Dealing with procrastination one step at a time

How to deal with procrastinationThere are times when I just don’t feel like doing anything for the day. Oftentimes I get surprised by how huge my todo list has become. Worst than that is I’d immediately feel tired just seeing the list and eventually end up not doing anything to get things done.

I think it’s called procrastination – the act of delaying an action to a later time. It all starts with putting off a single task either because you have something else to do, you think it’s too easy that you can finish it in no time or you simply don’t want to do it right now. Then another item gets added to the list and so on until the list gets so large, the mere sight of it tells your brain to procrastinate even more.

But, how do you deal with it? Here’s a short quote that basically sums up what I’m about to say.

“If you wait until all the lights are “green” before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.” – Zig Ziglar

Basically, what you need to do is to take on your list one “green-light intersection” at a time. As soon as you’re finished with item #1, then move on to item #2 and so on until you finish everything that you can finish for the day. Set a goal like “I’ll finish at least 5 items in my todo list today” and focus on it. Each item in your list is a “green light” telling you to move on.

The same quote applies when you feel overwhelmed by the huge number of items in your list. What I do here is organize the items into categories and start working on them – one step at a time. If there’s too much in my list to accomplish in one day, I tell myself that I don’t have to finish all of them today. This tells my brain to “relax” and makes everything look easier. I then set my goal to finish 5 to 10 items off the list.

So, the next time you feel procrastinating, just take it one step at a time and before you know it, your todo list is empty once again.


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