Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Five Ways to Prevent Procrastination from Zapping Your Energy and Productivity

Good Morning! I'm off to the gym after I post this! Hope you have a great day. :)

Five Ways to Prevent Procrastination
from Zapping Your Energy and Productivity

Do you hate filing, and just stack it up in a pile? Do you procrastinate sorting your mail and it becomes a huge mound by the end of the week? Do you avoid making those phone calls? Are there more important decisions you put off?

We all have things we dislike or even hate, and it’s tempting to just put them off until later. But by doing so, they just become much larger unpleasant tasks!

Why do we procrastinate?

- Sometimes it’s because we are undisciplined or even lazy and don’t force ourselves to make a decision – we put it off. This is really a time waster. Instead of making a decision while my mind is on the subject, I set it aside – either literally in a pile or mentally. It will take additional time later for my mind to re-engage with the subject at hand. While the decision is left undone, it has the power to zap my energy. It is draining to see stacks of undone work or to remember my unresolved decision.

In addition, with some decisions, my options narrow the longer I wait, creating stress and missed opportunities. This is multiplied if my decision affects others.

- Another reason we procrastinate is that we need more information in order to make a decision. Maybe we’re too overwhelmed with the size of the decision and don’t know where to start. Again, in this case, procrastinating drains energy and creates stress and possibly lost opportunities.

- Lack of time to decide or act is another cause of procrastination – a valid one many times. And sometimes we make a decision, but fail to follow through with the action decided upon – another form of procrastination.

Whatever the cause of procrastination, productivity suffers. Whenever I see or remember my procrastinated decisions, my mind is cluttered because I think, “I need to get to that.” My focus can become distracted.

Your perceived productivity can also suffer. If you have stacks of procrastination in your office or home, it may cause others to question your efficiency or productivity. And your own sense of productivity takes a hit when you are surrounded by procrastinated clutter.

So how do we avoid procrastination?

1. Consider the cost of procrastination. Realize that you are saving yourself time, stress and lost opportunities when you choose to act. By making a decision, you have a sense of accomplishment which gives you a feeling of productivity. And that translates into increased motivation.

2. Plan in time to follow through on decisions. If, for example, when you go through your mail, an item needs to be filed, you can file it immediately, or you can set aside time each day or each week to do filing. Use time when your brain needs a break from intensive work to do filing – it can serve as a decluttering task as well as a mental break to refresh your mind.

3. If you are too busy to make a decision at the moment, schedule a time to address the issue in a timely manner. If more information is needed for an informed decision, plan in time to research missing information. Or delegate the research to someone else, if possible.

4. Set deadlines for tasks or decisions you tend to put off. You will feel empowered by being proactive.

5. Take a step back and evaluate what tasks or decisions you tend to procrastinate and why. Brainstorm possible solutions. If you need some help, ask someone to be a sounding board.

Increase your energy and productivity - stop procrastinating now! Start with small steps if you have to, but make forward progress.

Similar blogs:

Insuring Peak Performance: Sleep 101

Clutter in Your House or Office Means Clutter in Your Mind

Save Time and Clutter by Making Decisions