it’s done and ready to be ticked off the list.
- This one is important. Whether it’s a huge pat on the back, a chufty dance or a Mexican wave, maybe a box of chocolates or 2 packets of biscuits, we need to celebrate our success. Recognition that we have achieved something will go a long way to helping you do it again. Even if you have another 67 things on your list, you must remember that it used to be 68. Or if you’re me 14568.
If all of these fail then you have to just close your eyes and make a start, even if it’s in the middle and in no order at all.
Instinct will take over. And if that doesn’t work then just remember to be kind to yourself and that no one died. Not as a direct result anyway of you not tidying that sock drawer or cleaning the floor, unless of course you were meant to change someone’s oxygen tank or feed the dog in which case you should probably get going with that.
2 thoughts on “Top tips for beating procrastination ”
Glad to know I’m not the only procrastinator or list maker or the only person to have a shoes on policy!!!
We have an open plan kitchen/dining/living room and after beating myself up for giving up the will to live when thinking about how many hours in total it takes to clean, I decided to break it down into small chunks. Having a tidy and clean kitchen when the dining/living room are shit pits is an accomplishment!!
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An excellent plan. Mine is the same, all open plan so it takes 9 hours to clean.