Do you find it difficult to stay focused, and perhaps let your mind wander instead of getting things done? Here we’ve gathered some very easy steps to avoid procrastination. We would share with you more but we are VERY BUSY.
Find your inspiration. You will totally get to reading this article as soon as you get another cup of coffee, finish one chapter in the book you set down last night, and get the kids off to school. VERY SOON you will attack the reading of these helpful steps.
Stay motivated. Now that you are reading the article, you’re peering at it with a sideways glance. How can the author of this article, who doesn’t even know you and doesn’t realize how important your things are, convince YOU to do the things that you know you are supposed to do? You nod and say “mmm-hmmm” and think the author of this article must not have annoying children you have or a broken dishwasher. Sure, it’s easy for her to do all the things. She doesn’t know your life. She probably has a housekeeper.
Write a list of the things you need to do NOW. List them all out in neat little bullet points so that you can cross them off when you do them. Writing things down keeps it more organized and is helpful for you to make sure you stay accountable. When you are writing the list, you realize that there are no pens in the house. Where do all the pens go? Your teenagers are on their phones and aren’t using them. A Target run is immediately necessary.
Cross Something Off. When you return from Target, you sit down with your list and decide to do one of the things. See? You’re breaking this procrastination losing streak! It’s the easiest thing. Actually, it’s something you have already done, but you feel like crossing something off so you wrote it down anyway.
Consider your priorities. You get a phone call from a friend out of state who is going through a divorce. You cannot simply bail on your friend going through a crisis because of your stupid list. You spend time talking to her because that’s what good friends do. After that, you research “custody laws in Tennessee” because you are curious if she’s right the new husband and his hussy new wife are really going to get her kids. What a jerk that guy is. She deserves better.
Do the rest of things on your list. Do not stop for a can of sparkling water, decide to plant a garden, wonder if it would be fun to have chickens, invite a neighbor to lunch, call your mother, order a pizza, light all the candles in the house so it will smell like a spa, or go to the bank. You will dive into this damn list if it’s the last thing you do and you will get it DONE!
There wasn’t supposed to be a step 6.5 but you realized that you haven’t eaten lunch. You have no food in the house that goes along with a low-carb diet that you just now decided to start, so you just have to go to the store reaaaally quick to grab a salad and then you will DEFINITELY go back to Step 6 as soon as possible. Actually, jot down “go to the store to get a salad” on your list. BAM! Back on track. You’re a rock star.
In all seriousness, everyone’s busy. The best thing you can do to avoid putting things off is to create a master list and simply work through it. Forgive yourself if you don’t get it all done. But don’t let the day go by without getting anything checked off. Slowly, methodically, infuse priorities in your day by watching Netflix at the same time you do laundry.
Amanda Hill finished her first novel and an adapted screenplay and is currently working out her stress with satire. For more real-life funny from Amanda follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.