Whether you are going back to college, working, or stay home taking care of the kids, avoiding procrastination is sometimes a job unto itself. It is easy to think you can put off starting on that paper that’s due next week, or start slacking on the housework because you’re overwhelmed with your job and your boss is breathing down your neck. Although, procrastinating can end up causing you more stress because you never know when something else might come up that needs your immediate attention. Here are 7 tips to avoid procrastination:
- Keep a daily planner: A planner is only as good as the use you put into it. Keep a planner that is tailored to your needs, and use it consistently. For some people, it is hard to be organized and living by a planner may feel like you’re trapped by it. The reality is that a planner helps you accomplish what you need too, and gives you more free time, in the end.
- Set goals for yourself every day: Setting goals for yourself doesn’t mean you work 23 hours and sleep if you have time. It’s ok to set more goals then you finish in your day, and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you don’t complete it. The fact is your working towards something, and you should be proud of yourself for that.
- Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today: You really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It is better to be ahead and take a break at the end of the week, instead of scrambling at the end of the week to get everything done. That being said, you still need to find a balance.
- Pace yourself: Rushing to get everything done in one day may not be the best use of your energy, and you can make mistakes when you try to do too much at one time. It is better to plan out for the week and get it done steadily.
- Learn to prioritize: If you make a list of all the things you need to do for the week, go through it again and assign numbers from 1 to however many items are on your list. Put the items by order of importance and urgency. This will give you a better idea of what you should do first, and what really can wait.
- Learn how to better manage your time: If you know you have to work on this paper for school, but when the kids get home you can’t concentrate, work on it early in the day after they leave for school. Don’t work with the television on if it only distracts you. Use your time efficiently.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself: If you are just running on empty, you are going to burn out. It is vital to get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy meals, exercise, and take time out for fun and relaxation. Too many times, doing too much and not taking care of yourself will cause you to get sick, and you’ll have to stop to take care of yourself then.
It is so much easier to be productive, happy, and healthy if you learn how to avoid procrastination. Stress takes its toll on your body, and it’s hard to get back to the point of doing things competently. Take the time to prioritize, manage your time, make a plan, pace yourself and set goals, you’ll feel so much better when you have things under control, and you finish what you need to today.