What an ugly word that is: Procrastination…

It brings about pictures of laziness, self-indulgence, and frustration.

Procrastination might be enticing at first, but at the end it tastes bad all the way around, building a habit of failure in mind and deeds. It steals time, energy and the reward of accomplishment.  Let alone the fact that nothing gets done, and the task still sits there while the guilt piles up.

Unfortunately, procrastination is a real issue for many of us. Some of us start well but can’t seem to finish anything.  Others just have too many excuses and can’t get started on any kind of project.

But when you boil it all down, it comes down to a motivation thing.

So here are a few tips that I have found useful in order to kick the wicked habit of procrastination:

1. Give yourself just three manageable tasks for the week that you MUST finish: all the laundry, answering emails, returning the two phone calls, clean out one flower bed, and schedule those like they are a non-negotiable appointment.  Just three in one week, that’s all! Write them down in an exciting or fun story: “She conquered the mountain of laundry!”or, “She found the dirt in her flower bed.”

2. Don’t give yourself excuses.  No, you are not too tired, too fat, too hungry.  Over-pampering yourself will kill you.  Nike was right on this one, “JUST DO IT!”

3. Be prepared to answer yourself if you are trying to talk yourself out of it.  Have some pre-planned answers ready: “It’s only three for the week, for goodness sake, you can do that!” “You’ll feel great afterwards.” “I am doing this for my own good, letting myself know that I am not a loser.” “How bad do I want to keep my job?”

4. Try to make it fun. Ipod while working, movie while ironing, singing… whatever makes you happy!

5. Don’t quit until it’s done.  If you have to, visualize the task accomplished and how you will feel once it is over. Quitting half-way does not count, and it will make you have to tackle it again anyway. Think of the benefits of getting it finished and just follow through.

As you work through your list, not only will you get much more accomplished, but you will also feel empowered by the dreaded task being finished.  It will work for you in more ways than one:

~Stuff won’t frustrate you any more!

~Stuff will get done!

~Stuff won’t be able to speak to you anymore!

~Stuff won’t be hanging over your head, so you will enjoy your relaxation time so much more!

So, what three stories are you going to write this week?

Counting One Thousand Gifts with Ann Voskamp

#60 a clean kitchen sink

#59 the satisfaction of a job finished

#58Fresh air in my home