It’s been proven that procrastination is bad for our health. (Procrastination: Ten Things to Know from Psychology Today). But it really doesn’t take research for us to know that procrastination isn’t good for us.
William James (American psychologist and philospher, 1842-1910) said:
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
Some Ideas on Procrastination and What We Can Do about It
Piers Steel, Ph.D., in The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done says that we procrastinate because we fear failure, because we don’t value the work, or, especially, because we’re too impulsive.
He has some suggestions, such as:
- Try new and difficult things, which will build your self-confidence.
- Watch inspirational movies.
- Avoid distractions and temptations.
- Give yourself rewards.
- Make specific goals.
- Break down big projects into manageable chunks.
- Find a job you love.
- Get in the habit of not procrastinating.
I’m very fond of Marla Cilley, aka FlyLady as an anti-procrastination motivator. She believes that perfectionism leads to procrastination and has lots of simple ideas that help perfectionists like me; ideas such as:
- Set your priorities.
- Add a good habit a day (babystep) for 31 days to develop good habits.
- Use daily reminders.
- Create daily and weekly routines. (Wednesday is anti-procrastination day, a day for doing something you’ve been putting off.)
- Do certain tasks no matter what (like shining your sink every night – something I actually started doing because of FlyLady and have continued for a number of years).
- Set a timer and do a task for 15 minutes. (“You can do anything for 15 minutes.” – FlyLady)
- Use motivational quotes (like “progress, not perfection,” “good enough is good enough,” or my favorite: “right away is the easy way”).
Here’s a post I published at Living Montessori Now: How FlyLady and Montessori Help Me Keep My House Clean.
I love my 30-day challenges. I’m starting my 3rd challenge. And I’m getting more done! I use a mixture of FlyLady and the 30-day challenge to do a minimum of 15 minutes a day of the task for my monthly challenge.
And there’s a lot to be said for the Nike slogan: Just do it! The feeling of accomplishment from finishing something is much better than any sense of relief from putting something off.
Do you have an anti-procrastination technique that works well for you?