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Overcoming Procrastination Checklist

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle tasks and projects.

ACT AFTER YOU PLAN

• start with a written plan of action to avoid getting distracted
• keep your plan simple and straightforward
• start with the one thing you must get done today to feel productive
• should be a manageable item you can complete in 10-15 minutes
• break the day up into a number of “action sessions” for other tasks
• balance the time spent planning with time spent creating or doing
• avoid over-planning — another method of procrastination
• before ending your day, spend 10 minutes reviewing your progress
• take time to plan your actions for the next day

BE VISION-DIRECTED

• your tasks should match your values or purpose
• if not, you will find it hard to summon the energy to tackle them
• bring each task into congruence with your basic mission
• if you can’t, take it off of your list

BITE-SIZED PIECES

• don’t put any “to-do” on your list that takes more than 30 minutes
• if it takes longer, it’s actually a series of smaller “to-do’s”
• break each step out and list it separately
• you don’t have to tackle all the steps of a project in one sitting
• spread a large task out over several work sessions
• you will see greater progress as you check more items off your list
• you will avoid getting bogged down in one large task or project

DECIDE TO SCHEDULE IT

• determine how much you can do or tolerate at a time
• don’t push yourself too far or you’ll get bored or frustrated
• plan these project “pieces” into your daily activities
• set a “completion point” for accomplishing each small task
• completion points give you an end in sight to look forward to

GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH

• don’t try to do everything perfectly
• perfectionism often causes procrastination
• perfectionists would rather put it off than do an incomplete job
• rather than perfection, aim for progress
• any small step toward completion is an accomplishment

JUST DO IT

• do the worst job (or part of the job) first and get it out of the way
• once you tackle the part you are dreading, the rest is a breeze
• stop spending time planning and just jump into doing it
• set a time limit — “I’ll file papers for 5 minutes”
• alternate unpleasant jobs with tasks you enjoy
• delegate out items you can’t make yourself do

PLAN AROUND INTERRUPTIONS

• interruptions tend to occur in identifiable patterns
• notice when interruptions occur, by whom, and why
• take steps to prevent those interruptions before they occur
• if they can’t be prevented, learn how to delegate to someone else
• if they can’t be delegated, learn how to delay until you are finished

REMEMBER TO MAKE IT FUN

• make the project and environment as pleasant as possible
• play music, open a window, have a cold drink, etc.
• give yourself the best tools and work space for the project
• take a few minutes to organize your work space
• a clean desk allows you to focus without visual distraction
• it’s only a chore if you think of it as a chore

STAYING MOTIVATED

• find an “accountability partner” to track your progress
• schedule a regular time to check in with a friend or colleague
• rewarding your accomplishments encourages productivity
• give yourself a break, a treat, a nap — whatever is a reward for you
• reward every step along the way, not just the end result
• the bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the reward

Copyright 2000-2009 Ramona Creel

About the Author: “Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity — traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities — clearing away the clutter and other obstacles standing in the way of that life you’ve always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona — read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order — at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.”

Recommended Training Resource: Accountability That Works! This innovative training program will provide everyone in your organization with the tools they need for a greater sense of responsibility and increased productivity, including teaching the skill of “self-empowerment” – doing whatever is necessary to complete the task, including overcoming procrastination, interruptions and other barriers to completion.

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