So, you have decided to finally get some organization done. You know exactly what you need to do and how you're going to do it but then...PROCRASTINATION STRIKES. Procrastination is a trap that many people fall into. In fact, according to researchers, 95% of us procrastinate to some degree. Even when you are aware that you are procrastinating, it seems almost impossible to complete the task at hand, and you still end up putting off what needs to be done. Perhaps you are even reading this post to distract yourself from doing something right now? Procrastination, and the urge to do it, are not necessarily things that can be avoided entirely, more just managed and prevented.
I have compiled a few short tips and tricks to help diminish the feeling of being overwhelmed and keep you focused while taking on an organizing project.
Create a Positive Mindset
Your mental state dramatically affects how you approach a project. If you believe that this task is impossible and too difficult to do, then it will be. On the other hand, if you create a positive mindset and tell yourself that you are ready for the challenge, it will not be as difficult. You can achieve this by setting the mood with some upbeat music, fun lighting, and snacks to make the task more enjoyable!
Keep a To-Do List
Become an expert at scheduling and project planning by breaking down the overarching task into smaller, more doable, individual tasks or steps. Write these down on paper or electronically. This will prevent you from "conveniently" forgetting about those unpleasant or overwhelming tasks. If you are procrastinating because you have no idea where to begin, a to-do will help you to put your thoughts onto paper and then eventually into action.
Prioritize Your To-Do List
Once you have completed the step mentioned above, it is time to prioritize. This will help you quickly identify the activities that you should focus on first, as well as the ones that you can delegate to later on. Make the first step simple to ease into the project slowly. Once you complete the first few quick and easy tasks, you will have gained momentum and achieved the commitment to continue the project.
Set Time-Bound Goals
Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals and eliminate any spare procrastination time. However, be sure not to take on too much when you first start out, as this will wear you down and make you want to procrastinate even more. Take breaks between tasks and consider going for a walk to get some fresh air and give your brain a well-needed rest.
Use Time Management Apps to Avoid Distractions
Eliminating interruptions and distractions allows you to completely focus on the task at hand. There are numerous apps designed to help you be more organized, such as Forest and Off Screen. These will mute all of your notification sounds and text, email, or phone call pop-ups. If you are not inclined to use an app, perhaps ask a trusted friend to help keep you on track and accountable. Even if the person is just there while you work, sometimes that is all it takes.
Tackle the Hardest Tasks at Your Peak Times
Perhaps you're a night owl and feel more productive at 2am or an early bird and can get stuff done before the sun rises. Identify when you're most effective, and do the tasks that you find most challenging at these times. Find the time that works best for you and create your own schedule!
CELEBRATE WHEN THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED
And finally, celebrate when the project is complete! Enjoy the feeling of relief and satisfaction of knowing that the weight hanging over you is gone and that you did it! Feel good about your accomplishment and remind yourself that you overcame procrastination. Maybe the next time you set out to organize something, it won't be nearly as challenging as you anticipate, and the need to procrastinate won't be as strong!