Taming The Procrastination Demon
By Steven M Hall
Are you like many people who put off what you know you should do in your daily life? Is the basement, the closets, your office, the garage, the yard work all demanding your attention? We all delay doing some chores, but if you are finding yourself with more and more undone projects, maybe you are a victim of "procrastination". This gets to be a really demoralizing situation. If you accept the challenges that life provides, then you are more likely to live many years longer than those who spend their lives stressing about "getting things done" and never making the necessary moves to accomplish what needs doing.
If you are not being challenged in your daily life by your work or your living situation, then maybe it is just fear holding you back and you need to accomplish much more. Fear grips you so that you are not able to accomplish what you desire and so you put it off, making excuses not to accomplish the project. Eventually this can become a habit throughout all your facets of living. This article will attempt to reinforce your zest for a challenge, to enable you to take chances, to overcome rejection and to step up to the plate when you know you have things that need attention.
Here are some steps to take immediately:
1. Be organized - I know that this is a hard goal to reach. But, start out small to accomplish the larger goal. Make a project chart for your larger jobs and put the smaller projects on your daily chart. Organize your day with a "TO DO LIST" and put the items down as rapidly as possible and do not worry about what order until the page is filled up. Then go back and rank what is most important and circle the item, make a star by that item, or otherwise note their importance. This way you can let the other items fall below what is most important and you can get to them later. What you do not get done one day can be added to the next day's list. I know this can be a hard habit to get into, but once you do it for a week or two, you will find it will be hard to get to sleep without your list made for the next day.
2. Divide Major Projects - If a project seems overwhelming, then have a major project list and divide each segment into smaller tasks. For instance, let's say you want to clean out the garage. (At my house, that is a MAJOR project!) On Monday, you can go through the stuff that looks like it should be going to Goodwill and box that up. Tuesday, you can do an easy chore of taking it to Goodwill. Wednesday, you can arrange all like items in separate piles. For instance, yard tools, lawn furniture, sports equipment, household tools like step ladders, tool cabinets, brooms and mops, things of that nature. On Thursday, you can map out how much room to allow for each category because maybe you have too much lawn furniture based on the space you have or maybe you want to devote more space to lawn furniture and less to sports equipment. Whatever your lifestyle is, this is the way to organize it within the garage area. On Saturday, move everything that you plan to keep out of the garage and clean the shelves and floors and windows. Then put it all back and arrange neatly based on the space sketch you have. On Sunday, enjoy having a place to park the car, finally. It is all a matter of doing little bits of associated action and keep moving to the final goal.
3. Just get started - When you find yourself making excuses and putting things off, then you know that you are letting yourself go down the road to being a prisoner of the demon called procrastination. Just do not let yourself provide excuses. Start with your easiest task and proceed from there. You will have a greater sense of accomplishment when you make small insteps to the greater project than if you do nothing at all.
4. Outside help - Enlist outside help if you find it necessary to finish a project. There is nothing wrong with having help, whether you have to hire outside help or whether you encourage your family members to help on some projects. The idea is to make a goal sheet and keep on the projects you know are needed around your place and pick a start date so everyone knows how to schedule their time to be involved. A family that cleans together keeps the place cleaner for the next time!
5. Reward Yourself - Finally, reward yourself and your crew when you finish a project. Getting a job done has taken a lot of effort, and you need to be good to yourself for fighting the procrastination demon. There is a wonderful feeling which comes over us when we know we have done a good job and can see the fruits of our labor. That is how the world works. As it has been said, this is a kill and eat world. You have to know how to make yourself set goals, work through the human desire to put things off, and finally to feel the sense of accomplishment and reward with completion of a project.
Ok, now, get out those pens and papers and take a mental trip across your home, your business life, and your personal or religious life. What needs to change? How soon? Will you take my advice and banish the procrastination demon and finally feel the reward for accomplishment that you may have been lacking recently? And make no mistake, the procrastination demon can come on you at any time, in varying degrees, and you must take a stand and banish the demon with whatever steps you feel necessary. Do not put off having the things you want in life because you procrastinate. Give yourself the satisfaction of accomplishing the things you need and doing them within your goal period.
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Steve Hall is the owner of http://www.your-official-guide.com, your one-stop location for getting the information you are looking for on a wide ranging and ever-growing list of subjects.
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