Tuesday, March 15, 2011

8 Ways to Avoid Procrastination

procrastinatorIn Maybe I'll Stop Procrastinating...Tomorrow from Sioux's Page, Sioux shares some practical advice for procrastinators and then asks,

“What advice do you have for procrastinators?”

I grew up hearing that saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today!” In fact I’m betting that most people have heard this saying in one form or another.

I have to admit that I am probably the Queen of Procrastination.

I hate doing the things that I really hate doing. (That makes sense, doesn’t it?) I think most people feel the same way. But feeling the same way as most people doesn’t help me get things done.

Admitting I have a problem doesn’t really help me much either.

Yet, I am amazed at how many people see me differently. I have heard people tell me that I’m very organized and dependable because I always meet my deadlines.

Reading this post from Sioux made me think of the things that I do so that people don’t see me as the Queen of Procrastination but rather the Queen of Getting Things Done on Time. (Boy do I have them fooled!). I realized that this does not come naturally and I have to struggle to make this happen. Here are some of the things that I do to succeed in this way.

1. Make a list of the things that need to be done and list the dates they are due.

2. Put the list of things in order according to order in which they are due.

3. Look at the items and see which ones can be done easily and quickly. If possible, do these and get them out of the way immediately.

4. Look at the items that are left. On another sheet of paper, list the next item that is due. Write down what is needed to accomplish this task and prioritize these items. Start doing the things on the list in the order they are now listed.

5. Mark things off the list as they get done.

6. Take one step at a time and work on each task in #4. Since these tasks are broken down, they are not so overwhelming.

7. Give myself small rewards for getting a specific task done before starting on the next task.

8. Know what things distract me and make a conscious effort not to allow myself to do these things. (Or use this as one of my rewards with a time limit)

I realized that following these steps were important because I was a role model for my students. My students were experts at procrastination and I needed to teach them my “secret” for getting things done. They were always amazed when I told them that I felt exactly the way they did about certain tasks. By telling them this was my “secret,” made them feel like we shared something special. I’m hoping that my “secret” helped many of them be more successful in the classroom.

What do you do to avoid procrastination? Please share!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'seal'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/98288842@N00/231319498 by: Alex Shultz


Sundresses and Smiles said...

Great site-- I'm a semester away from my Masters of Teaching so I can definitely use any and all advice! I've created my own new blog-- feel free to stop by and follow if interested. It won't be all about teaching, but will definitely have posts related to educational news, funny stories I've collected in the classroom, and any advice/wisdom I gain from experiences and learning.

loonyhiker said...

Glad you stopped by! I hope you find some of the information useful. Please let me know if you want me to write about a specific topic. I've added your blog to my google reader so I don't miss your updates. :)