Real Life. Real Strategies. Real Quick.
Smart Solutions for Working Women.
October 7, 2010
Issue #18

If you procrastinate and don't read this newsletter, you may never....

....figure out how to stop procrastinating!  We're all overworked in some capacity, at times overwhelmed, and certainly overextended.  The combination of the three makes it easy to procrastinate on a wide variety of tasks, which is fine if one of them is alphabetizing your spices.  However, if you are avoiding activities which will have significant consequences if left undone, it's time to develop the skills you need to take action.
  1. Determine why you can't get started.
    Maybe it's because you don't really need to do this task, in which case, take it off your to-do list now.  Or maybe it's because it's too difficult, unpleasant, or will require a lot of your time.  Once you determine "why you can't get it done," you'll be able to devise a strategy for "how to get it done."

  2. Break the task up into small steps.
    Creating multiple steps makes it much easier to get started.  For example, it's daunting to consider organizing your desk, but more manageable to complete the separate tasks of (1) sorting files, (2) discarding outdated publications, and (3) purchasing new bookends.  Also, finishing small steps is motivating and keeps you moving forward.

  3. Set a deadline.
    Many of us work well under pressure, so if you're procrastinating on something which doesn't have a deadline, make one!

  4. Find someone to hold you accountable.
    Sometimes we're really good at follow through, but other times it's helpful to have someone else make sure you do what you said you would.   Case in point: I've been planning to write a book for some time now, and I'm going to ask all of you to hold me accountable.  It would be great if you could check in with me and ask how I'm progressing. How's that for asking to be held accountable??

  5. Schedule just 15 minutes and get started!
    You can do just about anything for 15 minutes.  Set a timer and give yourself permission to stop as soon as those 15 minutes have passed.  You will be amazed by how this one "trick" can get you over the hurdle of beginning a project.  The added bonus is that you will probably be surprised to find that once you get started, the task isn't nearly as unpleasant as you once thought.  You might even find yourself motivated to keep going!

Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars.  Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.


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