How I overcome procrastination

by dh5114
10 replies
I had tough time avoiding twittering, forum-posting :-), reading email and so on. I felt like I have thousands things to do and I'm just too busy to do the "ordinary" things like grocery shopping, taking a walk, jogging, etc..

Hours would slip by without me even realizing. This is how I deal with it with great success:

1. On a peace of paper I write down "Super simple & quick" as title
2. List all things needed to be done as I think of them
3. Sort them by importance and due-dates (write numbers in front of items)
4. Strike them through as I finish them

The main point here is I'm always thinking this is "super simple & quick" small thing I could do to finish particular item on that list.

I start with the smallest, quickest and easiest thing to do. Then funny thing happens... I get momentum and solving another one small thing that comes from solving previous one is so simple & quick I just might do it right now and forget about it.

In the evening, it's such a great feeling seeing a list full of striked-through items. And I still get to participate in forums, twitter and read a whole lot of emails.

Hope it helps...
#overcome #procrastination
  • Profile picture of the author GT
    Hello, dh:

    Thanks for this personal tip on dealing with procrastination. I'll give it some thought ... tomorrow ...

    lol, just kidding!

    I am a big believer of the value of daily lists to help keep a person focused and productive. I've had discussions like this in several other forums and there seems to be two schools of thought on how to tackle the daily list:

    - One school says start with the simple things to build momentum (like you do).

    - The other school says tackle the highest priority items first (which, in many cases, are probably the least simple things).

    In either case, in my opinion, the key thing is to just make that list and work at getting things done.


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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    I agree with making a daily "Must Do" list...

    Personally, I work in order of importance, so IF I don't finish everything I want to, the most critical tasks are out of the way...

    And crossing "to do's" off of that list is a great feeling and an awesome motivator...



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  • Profile picture of the author ghyphena
    I use a countdown timer set to 15-minute slices and then I allow myself a break.

    Of course, getting myself to go back to work is a different story...


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  • Profile picture of the author JustinP
    Thanks for this post. It is a great reminder on the power of success-tracking.

    I also love the idea of getting to the end of a day and seeing a huge list of crossed-off items. I recreated my entire life over the course of about 110 days in 2007 by doing something like this every single day, 7 days a week. It allowed me to monitor and adjust my behavior so that I could produce brand new results in my life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    To do lists are essential to get me to overcome procrastination. Take 10 minutes (literally time yourself) to write down everything you wish to accomplish that day. Be specific so you can check off each item as you complete the task. After ten minutes begin attacking each specific item (you may have 30) and work down the list. If you finish early, good on you...go watch tv. If it takes you longer than the normal x hours you want to with it and dont stop until everything is done.

    this has helped be exponentially grow my business. Im sure it can help you as well
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  • Profile picture of the author shermanbir
    Find something that you love doing and start doing it. this will lead away from procrastination and towards taking action on something you are passion about.

    Prorastination is about trying to do something you really don't want to do it and too lazy to find others who will be willing to do it for you because they love doing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author MattSteel
      I have received several promotions at my job simply because I walk around the office all day long with a long yellow legal pad of my "TO DO' list, with items highlighted off in different color highlighters. I do not use a blackberry or any other new-fangled device! A simple yellow legal pad (it must be yellow for some reason or my simple mind can't respond to it). During meetings, I am jotting things down, and during conversations with subordinates I am highlighting things off. I never meant it to be anything other than a way to keep myself organized, but it also seems to send a message to those around me that a) I won't forget anything and b) it WILL get done. It also says another message: if it ain't on the pad, it ain't important!

      Also, when I am procrastinating and don't feel like doing anything written on this magic pad, I will say to myself, "Choose any 3 items and DO them...any 3". Make that promise each day, and the momentum begins to build.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kate Davies
        I particularly like Matt's idea of do 3 ... any 3. You're right it helps to build momentum. This is something I had forgotten, but I have used it in the past. That will be a good tip to get me back on track today. I have just finished a major project and need to find the momentum and drive to start on the next thing, big or small.

        With regard to lists, my approach (when I use it) is a bit different. I have small whiteboard and I write on the essential tasks for the day. I try not to put on any more than 10-12. I cross them off as they are completed. then at the end of the day I rub out all the crossed off ones. Now that really is satisfying - rubbing them off. Next day I write up a new list, including the left overs from the day before if they are still important.

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  • Profile picture of the author natscash
    Benjamin Franklin, who knew how to conquer procrastination as well as anyone, said that "by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." How do you plan your work? And if you don't plan, how do you know if you're reaching your goals? It's time to find out.
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  • Profile picture of the author EaglePiServ
    Never put off till tomorrow, what you can put off till the day after. j/k

    Yeah, it's easy to get caught up in analysis paralysis and information overload with this stuff. Thanks for the tip. I use something similar, when I think to do it! Whiteboards help too....
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