10 Strategies to Avoid Procrastination

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Welcome to this weeks Clarity and Connection Q&A, where Geneén answers questions and give life tools that allow us to do all things with focus and intent. Remember, you can send in questions at any time. I will pick a couple of questions to respond to here, and a couple of others on social media.

Q: How do you motivate yourself with homeschooling, diet, and exercise, etc.?

- Monica

A: There are a couple of things I do. First, I understand why I am procrastinating. Once I identify “why,” I tend to use one or a couple of the strategies to self motivate. Motivation typically falls on two levels. There is the everyday avoidance of doing tasks that we, quite frankly, don’t enjoy, nor do you see a higher purpose in completing, like washing dishes, doing the laundry, even homeschooling. Then there are more long term goals like exercising, dieting, career, etc. Here I will give you a couple of general strategies to stay motivated to complete everyday chores, tasks, + ways to stay on track with long term goals.

1. Lead with Positivity

By starting things from a positive place and with positive intent, you tend to act positively and productively.

Don’t stress; it is counterproductive. I refuse to let others stress me out; I, for damn sure, will not be stressing myself out. I am lenient and loving with myself. I don’t judge myself harshly, but I do assert that I will get things done and when I will get them done.

2. Commit To a Timeline

Commit to a fixed time or time frame to complete a task, do it, then reward yourself for getting it done. Having a fixed schedule works for some, while others are fine staying motived with a more fluid program. Whatever type of plan you create, be sure that it serves your personality and that of anyone else involved with the activity.

3. Work at Your Best

Schedule tasks during the time a day you and (your child – in homeschooling cases) are most productive. First, pinpoint the best times of day to complete activities.  Schedule low functioning, but high impact activities in the morning like mediation, brisk walks, or reading. These actions tend to align me/us and allows us to focus on the day ahead. 

4. Make it Fun

Pull your hair back-or wrap it in a scarf, throw on some music, and get it done. When we start to associate mundane tasks with things we love, it can change our perspective and actually have you looking forward to washing dishes. I tend to play 90’s hip hop soul when I am in the kitchen; now, I sometimes look forward to reminiscing  as I load the dishwasher.

Ten Ways to Avoid Procrastination

5. Break It Up

Sometimes we psych ourselves out to believing that a task is enormous. Break it into more manageable pieces and commit to doing what you can by a certain point. So with the laundry example, I mentioned earlier, if you want to make sure you wash and fold the same day-do smaller loads. Another example is if working on a class project with your kids, commit do doing a certain amount of work each day to ensure you have it complete with all the aggravation or last-minute stress.

6. Avoid Distractions

When you need to focus- put the phone (or whatever the distraction) down.

7. Connect

Ask for help-company-or competition while you complete work or workouts.

8. Visualize the End/Goal

Whether it is a clean house, completing schoolwork, or a long term goal like weight loss. Focus on that resulting emotion (pride, relief) as you imagine the goal reached.

9. Don't Give Up

Understand that a pause is not a failure; you can always pick it up and go back to whatever your goal is. 

10. Rid Yourself of Doubt

Avoid people and thoughts that induce self doubt.  You can also read a more in-depth article on circumventing doubt here.