Even people who like to get ahead and don’t think of themselves as procrastinators will often put some things off until later. When it comes to work or school you might be on top of an assignment, but for some reason it’s taken you a long time to get to the passport office and renew your passport, or clean out that closet that has turned into a dumping ground. If you don’t do something right away, that task that once seemed really small turns into something stressful and overwhelming. Something I like to remember is, Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
There are a number of reasons why people procrastinate. Fear, avoidance, anxiety, distraction, indecision, and apathy are a few. Psychologist Clarry Lay lays out 4 suggestions for overcoming those feelings and getting right down to it!
- Intentions should override your temporary mood
- Don’t overestimate the unpleasantness of a task
- Work on the task at any level, but try to start with the simplest level first
- Focus on one task at a time
Putting something off until tomorrow, the next day, or a few months from now can create unnecessary stress and become a burden on your happiness. It’s easy to convince yourself that it will be easier to work on at a different time or that you’ll start tomorrow, but it usually doesn’t work that way. Think about how good it feels when you can cross something off your list, and be proud of yourself for each task you accomplish.
Game Plan: Try this trick to help decrease procrastination: If it’s something that you can do in 60 seconds or less, don’t wait – do it right now!