I looked at the stack in front of me and groaned. Overwhelmed might not be a strong enough word to describe how I felt, but I knew I had to figure out a way to plow through the paper or I’d really pay for it later. I took a long sip of coffee, then held the cup under my nose to breathe in an extra dose of New Orleans Chicory. I groaned — just didn’t feel like spending my day like this. I was tempted to chuck it all, and go do something fun. The Procrastination Monster reared his handsome head.
If I was going to defeat him, the first thing I needed was a plan. A few minutes of deep thinking helped me formulate a way to get started. It didn’t take long before I was lost in the process, and wrestling him down to the ground. My strategy looked something like this.
- Start taking action. I got out a notebook and listed all of the things I needed to tackle.
- Then I numbered them in order of priority. (Start with the one that would cost me the most if I put it off.)
- I turned on some music, it soothes my jitters, and helps me work through the mundane.
- I separated the papers into sections related to each project I needed to work on.
- I laid out my smaller stacks in order of their priority according to the list I’d made.
- I told myself I’d start with number one and work on it for fifteen minutes.
- It took less than ten minutes to tackle the first item. I breathed out a sigh of relief, and breathed in a sense of accomplishment. I was ready for number two.
- I quickly ran through the first six things, and looked at my watch when they were done. It had taken me barely over an hour and a half, and my stacks were dwindling fast.
- I celebrated with a light lunch and a thirty minute walk. When I returned, feeling better, I didn’t hesitate to get back to work.
- Number seven on my list filled almost an hour by itself, but by now, I had the energy to throw a few punches when Mr. Procrastination taunted me.
- By quitting time, I’d completed all but three low priority items on my list. I stomped on Procrastination’s head as I walked out the door.
I almost felt like skipping to my car, the burden was so light. And the feeling carried into the next day . There’s something special about waking up to a cleaner slate that helps me feel wonderful.
I’ve used this technique countless times throughout the years. Successful people are doers and not hearers only. Beating back the Procrastination Monster means talking yourself through temptation. It requires getting started. Resolve not to allow overwhelming thoughts to keep you from acting. Celebration time is one plan away.
How do you beat Mr. Procrastination?
Ephesians 4:22 (NIV)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research.