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Are You a Procrastinator?

November 16, 2021
by TammyS | For Seniors
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Are You a Procrastinator?

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Do you have good intentions of accomplishing a task or project by a certain date, but either do not complete it, or are working furiously at the last minute to finish?  If so, you are not alone.  Statistics have shown that over 20% of individuals procrastinate.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon whereby we squander away our time and put off projects.  And then, when the deadline arrives, we find ourselves in a complete state of panic.

The definition of procrastination is ”to delay or postpone action; put off doing something”.  Only you can truly know if you are a procrastinator or not.  Do you:

  1. Miss deadlines?
  2. Pay bills late?
  3. Consistently get up late?
  4. Turn in deadlines late?
  5. Give up when a chore is too difficult?
  6. Envy those who are consistently efficient?
  7. Always show up late for social engagements?
  8. Apologize often for being late?
  9. Have a workplace that is messy and unorganized?
  10.  Have to rush to complete tasks on time?
  11. Put tasks off until tomorrow much of the time?

If any of the above sound like you, you may be a procrastinator.  The good news is you can remedy this trait with the following steps:

  1. Get organized.  Make a list or put on your calendar what needs to be done and by what date and time.
  2. Set simple, achievable goals.  What are your goals for the project and when must they be completed?  Goals should contain five segments:
    1. Specific – should answer questions, Who, What, When, Where, Which, and Why.
    2. Measurable – include concrete criteria for measuring your progress.
    3. Attainable – you should have the attitude, ability, and skill to reach them.
    4. Realistic – an objective to which you are willing and able to work.
    5. Timely – grounded within a specific timeline.
  3. Do not over-complicate your goals.  They do not have to be perfect.  They should just provide an outline for you to follow.
  4. After you set your goals, create a detailed timeline for each segment in order to complete each one on time.
  5. If your goals do not appear to be working for you, don’t hesitate to rework them until they do.
  6. Set a deadline.  Otherwise, it is easy to get trapped in the cycle of “I’ll start soon”.
  7. Get rid of distractions so you do not get needlessly sidetracked.
  8. Time yourself.  This will allow you to determine how long you can work without becoming worn out or needing a break.  When loaded down with projects or with one you hesitate to get started on, it's easy to either overwork yourself or difficult to get started on it.
  9. Determine which project needs to be completed first, which one can be second, etc.
  10. Break a large project up into smaller segments so it will be less overwhelming.
  11. Take a break.  Set a timer if you must; but take a break at the point when you feel your mind becoming foggy or your body overworked.
  12. Reward yourself.  When you get to a designated point in your project, take a break and have a cup of coffee, watch a little television, or whatever may be rewarding to you.
  13. Rather than pushing the most difficult tasks to the end of the line, do those first.  That will make all that follow seem easier and less time-consuming.
  14. Create goals for yourself with a big project and share them with a friend, family-member, or coworker who can help keep you on track.
  15. And finally – JUST DO IT!  All the goals and strategies in the world will not help you if you do not take action.

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