I used to be a habitual procrastinator!! It started out in high school (along with my coffee habit!). It was common to find me with a pot of coffee, up until 2:00 AM the night before a big paper was due or a final exam that my grade was dependent on. This continued well into my mid 20's. I would tell myself I function better under pressure; this is when I do my best work.
The occasional (okay more then occasional) glitch or life event that would have me feverishly scrambling and muttering words under my breath didn’t seem to deter my procrastination. I can’t really tell you why I was such a procrastinator. I can just tell you one day after a midnight run to a 24 hour store to buy printer ink... I had enough. I wasn't achieving the organization and control in my life that I desired. As we all know, there is a lot in life we cannot control but being prepared in advance is something that we can. I still impose deadlines on myself, but "my" deadlines are days before the "real" deadline. If I do decide to wait until the last minute, I still have plenty of time. If I run out of ink, have a technical glitch, power outage, or what ever else pops up... it’s not so bad. I have given myself the extra time. This has given me a certain sense of calm and the ability to handle the uncontrollable life events with a smile.
If you are like I was and trying to get out of procrastination lifestyle, below are some of the steps that helped me:
Make a schedule for deadlines and follow it, life is always going to happen but you can control your activities.
Schedule time without interruption to get your large tasks done that need focus.
Set a timer and work on one activity for 20 minutes without checking email, answering the phone, or getting up to talk to a co-worker.
Focus on the calm you will feel when you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to meet your deadlines.
Finish the most dreaded task first before you get to the fun stuff.
Realize that sometimes things take longer then you expected, plan for it.
Consider how your procrastination might be affecting those around you.
Break large tasks into smaller manageable ones; sometimes being overwhelmed causes you to procrastinate.
Enjoy the extra time and productivity you have created for yourself.
Regardless of your reason for procrastination, take the time to really sit down and list how it is affecting you and how it makes you feel. Start with simple baby steps to break the habit and start enjoying the new found energy and time!!
Ending the procrastination and starting the productivity!