Getting out of the (procrastination) rut

It’s gotta be exam time in Australia because in the past few weeks I’ve received several emails from my Gen Y readers asking me if I have the cure for procrastination.

After my jaw dropped when I found that in Google there are 4,890,000 entries for procrastination, I decided to share with you what I’ve learned to do through the years to get myself out of the procrastination rut.

(I’m still wondering how often all those sites dedicated to procrastination get updated…)

Plan A: Schedule tasks I dread for first thing in the morning, between 8-11 am.  I find that tackling something I’ve been dreading first thing sets a really nice tone to my day.  Try it tomorrow morning.

If for some reason plan A doesn’t work, I bring out the big guns.

Plan B: I fill the task with meaning by following this simple visualization:

1. I close my eyes and start taking deep breaths. Then,

2. I ask myself: “Why do I want to accomplish this task?”  In other words, what will it mean to me when I’ve finished my board paper, expense report, promotional letter, or whatever it is that needs to get done. Then,

3. I try to imagine how will I feel when that paper, report or letter is done.  I try to add as many colors and emotions to my picture.

4. Slowly I open my eyes.

I usually find that doing this psyches me up and pulls me out of the rut and into action.

If plan B doesn’t do the trick, I do what a Buddhist monk taught me – I surrender and remind myself that everything is impermanent.  That surely doesn’t get the job done, but at least it makes me feel better about procrastinating. (Please don’t try this one at home…)

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