Time, or a lack of it, is one of the most common reasons people give for not being able to get “everything” done. While time can be an issue, procrastination is another big reason projects are left unfinished. Even if you don’t think you procrastinate, you probably do. Here are a few tips to tackle your projects and reach your goals.
Recognize procrastination when it occurs. It is said that the first step to solving a problem is to realize you have one. You may be busy, running on the workload treadmill and don’t feel you’re procrastinating. But everything you choose do to is based on priorities you set. The question is, are some tasks getting done when others should be done? It’s not uncommon to stick to tasks you enjoy or feel confident in doing, while putting off other more difficult tasks with the excuse that you just don’t have time to get to them.
Identify what’s keeping you doing what you need to do? If you’re resisting a project, ask yourself why. Is it boring or tedious? Are you unsure how to do it? Does it feel daunting? Second to admitting you procrastinate, is determining what the issue is around the problem so you can address it.
Give yourself an incentive. Treat yourself when you complete tasks and give yourself a bigger reward when the project is finished.
Consider the negatives to not getting the tasks done. If you ever put off writing a term paper until the last day, you know the stress that kind of pressure creates. Other negatives to procrastination include missing opportunities or penalties, such as if you don’t do your taxes on time.
Set a deadline. If a project has no set time for completion, you can put it off forever. Assigning a deadline puts your feet to the fire and can be used to plot out when tasks need to be completed in reaching your project goal.
Get help or delegate. If you truly don’t like the tasks and it’s not necessary for you to do, you can have others do it. Getting help works if time is an issue as well.