Procrastinating on unpleasant tasks

by Arrie

How to overcome procrastination when faced with unpleasant tasks.

I find that I will do anything to put off that difficult task. When avoiding difficult tasks…I will clean my house, organize my files, file my receipts, read a book…anything but that difficult task.

Avoiding unpleasant tasks is one of the biggest causes of procrastination for me.

The more unpleasant the task the farther down the 'to do' list it goes. But in the end it causes me stress because now that difficult task can’t be put off as I have boss and/or customer breathing down your neck.

I have found the consequences of putting things off are increased stress and reduced quality!
I have started to implement strategies to beat procrastination. In short it is a matter of just doing it. But just doing it is hard work and I have found these things help. To beat procrastination I have started to

  • set a clear deadlines for measurable bits of work

  • break the larger tasks into smaller chunks. This has greatly reduced that feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • keep a daily plan visible. I try to use a visual daily plan…although other people have said that visual weekly plan is better to use in Microsoft Outlook.

  • involve others in reinforcing good habits. I am starting to share my story with trusted coworkers who are holding me accountable.

Kell’s reply

Thank you Arrie for your post. I have written some more tips for overcoming procrastination.

Setting clear deadlines and breaking your goals into smaller objectives is so important to get started.

I have also found it useful to pull out an egg timer (or use free time tracking software) and just say to yourself “I am going to work 10 minutes of this task”. Then set about doing it.
Often just the starting will create momentum to overcome procrastination.

All the best,

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