How to Stop Procrastinating
Life is busy. We all know that. It is hard for us to just find time to relax. It’s also hard to make the time to do some of the things we really want to do.
Are you like me? I love to do a lot of things – I garden (food and flowers), cook, blog, read, bike, hike, budget and love to do all kinds of crafts; just to name a few things. I love making things for our home and for our friends and families. I’m a wife, mother to three adult children, grandmother to two, daughter, sister, mother-in-law, step-mom, etc. Plus I run this blog and take care of our home, not to mention I help my husband with a lot of his projects (and he also helps me with mine).
In other words, I do a LOT of things – every week. I bet you are just like me. With so much on our table, it’s not surprising that we don’t have the time to do all of the things that we want to do every week.
Did you know that procrastinating causes us stress and it causes us to lose time in our day / week / month? What if there was something we could do that would help us find more time to do the things that we really want to do?
Wouldn’t that be wonderful. It is possible. But we have to want it so much that we are willing to work for it. We may need to learn some new tricks and adopt a new habit or two, but achieving the goal of more time is worth it.
The number one thing holding many of us back from having more time to do what we want to do is that we have a problem with procrastination. We will have to learn how to stop procrastinating.
We procrastinate way too much. In the short-run it is the easiest thing to do (and we think it is saving us time), but in the long-run it makes things take more time.
If you are saying, I’m not a procrastinator, I just don’t have enough time in my day. I’m with you – I understand. But, if you are like me, we often procrastinate about things and it ends up taking us more time to do them in the long run. By procrastinating we are actually making the job take longer.
If we stop procrastinating, we will gain back some time. It may not seem like it at the time, but in the long run, taking the necessary action (Do It Now solution), rather than procrastinating will give us back some much-desired extra time. Let’s work together to stop procrastinating.
4 Ways We Procrastinate and 4 Do It Now Solutions
1. We Work on a Task/Project Until the Very Last Second
Oftentimes, we wait until the last moment to stop one thing before we move on to the next thing that must be done. That means that we don’t have time to thoroughly clean up from the first activity before we move on to the next one.
Have you done this? I am guilty of doing this way too much.
Procrastination Example: We want to work on our craft project for as long as we can before starting dinner. After all, we don’t know when we’ll have a chance to work on it again.
We work on the project until the very last minute and just leave all of the supplies sitting out.
The problem with this procrastination habit scenario is that it will take us more time in the long-run. Between now and the time we can work on that project again, the supplies will be in the way and they will get moved aside (perhaps not very neatly). When we finally get to work on the project again, we will need to reorganize our supplies. Time has been lost in moving the supplies around in the interim and in reorganizing the supplies. Plus, the supplies have been a visual reminder that we haven’t finished that project yet. That has added to our daily stress.
Do It Now Solution: Take the last 5 minutes of our project time and put things away. We may not be able to get back to the project for a few days, so it’s better to have it neatly put away and out of sight. This will save us some time and may reduce some of our stress.
2. We Don’t Put Things Away Where They Belong
We are likely to simply put an item somewhere near where it belongs to be put away at another time. I am so.so.so guilty of this.
Procrastination Example: We buy a new box of envelopes, walk into the room with our desk, and set the envelopes down on top of the desk. Our thought is that we will put them away the next time we sit at the desk.
The problem with this scenario is that oftentimes we end up with several items (this is a vicious cycle) on that desk before we find the time to put them away. It will take longer to put several items away at one time than it will take to put each item away immediately. You will now have to go through each and every one of them again and determine where they need to go. In the meantime, the desk top has become cluttered and this has added to our stress.
Do It Now Solution: Don’t just put an item near where it needs to go. Put it away – immediately. It will take less than a minute to do so. By the way, this will encourage us to do the same thing with the next item that needs to be put away in that room. When there is no clutter in sight we won’t want to create clutter. This will help build a fantastic new habit.
3. Waiting until the last minute to do something
Some tasks we just tend to put off until they just can’t wait any longer. At that point, they take a whole lot longer to do than they would have if we had worked on them a little at a time.
Procrastination Example: We have a flower garden. We know that we need to weed it, but we ignore the weeds for a couple of months. It will now take us 2-3 hours to weed it. One weed has multiplied to many, and they are out of control.
Do It Now Solution: Spend 15 minutes weeding in the flower garden every week. It won’t take much time out of our week. The flower garden will look nice at all times. This will save us a lot of time.
4. Not Making the Time to Do Something
There are things that we must do every week, aren’t there? Fixing meals, laundry, cleaning the house, etc. Somehow, someway we make time for them.
There are other things that we could make it a habit to do each week that would make our lives simpler.
Procrastination Example: We pile some of our receipts here and some there throughout the month. At the end of the month, we search for all of them – in the piles, in our wallets, in our vehicles, our bank and credit card statements. Then we crunch all of the numbers to get the budget information up-to-date. This could take 2 – 3 hours. Additionally, this is not a task that most people look forward to so leaving it until the end of the month adds to our stress.
Do It Now Solution: Assign a place for receipts to be placed when you get home. They can be reviewed and the budget updated weekly. This is likely to take us about 20 minutes each week. Plus, the purchases will be much fresh in our mind. We won’t have to wonder what that online Amazon order was for. 1 ½ hours a month is a lot better than 2-3 hours.
As the examples above show, procrastination costs us valuable time in the long run. In the short run it seems like we are saving ourselves some time, but that’s just not the case.
If we began building these new Do It Now Solutions into our daily life, just think of how much extra time we may be able to find in a month.
Give some of these Do It Now Solutions a try for at least a month. You’ll be surprised how much that extra time you will find when you stop procrastinating.
Sign up for our newsletter below to be notified when new Simple Living posts are available. Signing up for our newsletter will also give you access to our Free Printables page.
You can read more simple solution ideas in these posts:
Lydia from Life Beyond the Kitchen says
I’ve done all of those things at one time or another! hahaha
My boss used to say, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” How right he was.
Pam Collins says
That’s a great quote. I’m tired of losing my time to that procrastination thief.