Do you get annoyed with your children because they put off their chores, homework or whatever else they are supposed to do? You yell, you cajole or you offer rewards to them for doing what they are supposed to do anyway. Well--the problem could be staring at you in the mirror. Children often do what they see mom or dad do. If they know you put things off until the last minute, they may do the same. Then everyone finds themselves rushing around late at night or early in the morning trying to cram 2 or 3 hours work into an hour or 45 minutes.
Do you think work better under pressure? If so your kids may feel the same way. If this is the case, you, the children, and your mate have no other choice than to work under pressure because waiting until the last minute is the norm in your home.
What about procrastination in the office? Does this sound like you? You have a big typing project, your computer is ready and you have a good supply of paper in the printer. But, before you start you will completely clean your work area by wiping the desk with a damp cloth, sharpen all of the pencils in the cute little jar, etc. You are finally ready to start your project. Oops--you should make coffee before you get started. This way you won't have to stop work to do it later.
Starting a task at home? Company is coming at 7 o'clock and need to pick up and tidy your house. No problem, you still have a couple of hours so you decided to take a quick nap, because you will be fresher and can work faster and better. When you finally awaken, you need coffee to really come alive, and maybe a snack to get the juices flowing. Or, you go online to pay bills, but must check your e-mails first. You will answer some because you see one from Susan and she's a good friend. You read the forwarded e-mails from Bill because the jokes always put you in a good mood. Now that all of your e-mails are read you will get to those bills. But first get a few chips and maybe a soda. If these delaying tactics are similar to those your children try to pull then it is time for you to clean up your act so they can do the same.
I am a saver of things and have to think long and hard before I get rid of them, but I procrastinate and do not make any discard plans. I recently took two bags of plastic Easter eggs down to my trash area. I held on to them for about 6 years. There were 48 eggs in each bag. My original plan fell through so I stored them, just in case...
I finally realized that procrastination, disorganization and clutter are first cousins. If you have one of these problems you probably have all the them.
Here are a few ways to put procrastination behind you:
- Do the easiest things first. Don't focus on the complicated least enjoyable part. Go with what is easy to do tasks, then move to the more difficult ones.
- Give yourself a deadline and keep it. If something needs to be complete by the 16th of month. Start early and learn to use a 2 or 3 day lead time and finish it by the 13th of the month.
- If possible break the large task down into several smaller ones. Work on the first task until it is done, then start the second immediately.
With a little effort you can change "Never do today what you can do tomorrow" to "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
If you can stop procrastination, organization and decluttering may soon follow. Get your children involved. With no more rushing to get homework or chores done they will soon find that they have more stress-free time. And, they won't have to hear mom or dad ask, "Did you do your homework, chores, etc."