9 10 11 months since I posted my first article on The Martini Chronicles. Since that time, I feel like you and I have become acquainted enough with each other for me to disclose my many issues. Get ready for another one! Ready? I am a serial procrastinator….there, I said it! Sad but true. I procrastinate more that I probably should as a professional. Case and point….I’ve been writing this post for the last 3 months…please judge me!
I don’t know when and where I was when I discovered that I suffered from serial procrastination. What I do know is that this affliction has plagued me for most of my adult life. I would wait until the last minute to write my college term papers. I would put off briefing cases in law school until just before class. I even wait until the “1 Day” reminder pops up in my Outlook calendar before I start working on certain assignments at work. Procrastination at its finest!
Seriously, procrastination is a horrible character trait to possess as a professional, even if you’re good at it like me. I recognize that I possess this flaw, and I have actively sought out ways to combat this awful habit. Some things have work…some things have not. Now, I know I’m not the only Diva who suffers from serial procrastination, so in the spirit of sharing, here are a few tips that may help you (and me) combat this problem.
Set Clear Deadlines – And this deadline should not be the day a particular project is due. Set a personal deadline that is a few days earlier than the actual due date. This pretty much guarantees that you will complete your task well ahead of when you need it.
Complete Simple Tasks Immediately – It’s so easy to let the simple tasks wait until the last minute. After all, they won't take very long to complete because they're simple, right? Just force yourself to complete them immediately…just do it…
Utilize To-Do Lists – This trick only works if you are the type of person that receive immediate gratification and elation when you cross something off your list…I am this person, so it works for me!
Enlist a Bossy Friend – You know the friend I’m talking about. The one who
bugs motivates you to do the things you need to do, and fusses at you when you don’t. That one friend who won’t let you slack off. Tell that friend about your task and its accompanying deadline. Tell him/her to make sure your complete this task ahead of the due date…by any means necessary.
Stop Making Easy Tasks Complicated – I’m really good at this one. I take the simplest task and turn it into something insurmountable. I’ve realized that this is a serial procrastinator’s excuse to continue procrastinating. Stop doing this, and you’ll find it easier to complete tasks immediately. It’s worth a try!
So these are the things that I have to train myself to do to avoid this procrastination issue I have. Do you suffer from procrastination? What tricks have helped you combat procrastination? I really need to know!