Procrastination – How to Overcome It?

Written December 29th, 2013 by
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Procrastination is one of the worse things that an individual can be a victim of. It is an ailment that feeds on itself. It is all around us, and keeps us from doing things that are important and need to be done.  There are many times when procrastination can get in the way of getting somewhere on time, meeting a deadline, or getting something done. Why is it so easy to procrastinate? It is easy because it gets us away from doing things that may feel like an obligation.

Example: Why do laundry, when a good show is on TV? The answer is obvious to a procrastinator. Laundry will be there later, however, the show is on TV only for the next hour. What is the problem with that? There will be another show after that one, and we will want to watch it, too.

So, How could we overcome procrastination? We could overcome procrastination by setting up a schedule, making a list of what needs done, and balancing fun and chores.

Set up a Schedule

A schedule can help put things in perspective. If we make a schedule of all the things that need to be done, including entertainment, then we can follow through with it. The schedule can be made the night before, or the week before. This will depend on your preference. In my case, I do a daily schedule. This way, I can adapt it as the need arises.

The night before, I check TV schedules, work hours, chores, and errands that need done.

First, I schedule my work hours.

Second, I schedule the TV shows, or movies, if any.

Third, I schedule errands. These need to be done according to merchants hours.

Fourth, I balance my chores among all three.

Fifth, with all the time left, schedule fun, fun, fun. Oh yes, no guilt.

The previous steps help me categorize my agenda, they help me see windows of time that are open, and help me prioritize my responsibilities.  They have also helped me realize how much time is in a day, and how much I can get done when I do not procrastinate.

Make a List of Chores and Errands

This is important. By making a list of things that need to be done, it is easier to see how long it can take to do them and fit them in the schedule, accordingly. I do keep a running list of things that need to be done. As I come across them, I add them to the list. Examples of things that should be included on the list are laundry, carpet cleaning, bathroom cleaning, sweeping, mopping, dishes, vacuuming, paying bills, fixing a closet door, getting groceries, changing the oil in the car, going to the pharmacy, doctors appointments, and the like. This list contains anything that needs to be done in the house, or outside the house.

It may sound tedious, but by making a point of keeping a list, it will help avoid procrastination. The list helps put things in perspective, and allows us to see in writing all that needs done. When I was keeping a list in my head, somehow, I managed to lose it. How convenient.

There are a few ways to keep the list. It can be kept on good old fashioned paper, in the computer, or in the phone. If you are going to keep it on paper, I suggest getting a pad that is set for just the list. If you are going to keep it on the computer, put it in a word processing document and save it as a desktop icon, for easy access. If you want to keep it in your phone, I suggest you download an app, like Memo.  Whichever way you choose, it should be one you are comfortable with, that you can use with ease. 

Balance Fun and Chores

OK, so working hours, and certain TV shows have a set schedule. There is not much that can be done about that. However, fun and chores do not have a set schedule. Yes, there are TV shows that are available to stream online. This is a good thing, because it can provide a bit more flexibility. A word of caution, do put on your schedule when you are going to do so, or you can fall into the procrastinators trap all over again.

On your schedule, fill in your work, and TV shows that have no flexibility, and check for times that are left open. Next, fill in the errands that need to be done. Finally, look at what is left. Believe me, there is plenty of time left. Add your chores to the schedule. Split them up at different times of the day. Whatever is left, that is your fun time. Remember, there are seven days to get chores done. Don’t try to do all at once, or it could overwhelm you.

The first time I saw all the open time I had left, I realized I had been wasting a lot of time not getting things done. As living proof of a procrastinator in recovery, I feel better now that I get things done. I look back and do not miss the ways I use to do things. Yes, there are times that I am tempted to do whatever, (and have done on occasion) but they are fewer and farther in between.

Image Credit : Wikimedia Commons,  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States


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About the Author:
Originally from Puerto Rico. Had the privilege to live in Spain. The cultural diversity has been a positive influence in her endeavors. Charlee possesses expert proficiency in English and Spanish. She translated the first Spanish Guards Manual for a well known Armor Guard company. She taught Spanish to middle and high school students. The many aspects brought into her life by the variety of cultural influences has expanded her thirst for knowledge and variety of learning. She is a grandmother of 3 great kids, who are helping her re-live her childhood in a way she could not appreciate before. She is the mother of 5 grown "kids" whom she owes many of the experiences that she can now write about. As a single mother, she brings to the table plenty of insight on how to make it work, even when it seems impossible. Life has been good to her and has had its challenges. She wants to share this with you, the reader

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