Most of us have heard the adage penned by Benjamin Franklin: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” In these modern times when everyone carries in their pocket a bright, buzzing portal to a practically infinite number of distractions, not putting things off is harder than ever. Even with your cell phone offering you a thousand chances to procrastinate every day, there are ways you can get into the habit of not waiting until the last minute to complete tasks. Here are a few that have worked for us here at LG Insurance:
- Start small. One reason many of us procrastinate is we get overwhelmed thinking about everything we need to get done. We think we don’t have the time or energy to complete everything on our to-do list, so we just continue to stall. To get out of this cycle, try committing to completing just one task in a set period of time. Momentum and a sense of accomplishment will help you push yourself.
- Make a task list. Related to the above tip, keeping a task list will help you stay on track and not feel overwhelmed. Split everything you have to do into bite-sized chunks, and take things one by one. Thinking about how good it will feel to cross something off your list can also be a good motivator.
- Track your time. Spending three hours watching Netflix or videos on Youtube can seem like not that big of a deal in the moment, but once you’re keeping track of your daily activities, you’ll start to see how much time you’re truly wasting with procrastination.
- Make yourself accountable. You can do this with a friend or on your own. If you tell a friend or post on social media that you’re going to finish that project, it’s harder to keep procrastinating on it. Having documentation of your commitment to accomplishing a goal will help you stick with it.
- Give yourself a change of scenery. If you have trouble focusing at home, try going to a library, café or park. Part of forming habits is associating certain places with certain behaviors. To help form better habits of time management, try to spend some time away from the places where you normally procrastinate.
- Reward yourself. When you accomplish something immediately rather than putting it off, reward yourself. A little positive reinforcement never hurts!
- Forgive yourself. Nearly everyone procrastinates sometimes. Most people don’t procrastinate because they’re lazy; they do it because they’re overwhelmed with too much on their plate, or they’re afraid of unpleasant feelings that engaging in some tasks can bring up. Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for past failings. Just try to do better in the future!
Your friends at LG Insurance hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful and that you don’t let procrastination stand in the way of accomplishing your goals!