Sometimes when the deadline is fast approaching, some of us are tempted to procrastinate the task due soon for just a little while longer since we still have a little bit of time left before it is finally due.
Having some setup-time is fine, but most often than not, the procrastination is not helping us. The later we get started, the more stressed we will be and again promise ourselves that we will never ever start a task at the very last minute.
So, we need to get around our old habit of procrastinating and if this all sounds familiar, then perhaps the tip I will relate to you today might help you get started sooner with tasks you otherwise involuntarily postpone.
Just a little won’t discourage you
With a little inspiration from a well-known children’s book character (namely, Alfie Atkins) I call it the ”I’m just going to …”-method.
You may regard it as a way for you to in a friendly manner lure yourself into getting started with a task loaded with anxiety which is urgent and desperately needs to get done.
When you catch yourself taking every opportunity to do something other than the task that needs your attention (such as Facebook, social medias, getting another coffee, or whatever else that attracts and distracts you), tell yourself: ”I have no reason not to get started with the task I am avoiding since I am not going to do all of it now. I’m just going to …” and then you think of some really simple, small and quickly done aspect of the task which you could ”just do” to begin with.
Nine short ones
Do you want ideas of what this small, simple and quick thing might be (which would make it easier for you to think ”I’m just going to …”)?
Here are nine suggestions of things we could do as a short ”I’m just going to …”-task.
- Create a new document and name it
- Google the contact information
- Write down five quick points I want to include in the e‑mail
- Quickly sketch out what my thoughts at the moment are (and not my final conclusions) on the content of the ten episodes
- Quickly skim through the current week in the calendar to see what meetings or commitments I still have left
- Spread out the material I have so far on the desk just to get an overview of where I stand with it
- Make a quick list of what I think needs to be done before I turn something in
- Open the folder and remove any material I know is obsolete
- Call your colleague just to see how far he has gotten with something. If he were to ask how you are doing, you can respond ”I’m working on it as we speak” without lying.
Now do whatever ”you are just going to” do, enjoy knowing that you have gotten started and do not be surprised if you suddenly feel like continuing working on what you previously felt such reluctance towards. Getting started and finally doing what you have been putting off for a long time can easily motivate you to continue.
Deceive yourself a little
If you make use of a method such as the ”I’m just going to …”-method, you will eventually get what you have been postponing done. You trick yourself into getting started with baby-steps in a simple and playful way. You could call it a healthy and useful form of self-deception.
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?
How do you get yourself to stop postponing and procrastinating? Comment below and tell us!