We asked you, you answered: Procrastination remedies

By Ernie Smith / October 17, 2019 (Michael Blann / DigitalVision)

There is more than one way to cure procrastination. In our reader survey, the association's professionals shared how they get started when they have been dragging their feet for too long.

Perhaps it is because it is such a common problem. Or maybe people used our form to postpone. Either way, our latest reader survey that asked about tactics to overcome procrastination was one of the most popular in history, attracting dozens of responses from readers who had some tricks up their sleeves: some simple, others more elaborate.

These are just some of his advice. There is more to come, but in the spirit of the subject, we are putting off that. Keep reading!

Kim Paugh, CAE

Executive Director, Raybourn Group International

I step back and determine why. Is essential? Could you delegate instead? Do we really have to do it? If so, I define the first smallest step I can think of and I only do that. Once the first step is completed, I have some momentum to push myself.

Thomas Higdon

Volunteer Program Manager, Maryland Food Bank

I divide the project into smaller tasks. Then, I set a specific amount of time for each task. For example, "I will work on task # 1 for 30 minutes, then I will go on task # 2 for 60 minutes, etc." I also add breaks with specific activities (for example, meditate for 10 minutes, take a walk through the building for 15 minutes, eat a snack for 10 minutes). I use my phone's timer to be honest. I don't always stick to the plan, but it always helps me get started.

Kwedi Moore

Affiliate and Sponsorship Manager, Los Angeles Consumer Lawyers Association

Involve other people! It's easy to postpone things that only affect my workflow. But if I have promised someone else something, the pressure is active. I will not leave my teammates, so for tasks and projects that are not desirable, I connect them with another team member: "I will have the report by Friday so I can work on the project next week." This sets a difficult deadline and is usually just the momentum I need to do it.

Elizabeth Karlin

Senior Editor, Association of American Medical Colleges

Deadlines help. Isolate me Rewards (you can plan this fun thing once you have finished the task). Ultimatums (you can't go home until you've finished your homework). I try to remember to swallow the frog. If I do the most unpleasant first (that is, swallow the frog), the rest of the day is pleasant and I feel fulfilled.

Maggie Stevens

Account Strategist, ODM

I find that the best way to fight procrastination and gain the momentum to build a project is to commit to spending "only five minutes on it" and then immerse myself. In general, it is the beginning that stops me, and once you are IN the project, the momentum builds up. If after five minutes the energy is not there, I move on to something else and go back in a circle. However, most of the time, the five minutes remain in the project until it is finished or until a particular task is completed.

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