If you're a procrastinator, one of your biggest problems may be self-initiation. The following ideas should help you get started:
- Figure out why you're having such a hard time starting. Do you dislike your major? Do you think you won't be able to succeed?
- Make lists and prioritize.
- Break big jobs down into smaller ones.
- Always schedule time for breaks.
- Reward yourself each time you've completed a task.
- Establish a "start" time, taking into consideration any chores or rituals you do before you begin to work.
- Don't aim for perfection. Mistakes happen. Schedule more time than you think you'll need.
- Keep tabs on your progress. This way you'll know if you're falling behind, giving you a chance to catch up and avoid deadline panic.
- Establish deadlines for yourself. Set short-term (even hourly) limits for getting things done.
- Discourage interruptions. Let others know that you are working. Get an answering machine and don't answer the phone. Some interruptions are unavoidable, but most are not.
The flip side of procrastination is the inability to finish what has been started. Many people, and you may be one of them, welcome new projects or tasks with great enthusiasm and energy - but the closer they come to completion, the faster they run out of steam.
It's normal to lose interest and move on to something more interesting. However, if you find yourself chronically unable to finish things that are important and even necessary to you, there are probably reason that go beyond simple disinterest or laziness. Often this has to do with unconscious fears or conflicts, which can cause us to sabotage our own efforts.
Non-finishers get stuck midway through a project or job and can't seem to move forward. They often blame others. If you have a problem making it to the finish line, you owe it to yourself to find out why. Ask yourself the following questions and jot down your thoughts:
We hope you are able to undo any procrastination habit or tendency you may have. We believe that change is possible. Come talk to someone on our staff if you are having a hard time making the changes.
Last Updated: 4/29/10