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How To Stop Procrastinating Now

October 11th, 2018

Q: Please tell me how to stop procrastinating! And…maybe I’ll do it later. 😉

A: If you are a card-carrying member of #ProcrastinationNation, then discover the key to pushing past procrastination so that you can finally get stuff done.

How To Stop Procrastinating

When it comes to getting organized, simplifying, saving time, or any goal in life, getting started is half the battle.

If procrastination is what’s hindering you from taking those first steps, then you can fight back with the ol’ one-two power punch. Here are the CliffsNotes for how it’s done:

  • ONE: Find out what motivates you to dig deep and to do the things you don’t like.
  • TWO: Hit procrastination head-on with your motivator(s) as soon as it arrives.
  • PUNCH! 1, 2, 3…procrastination is out for the count. And the crowd goes wild! You are a time-management champion.

Here’s How To Stop Procrastination Before It Even Starts

Our purpose here today is to help you discover your motivators (ONE). The other bits (TWO + PUNCH) are not easier or more difficult, but they don’t require any how-to – just action.

Keep in mind that I’ve applied the below motivators specifically to getting organized, simplifying life, and finding time. But you can relate these same motivators to other areas of your life where procrastination persists.

  • Stop-Procrastinating Motivator #1: Enjoy More Free Time

    It’s well-established that if you simplify life, you save time.

    US News and World Report recently demonstrated that the average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items.

    1 year = 365 days = 8,760 hours = 525,600 minutes = 31,536,000 seconds

    Any way you put it, that’s a lot of free time you could have been enjoying if you hadn’t been procrastinating.

  • Stop-Procrastinating Motivator #2: Save Or Have More Money

    Think about your biggest organizing problem. Let’s just say, for example, that it’s your home office.

    Assume that you’re losing $21 a week, or $3 a day, in personal resources – lost time, energy, productivity, sanity – because you don’t have effective (or any) home office organizing systems in place. It’s probably much more than $3 a day, but we’ll wager conservatively.

    Imagine you decide against decluttering your home office and continue down the same unorganized path for the next five years. You will lose over $5,400 of resources!

    Although that $5,400 is just a hypothetical figure, it puts procrastinating about your clutter in a whole new light.

  • Stop-Procrastinating Motivator #3: Set The Tone For A Positive Life

    According to the book The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by Dr. David Niven, it’s important to establish a schedule to take your tasks from to-do to to-done.

    Dr. Niven writes: “We often feel overwhelmed by the chores that have to be done on a regular basis. We clean the kitchen, then the living room needs to be vacuumed…and 16 other things need to be done. With a routine, you will not be lost in wondering what’s next.”

    Precisely how much will a household routine boost your level of happiness? 100 Simple Secrets explains: “In a study of families, regularity in household routines improved daily personal satisfaction by about 5%.”

    This may seem a small percentage, but when compounded over time, it will grow exponentially – only if you don’t procrastinate!

  • Stop-Procrastinating Motivator #4: Shape Your Destiny

    Maybe for you, home organization is just about as fun as boot camp. But in this day in age, when life keeps getting crazier and crazier, you can’t afford not to be organized!

    Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

    If you know you have to get organized, you can choose to procrastinate, and your disorganization will just cause you more frustration. Or you can choose to get motivated, get organized, and truly know the freedom that comes with it.

    It’s always your choice.

  • Stop-Procrastinating Motivator #5: Give Yourself Some Tough Love

    There can be some very undesirable consequences that accompany disorganization.

    • Can’t find your keys in the mornings = late for work
    • Forget a birthday = guilty feelings (you) and hurt feelings (birthday boy or girl)
    • Neglect to declutter the house = embarrassing mess to explain away
    • Pack a suitcase without a purpose = too many socks and too few unmentionables
    • Pay a bill after it’s due = excess late fees
    • Overlook expired car registration = traffic ticket and possible fines

    These are all results for which you (normally) have no one else to blame but yourself. Channel that “Doh! How did this happen?!” feeling you get during these lousy circumstances to attack procrastination once and for all.

It’s time to get organized, simplify life, and save time – and stop letting procrastination force you into situations where you wish that you had made these goals a priority. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

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Carmen Coker
Professional Organizer

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