i’ll get to it later do you procrastinate

I hear this comment all the time; “I’ll get to it later”. Usually my antenna goes up and I wonder, “Will she really get to it or might she just be procrastinating?” Therefore, my gift to you for 2011 are my tips and strategies to help you not postpone anything you put on your To Do List.
1. Know Your Own Energy Patterns
If you know you are alert and perky early in the morning then that’s when you should tackle cleaning out your filing cabinets, not later at night when you can barely keep your eyes open for the evening news.
2. Done is Better Than Perfect
As a professional organizer I have the awful character trait of trying to be perfect. My holiday cards didn’t go out the day after Thanksgiving last year but they did make it to all my loved ones before Christmas and that was good enough.
3. Just Start and Then Take a Little Break
Sometimes if you simply start a project and then walk away, when you return it’s as if you’re already ahead of the game. For example, maybe you procrastinate on putting the clothes away after you do the laundry. So, maybe what you can do is carry the baskets to the appropriate dressers and closets and hang the clothes that need to be hung. Then go have lunch. When you return you know the hanging is done and you only have to put the folded clothes into the appropriate drawers. It feels less burdensome and you’re more inclined to finish what you started.
4. Do Any Part of the Project That Will Get the Organizational Ball Rolling
For me, I always procrastinate on reconciling my checkbook in Quick Books. So, often what I will do is “set the stage”. I’ll spread out everything I need on my desk at night before bed; my checkbook, the bills, the deposits slips, the bank statement and then I’ll organize the receipts into appropriate categories for accounting purposes. That was the easy part. When I arrive in my office the next morning I’ll immediately tackle the computer portion (which is the part I hate) since everything is ready and I’m at the peak of my energy. Just doing the easy part got my motivation moving in the right direction.
5. Let Your Brain Do the Work Initially and Then Let Your Body Follow
Often we procrastinate on doing things because we can’t figure out how to get them done, literally. When this happens, send a message to yourself that asks your brain to come to a solution and give yourself some time for the answers to come back to you. For example, I know each month I will be writing a newsletter but sometimes I get “stuck” on what to write about. When this happens, I sit back and wait for the right subject matter to tickle me. For example, in December I couldn’t figure out what to do for my January newsletter and I was busy getting ready for the holidays placing the holiday chores before my work. I let a couple of weeks go by without deciding what my topic was going to be. Then it hit me. I’ll write about procrastinating because that’s what I’m doing. I’m postponing my writing in lieu of my shopping! Now my shopping is done and I’m physically writing again.
6. Work in Small Chunks of Time
This is what most of us have in today’s society, small increments of time since we are so scheduled. Actually, a lot of things can be done in just a few minutes. While a commercial is on TV you can pay a bill or send an email. While your car is warming up you can empty the dishwasher. While on hold with the insurance company you can purge an old file. Make good use of the little minutes in your day.
7. Agree to the Hassle Factor
Sometimes we put things on our To Do List that maybe shouldn’t be there. Ask yourself this question, “Do I really want, need or have to do this?” If you have a skirt hanging in your closet and it needs to be altered before you’ll wear it, ask yourself if you truly like it enough to take it to the dry cleaners for tailoring and spending the extra money. Or do you really think it’s a mediocre piece of clothing in your wardrobe and maybe you should put it into the donation bin? The choice is yours; consider the effort to keep it. If you don’t make a decision, you’re procrastinating, so make a decision.