If your motto is, “why do it today when there’s always tomorrow?”—then this article is for you. We all have our reasons for putting things off—whether it’s because we’re too busy and don’t have enough time, not sure what to do next, or just plain don’t feel like doing it. But when “tomorrow” arrives, we feel stressed, rushed, or discouraged.
Had enough of this unrewarding habit? Take the challenge to deal with procrastination today with these easy-to-use tips.
PROBLEM: “I don’t even know where to get started.”
TRY THIS: Clutter can be a major culprit when you need to get stuff done. Clear the clutter once and for all by sorting through your paperwork with these four Fs from professional organizer Lissanne Oliver on Flying Solo:
- Finish it—for work in progress (such as bills, tax returns, insurance claims, applications, letters, and business cards).
- Forward it—for anything you don’t need, but may be useful for someone else.
- File it—for any documents you’ll need for future reference.
- Flick it—for any paperwork that’s out-of-date, unwanted, or available elsewhere, such as on your computer.
PROBLEM: “There’s so much to keep track of!”
TRY THIS: Stay on top of task deadlines, expiration or renewal dates, party invitation RSVPs, and other dated material using a revolving follow-up file system. Using Avery File Folder Labels, number file folders from 1 to 31 for each day of the month and place the folders in a dedicated file cabinet drawer or organizing tote. Then, organize your tasks or things that need your attention for each particular day by filing them under the appropriate date. Each day, pull out the corresponding folder for that day of the month. If things get pushed back or dates change, just refile the item under the appropriate dated folder.
PROBLEM: “I just don’t feel like it.”
TRY THIS: When your drive takes a dip, maybe a little inspiration will do. These motivational cards offer an inspirational quote on one side, while the other side can be customized with an incentive or reward of your choice. Print a stack on Avery Clean Edge Business Cards, shuffle, then draw a card to read a quote. Once you accomplish a task, flip the card over to reveal your reward.
PROBLEM: “I just can’t seem to focus.”
TRY THIS: Eliminate distractions. When you’re working on a major project or difficult situation that needs your undivided attention, constantly checking your email or glancing at the television can be the downfall to your level of concentration. Instead, create a calm, quiet environment to help you focus on the task at hand. If the thought of not being online makes you squirm, allow yourself a short break but only after you’ve dedicated a solid block of time to the project, and repeat.
Hey, we’re all human, and some days will be better than others. But once you get a system going, putting things off can be a thing of the past. Just stick with your new, organized ways and you can kick procrastination for good!