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Is Procrastination A Problem For You?

Procrastination is defined as the act of putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.  Does this sound like something you do some of the time, or even  frequently?

Whether you tend to put off doing unpleasant tasks from time to time, or do so more often than not, there is a way to tackle procrastination!  The first step in changing this behavior is understanding why it happens.  The most common cause is becoming overwhelmed.  On a regular basis we help people who are overwhelmed by the number of things which need to be accomplished during the day!  We recommend starting each day with a list of what needs to be done.  Secondly, prioritize that list based on the importance of the task.  Determining how much time to allow for each item is next, and lastly, put the tasks on your calendar at the time you are going to do them.  This allocation exercise will help you to determine if you have enough time in the day or too many items on your list!

There is some discipline and control required in keeping a calendar, listing the tasks and following through.  But remember, it ony takes a few weeks to develop a new habit, and once it is a learned behavior, you will not even think twice about going through the process each day.  Should there be interruptions during the day, or too many items, be sure to transfer undone tasks to the list for the next day. 

Find which of the following tips works for you when it comes to unpleasant tasks you usually put off doing...First thing in the morning, tackle the least favorite task on the list and just get it done!  Or, do a few easy tasks first thing in the morning and work up to the least favorite.  Remember not to leave it for too late in the day, or it is unlikely to get done!  Be mindful of the times of day when your are most (and least) productive - assign tasks which are the hardest during your peak times of the day.  Generally, the tasks you put off are never as awful as you worried they would be.  Just do it!!!

Even though January is "Get Organized Month" and it is behind us, it is never too late to become better organized with your time.  We hope these tips will help you to stop putting off those tasks which need to be done in a timely fashion.  So give it a try in February and stop procrastinating!

If you would like to read more on the topic, we recommend Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. 

                         Muffy and JoEllen


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