However, I, Neat Geek that I am, have a confession: I procrastinate. Although it’s much easier for me to help others, it takes extra, extra motivation for me to tackle my own organizing projects, such as: organizing the nightstand I use as my junk drawer for mail, or going through my closet to purge any unused or outdated clothes (what girl ever wants to do THAT?), and even writing my own blog on organizing.
Everyone procrastinates. Everyone, at some point, distracts themselves from washing the dishes, or starting that research paper, or organizing the office space. Notice that I don’t identify myself at as a procrastinator. Procrastinating doesn’t define who you are. Procrastinating doesn’t mean you’re lazy or that you don’t care or you’re just not disciplined enough. Procrastinating is a habit that you can change. If you procrastinate, like me, the key to moving past the point of putting tasks off is to figure out why you procrastinate.
Feeling overwhelmed, fear, and perfectionism are all reasons for procrastinating. My own personal reason to procrastinate usually involves all three. My excuse: I seem to wait for the “perfect” time to start a project – when I have more time, or after I get <fill in the blank> done first, or waiting until the planets are aligned. I fear not having enough time to complete my own project to perfection, which, in turn, feels overwhelming. So, I say, “I’ll do it when I have more time.”
Then again, sometimes you’re just too dang tired. It happens, but, really, all the time? If you dare, ask (and answer) yourself, “Why do I procrastinate? What am I waiting for?”
After you identify your reasons for procrastinating, how can you get over it? Here are 3 steps that will help you get things started and get things done.
- Visualize. Pick one project. Then, just think about it. That’s right - don’t jump into the project, revved up to get it done. Just think about it. Give yourself time to focus on your goal. Visualize how you will start this project, how you will work through it, and, ultimately, reaching that goal. Visualize as you go through your day, through conversations, as you’re having dinner, and when you go to bed. Dream about it.
- Set a Time/Limit. You can visualize till the cows come home, but you must set a time to start your project. Choose a time with the least amount of distraction, and set a time limit. . Working on any project is like a workout at the gym. You need to have time to warm-up, time to work up to full momentum, and time to cool down. As in exercise, if you don’t warm up or cool down, you could sprain your brain. If you see you won’t be able to finish your project within the time limit – it’s okay. You can wrap things up and put things away, until the next time you can work on the project.
- Just do it. You have visualized and you have set a time (and time limit.) The time has come, and, now what? Just do it. Get off the couch, turn of the phone and the laptop, with no distractions and just do it. It may even help to blast some energetic music to get you moving (Best of Arabian Belly Dance helps get me going) – anything to help you just do it.
The next time you feel yourself slipping into an old habit, these steps can help you overcome procrastination. How do I know?
I finished this article.