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Procrastinators’ Guide to Get More Accomplished

Over 20 percent of American adults are chronic procrastinators, and most struggle with procrastination to some extent. Here are five proven actions to become more efficient with your time and change your habits.

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Procrastination is a thief of time. Why put off until tomorrow what can get done today? Both are adages meant to inspire action. Yet, according to the American Psychological Association, over 20 percent of American adults are chronic procrastinators. And most people struggle with procrastination to some extent.

Are you allowing procrastination to steal your time? We each have 24 hours a day to spend as we choose, and understanding more about yourself can help you improve poor habits.

Here are five proven actions to become more efficient with your time and stop procrastinating.

1. Uncover the Reason

Understanding why you procrastinate is key. Self-awareness offers clarity on how to change. Reasons you can’t move forward might include: the need more information, insecurities, a fear of failure, indecision, perfectionism, lack of motivation, poor time management, stress, or deadlines.

2. Identify where to Start

We don’t finish because we don’t know how to start. Break down projects into bite-size tasks that can be completed in one sitting — aim for 25-30 minutes or less for each task. Smaller tasks reduce the overwhelm of all you need to accomplish and gives clear direction on where and how to start.

3. Utilize Deadlines

Deadlines should be seen as a friend, not a threat. But know that they motivate people in different ways. Use deadlines as a helpful bookend or catalyst that works with your learning style. Consider setting a timer to focus on one task, setting a firm end date, enlisting an accountability partner, or offering yourself a reward or incentive.

4. Make Decisions

Postponed decisions create clutter and enable procrastination. Gather the information you need, establish clear priorities, and make a decision to move forward. Oftentimes, you don’t realize there is a lingering decision that is holding you back.

5. Overcome Perfectionism

Do you avoid tasks for fear the results won’t be good enough for yourself or others? Feelings of inadequacy and shame could be stealing your precious time. Practice self-compassion, set realistic expectations, consider whether 100 percent is required, ignore perceived criticism, and seek support to change your perspective. Improvement is better than delayed perfection.

If you find yourself saying, “I just didn’t have enough time,” you may be suffering from some form of procrastination. Take action this month and transform your habits with one adjustment today. Don’t put it off!

Overwhelmed with where and how to start? Michelle can help you simplify your situation in order to find solutions that work best for your stage of life.

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