Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Procrastinate! Who me? I'll do it tomorrow.

Getting started is half -done.
And yet, half the battle is sometimes simple recognition of the problem.
Most of us at one time or another have come across an activity, task, assignment or challenge that we are just not ready, willing or able to attack.
In those cases we find every possible means possible to delay the inevitable. 
What kind of procrastinator are you? 

• Focus on what’s realistic rather than what’s ideal; work toward excellence rather than perfection.
• Seek support from others before you’re under too much pressure.
• Deliberately make one mistake each day.
• Make daily to-do lists with small, broken-down tasks that you can complete on a given day.
• Commit to rewarding yourself for setting and achieving realistic goals.
• Admit that you choose what you do with your time; work on self-acceptance skills

• Learn to make realistic judgments about the time and effort required to complete a task. Ask a friend for help, if needed.
• Remind yourself that choosing not to make a decision about a task or action is itself a decision.
• Don’t allow "what if" thinking to take you out of action.
• Break down tasks into manageable parts to reduce anxiety.
• Every day, do at least part of one thing you’ve been putting off because you’re uncomfortable about it.
• Consider the aspects of a project that are exciting to you, rather than just the challenges.

• Strive for moderation: avoid speaking and thinking in dramatic, emotional language.
• Remind yourself: you may not be interested in a task until you start.
• Identify motivators for a task and use them rather than using stress as a motivator.
• Keep a record of your "crises": what triggered them, how you reacted.
• Create deadlines for yourself as a way to use your natural adrenaline rush to complete tasks earlier.
• Regularly engage in activities that will give you an adrenaline rush-- play competitive sports, go out with friends, or take up a new hobby.

• Recognize and respect your personal limitations. 
• Rank your priorities in life and post this list somewhere. Make choices about your time in accordance with this list.
• Incorporate time to relax into your schedule—and learn to enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself.
• Focus your thoughts on how to gain personal control, rather than how tasks control you.
• Learn to say "no" to tasks when appropriate. Try saying a pleasant "no" each day.
• Envision life as an adventure in making choices, not a struggle to do everything.
• Make daily to-do lists based on true priorities

• Rank your priorities in life, and devote your energies accordingly. Post this list somewhere.
• Reflect on the ways you could potentially respond to a task before acting.• Be aware when you’re choosing defiance. Ask yourself whether long-term regrets are worth short-term pleasure.
• Strive to act, rather than react.
• Learn self-calming strategies.
• Own up to your actions—especially if you did not complete a task you agreed to.
• Choose one task every week that you will complete in your own way in order to satisfy your need for individuality.

• Try to differentiate between dreams that are vague and goals that are specific and measurable.
• Make your dream into a goal: define what, when, where, who, why, and how you will complete it.
• Keep a to-do list and assign yourself a few tasks each day.
• Use an alarm or timer as a way to remind you when to get to work.
• Schedule time for creative daydreaming.
• Plan out projects and tasks in writing.
• To counteract mind-wandering, get active—explain things aloud, teach the material to someone, or tackle a small part of your project.

 This information was given to me during a presentation on building student study skills
at an AP Workshop a few years ago. 

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